Bert Grabsch beats highly favored Tony Martin in German time trial championships
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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bert Grabsch beats highly favored Tony Martin in German time trial championships

by Bjorn Haake at 2:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, National Championships
HTC Highroad sweeps podium spots in both men and women's races

bert grabschBert Grabsch is the new German time trial champion, after an incredible ride over the 43-kilometer course in Neuwied. Grabsch was back at the finish after 49'51 minutes, a staggering 59 seconds earlier than runner-up Tony Martin. The HTC Highroad triumph was completed by Patrick Gretsch in third place. In the women's race, HTC Highroad also went one-two-three, with Judith Arndt besting Charlotte Becker and Ina-Yoko Teutenberg.

Many had expected Martin to take gold and Grabsch himself did not predict his own victory. "I had hoped to take a medal here, but the win comes as a surprise." This is also due to a bad spring campaign. "After a break in April, I wasn't going well in Romandie and I had to quit in California. We discovered I had a virus," Grabsch said at the press conference. He slowly got back into action, but didn't ride the Tour of Switzerland time trial all out. "The Tour de Suisse was hilly and hard. My focus was fully on the national time trial title."

Grabsch likes flat courses, so the German parcours wasn't perfect. "The little rises were kind of confusing me," he said with a smile. Still, he acknowledged that as a rouleur, the course mostly suited him and he only shifted three or four times during the race. "I was riding a 58x11," Grabsch said. His preparation included a lot of team work in the stage races, where he was making the pace ahead of the peloton. "Riding a brisk tempo at the front for 160 or 170 kilometers - not everybody can do that," he said.

Martin was not too disappointed. "If someone from another team would have beaten me, that would not have been good. But Bert had a bad spring and so I am really happy for him - he showed that he is great." Martin was satisfied with his ride. "I analyzed the power profile," he said. "On this course I think Bert would have become world champion. I don't think Cancellara would have been faster here."

Gretsch can become champion one day. "It is not embarrassing to lose against Bert and Tony. I am young and I still have many years ahead of me," he said. But he may face younger competition as well. None of the top three knew Richard Stockhausen, but the 23-year old amateur was only four seconds away from spoiling the HTC Highroad podium. Stockhausen left behind time trial specialist Sebastian Lang and defending road champion Christian Knees. Stefan Schumacher managed eighth place, despite a mechanical.

For Grabsch , it was the fourth national time trial title - he had won from 2007-2009. Martin has the complete set of medals. He won last year, finished second this year and in 2009 and was third in 2008. Gretsch is still working on the set. His bronze medal is accompanied by a silver from last year.

Arndt takes number seven

Arndt was the defending champion and did not disappoint on the 27km parcours. Her 36'08 was 45 seconds faster than Becker and one minute faster than Teutenberg. Trixie Worrack (1'45) and Hanka Kupfernagel (2'03) were the first riders outside the medal places.

"Getting six riders on the podium today as well as Kanstantsin [Siutsou's] gold medal shows just how big an effort we put into our time trialing, equipment and backup. It also shows how we make sure that everybody has a chance," said HTC-Highroad manager Rolf Aldag. "We try to do things democratically in our team, to help every rider get the most out of themselves."

"You can never plan for something as exceptional as this but I'm really proud it happened, and of everybody who helped it happen."

Results German TT championships

Men, 43km

1. GRABSCH Bert THR 49'51"
2. MARTIN Tony THR 0'59
3. GRETSCH Patrick THR 1'33
4. STOCKHAUSEN Richard - 1'37
5. LANG Sebastian OLO 1'42
6. KNEES Christian SKY 2'03
7. SEUBERT Timon APP 2'10
8. SCHUMACHER Stefan MIE 3'11
9. WEICHT Michael LKT 3'20
10. KITTEL Marcel SKS 3'33

Women 27km

1 Judith Arndt (HTC Highroad Women) 36'03"22
2 Charlotte Becker (HTC Highroad Women) at 0'44"97
3 Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC Highroad Women) 0'59"96
4 Trixi Worrack (AA Drink - Leontien.Nl Cycling Team) 1'45"81
5 Hanka Kupfernagel (Radsport Rhein-Neckar e.V.) 2'03"02
6 Lisa Brennauer (Hitec Products - Uck) 2'28"34
7 Adelheid Schütz (VC Corona Weiden 1902 e.V.) 3'19"60
8 Madeleine Sandig (SSV 1990 Gera e.V.) 3'27"16
9 Elke Gebhardt (Team Rothaus-VitaClassica Bad Krozingen) 3'29"87
10 Lina-Kristin Schink (Team GSD Gestion) 4'20"98


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