Martin made it two for two for Germany matching teammate Judith Arndt’s gold the day before in the Elite Women’s ITT. The Germans, Brits and Aussies all had both riders in the top ten serving notice that they are on target for next year’s London 2012 Olympics.
“It was really important to come into the race with a good rhythm. After one or two kilometers I had perfect legs. I found my good position and after the first split [with news he was 1st], I found my comfort and I could just keep pushing. It was just perfect,” said Martin of his race today. Clearly Martin was in a class of his own today catching and passing his minute man David Millar (Great Britain) who finished 7th on the day.
He commented that there are two sides to preparation. “I’m really getting strong in the head. I know how to make a perfect time trial – find my way against the pressure. Doing the Vuelta – it worked really good. It gave me good legs,” he continued, referring to the Tour of Spain where he won the 47km time trial by a minute and a half over Cancellara. Martin chose to wear a radio today, something Wiggins rejected. Martin said the information was helpful. “To be honest I was pretty sure I would win today with 3-4km to go. I had information that I was in front.”
While he may have had differences with his support team over the radio, he had nothing but tributes for Martin and the tens of thousands of people on the course. “You always hope you’re good enough to get a medal – maybe even win it. But it takes something really special to be Tony today.” When asked about the course and the people he said, “They were fantastic. It really felt like a world championship or a big city prologue.” During the course pre-rides he said it “…felt Mickey Mouse. There were people crossing the course and everything was crazy. Today it was a real world championship.”
But Wiggins was also philosophical about where he stands right now as an athlete. “In terms of next year, I’ve got too many options. When there are so many people telling you what to do… it’s too soon to think about it. I will think about this in the winter. I just want to try to enjoy this now.”
Cancellara continued on a philosophical note. “There are bad things; there are good things; there are beautiful things, but you’re not going to have a perfect year – that’s impossible. It’s hard work. I rode my best – even what I had done. I love riding my bike. With murder and what’s going on in the world, we just want to ride our bikes and give our maximum. We are not machines. When you are not 100% you should not win. That is not a good bike race.”
At this point in the press conference someone asked Martin whether or not it was “special” to have the rainbow jersey after “fighting Cancellara” for so long. “It’s not all about a fight between me and Fabian. There were a lot of other good guys – Wiggins, Millar – I’m just happy now that I have the jersey. He had a lot of pressure. I know third is a very good place… I should know I had it for two years. He should be happy – I am happy,” added Martin as he looked at Cancellara.
Tuft responded to his top fifteen finish with a mix of comments analyzing his preparation for the time trial event, technique and tactics. “The course suited me. It’s just one of those days I was hoping to have really good legs. I went out pretty hard, but I faded in the last 10km, probably from the lack of doing longer time trials this season,” said Tuft, who currently rides for the Canadian-based Pro Conti team SpiderTech p/b C10 but will move to Australia’s new GreenEDGE Cycling squad next season.
“For the most part, I am quite content with how my ride went. I just wasn’t super sharp, and accelerated into speed. A course like this really suits a guy that’s on top of it, both physically and mentally. You need to focus for a really long time – that’s how she goes.”
“This results shows that I have to work specifically to get back in my time trial form. It’s gonna be a work in progress. I look at the times and I am happy to be in the fighting times. That keeps me positive and focused. On the day, you hope to feel good and have good legs.”
Full results HERE.