Tuesday, July 27, 2021
HomeRaceRace ReviewsLe Tour de France 2014 - Stage 9; Gérardmer - Mulhouse, 166...

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 9; Gérardmer – Mulhouse, 166 km. Tony Martin Solo


Tour+de+France+logoTo catalogue Tony Martin ’s palmarès would take all day, the list is huge – so we’ve tried to illustrate his diversity.

It was 2003 when he won German Junior National Individual Time trial Championship; within a year he was national champion in the team pursuit alongside track legend, Jens Lehmann – the man Chris Boardman defeated to win the Olympic Pursuit in Barcelona in 1992.

In 2005 as well as riding stagier for Gerolsteiner he won two stages in the prestigious Italian U23 stage race, the Giro delle Regione.

Season 2006 saw him with team Thuringer Energie winning the GC in the U23 Thuringen Rundfahrt and German time trial champs.

In 2007 he won the Ràs and was second in the Tour de L’Avenir – a good pro contract was inevitable.

Tony Martin
As well as the stage win, Tony Martin goes into the lead in the KOM too. Photo©B.Bade/ASO

It was High Road who got his signature for 2008 and he wasted no time establishing himself in the paid ranks, winning the Hel van het Mergelland, a Dutch semi-classic and time trials in the ZLM Toer, Tour de L’Ain and Deutschland Tour.

He stayed with HTC/Columbia/High Road until the end of 2011 and in 2009 took a mountain stage in the Tour de Suisse and was third in the Worlds time trial.

In 2010 he was again Worlds TT bronze medallist and won the Benelux Tour.

The Volta ao Algarve went his way in 2011 as did the big TT’s in the Tour and Vuelta and it was gold at the Worlds.

In 2012 he doubled up with TTT and individual Worlds glory and won the Tour of Belgium.

Last year he took the GC in the Algarve and Belgium again as well as repeating his Worlds iTT and TTT double.

This year so far he’s won the Belgian Tour again and took two TT wins in the Suisse Tour as well as holding the yellow jersey until very near the end.

East German by birth, from Cottbus the 29 year-old is a product of the Erfurt Sports School and arguably still has his best years ahead of him.

Tony Martin
Martin winning the 2012 World TT Champs. Photo©fietsenphotography

We could wax lyrical but thought it best to hear the views of expert witnesses.

Our man with his finger on the Belgian pulse, Ivan tuned in to the Belgian sports news agency, Sporza to get us the latest from QuickStep’s home patch, explaining;

“Martin’s manager, Patrick Lefevre said today it was one of the greatest performances he has ever seen; Tony Martin fought for more than an hour to establish a gap of 30 seconds and then go away from the second group of 25 riders with the whole Europcar team trying to get him back.

“Remember that Lefevre has been one of the most respected managers in the sport for two decades and isn’t prone to throwing praise around.”

Ivan continued;

“Martin is at the moment renegotiating his contract with OPQS which ends this year, if he stays with Omega Pharma QuickStep he will probably go for the Hour Record in 2016.

“BMC man Greg Van Avermaet who was in the big break and would finish an eventual third on the day said the group of 25 were riding full gas to bring Martin back but could do nothing at all about it.

“The Europcar guys were riding ‘a bloc’ but the man was going away from them. QuickStep DS Wilfried Peeters said that Bakelants and Martin had carte blanche today, but it was the world champion TT who took his chance. Martin said he had perfect legs today – when he has good legs this is the result.

“Patrick Lefevre even said he felt very sorry for the Cannondale guy who had tried to stay with Martin.”

And again, ‘respect’ to QuickStep, they have Kwiatkowski as a potential top six man but don’t use that as an excuse to ride negatively – they’ve enlivened every stage of the race, thus far.

But humbled as we are by Tony’s achievement, perhaps we can offer one wee word of advice; ‘lose the PanzerNonsense hat please, Tony.’

The GC bag of crisps was given a huge shake today but we’re not going to pay too much attention to that given that those 161 K on Monday to the ‘Plank of the Bonnie Lassies’ are going to render anything we write today redundant by the top of that horrible final ascent.

Tony Martin
Gallopin in yellow on Bastille Day. Photo©B.Bade/ASO

Nonetheless, great to see Gallopin in yellow on Bastille Day and to see fortune favouring Lotto again, after Greipel’s stage win.

And good too to see Pinot and Rolland moving up – but to repeat, let’s wait until stage 10 is over before we run up the tricolour.

The joy of the French guys and QuickStep was in marked contrast to a tired looking Nibali who was no doubt glad to be able to skip the presentations, testing and press conference and get on the massage table early, for once.

Contador was cracking jokes with Benatti as he crossed the line – he’s in good fettle and there’s little doubt he’ll leave his mark on Stage 10, the final day in the Vosges.

And we must mention NetApp-Endura who’s Portuguese rider, Tiago Machado now sits in the third spot on GC – perhaps it’s only temporary but nice to see, nonetheless.

But surely the last words belong to Tony Gallopin.

If you check out the Lotto Belisol ‘Live Tour Dream’ video you’ll hear Tony being asked about his dreams for 2014.

He wants to see France win the World Cup (sorry, Tone) and, ‘a win in the Tour de France.’

Nice to see a man realising a dream – even if just for a day.

A demain.

Tony Martin
Cyrille Lemoine had a visit the other day from his pal (and soon-to-be teammate?) Nacer Bouhanni. Photo©B.Bade/ASO

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Le Tour de France 2014 – Second Rest Day; Catching up with Jack Bauer

Jack Bauer; tall, dark, slim, handsome, polite, grounded, friendly - it would have been so nice to add 'Tour de France stage winner' to that description. Dave and I were holed up in a nice old bar/restaurant attached to a genteel hotel in Carcassonne watching the finale of Stage 15 and willing the big man from the land of the long white cloud to cross that line first.

Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 11: Eymet – Pau, 203.5km. Maciej Bodnar excites as Marcel Kittel takes his tally to five!

‘Sprinter stages,’ why are they so dull? Albeit ‘Bison’ Bodnar (Bora hansgrohe & Poland) did a job of enlivening the last wee bittie of yesterday’s procession. Maciej Bodnar ended the day on top. Firstly, the GC teams won’t go in the break, they’re there to look after their team leader; mountain stages are different where they’ll put men up the road so as the team leader can bridge up to them.

Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 3: Ajaccio > Calvi, 145km. Gerrans from Sagan

Hood junior had already clued me in on the stage winner by text (there's about 400 metres of road, just outside the beach airport where you can receive a text); Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge & Australia) the former Aussie champion is a cool guy - when he won Milan-Sanremo I tried to ring him for a quote but went to ansaphone.

Le Tour de France 2016 – Stage 11; Carcassonne – Montpellier. Sagan and Froome Escape the Sprinters

From Carcassonne it COULD have been a ‘snooze-fest.’ It SHOULD have been a sprinters stage. Enter, stage left one superb Slovakian in green, Mr. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff). He attacks from the front in the cross winds inside 12 K to go with Polish TT champ team mate Bodnar aka ‘The Bison’ and spreads pure panic among the world’s best riders – but that skinny Sky man Froome is sharp again, as is team mate Thomas.

Le Tour de France 2009 – Stage 5: Le Cap d’Agde > Perpignan, 196.5km

Today's fifth stage from Le Cap d'Agde saw the first successful breakaway of this year's Tour. Thomas Voeckler held off the chasing peloton by seven seconds to win out of a five-man escape in the flat but windy 196.5km course from Cap d'Agde to Perpignan. Russian rider Mikhail Ignatiev also held on from the break to claim second with British sprint phenom Mark Cavendish leading the pack snapping at their heels for third.

Le Tour de France 2012 – Stage 16: Pau – Bagnères-de-Luchon, 197 km.

As a colleague from another life used to say; ‘you should never drink on an empty head.’ A sentiment I can endorse as we sit in our hotel in Vielha, Spain. Having left Pau, there were no digs to be had in France near the stage finish – the Tour is a black hole which sucks up every hotel room within an hour’s drive and we had to cross the border after the finish at Bagnères-de-Luchon to get to our digs. QuickStep, Saxo, Movistar and Euskaltel all did the same thing and are here in Vielha, too.

At Random

Bremen Six Day 2018 – Nights Four, Five and Six

"All is forgiven," Mr. Kenny De Ketele. After the two and four lap finale debacles of Gent and Rotterdam the Belgian former World Champion finally served us up a proper, entertaining final chase in the Bremen Six Day 2018; five teams were all in with realistic podium chances going into the closing 60 minute chase and the winning move only came late in the day.

The VV View: An Iberian Update, Alberto Contador and more

It's funny how things work out, Alberto Contador signs a contract with Specialized bikes for 700,000 euros last week. So will he be riding for one of the teams who ride on Specialized bikes; Quick-Step or Saxo Bank? Ah! Then Quick-Step announces that they will no longer be riding on Specialized, but will be on Eddy Merckx bikes.

Billy Bilsland – Peugeot’s Scotsman

Billy Bilsland – ‘legend.’ An over-used word but entirely appropriate when speaking of this man; here’s one from our vaults we thought you might like to read.

Peter Junek – Designer and Builder of Perfect Tracks

Peter Junek is a designer and builder of perfect velodrome track surfaces and geometry, such as Cochabamba in Bolivia and Mexico’s Aguascalientes Velodrome. We thought a chat with Peter would be interesting...

Scottish 50 Mile TT Championship 2009

Off no.45, Michael Nicolson (Dooleys RT) never looked like being beaten in the Scottish 50 Mile TT Championship 2009, but a but a clutch of riders fought it our for the minor placings in the mens competition, whilst Jessica Wilson -Young (Edinburgh RC) took a comfortable win in the women's race.

Pavel Sivakov – the hottest U23 property in the world

What’s the best thing an aspiring world class athlete can do? Pick their parents carefully, of course. The hottest U23 property in the world right now, Pavel Sivakov did that very thing; dad Alexei was a pro for 10 years with Roslotto, BigMat, CCC and Auber 93. As an amateur he won the Tour of Serbia and as a pro the Circuito Montanes; he rode the Vuelta and three Tours de France.