World champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) gets ready to take off for the prologue
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GC plays no role for Omega Pharma-QuickStep German
Tony Martin is going into the Tour de France at less than full form, and his eye will be on not only the two difficult time trials but also the prologue in Liège. The World and German national time trial champion is looking for stage wins, with the overall ranking “not playing any role” for him.
“I am going into the Tour with 95 percent,” he told the dpa news agency. “In the best case scenario I can still improve three, four or even five percent.”
He is looking only to do well at the time trials. “The important thing for me is a stage win. If the yellow jersey comes with it, then is that all the better.”
The German is not looking to the overall ranking, and sees Bradley Wiggins and Cadel Evans as top favourites. He doesn't count out one of his countrymen, though. Andreas Klöden of RadioShack-Nissan “is one of the dark horses for me. Andreas is also a very strong time triallist. And he always manages to come out of nowhere and do well in the highlights.”
Right after the Tour he will head to the 2012 London Olympics, but looks to reduce the pressure he is under. “My goal is quite clearly a medal. But whether I can get gold again like at the 2011 Worlds, will not depend upon the Tour de France.”