German will lead HTC-Highroad in China
World time trial champion Tony Martin will unveil his rainbow jersey in the Tour of Beijing next week. The HTC-Highroad rider will be the favourite to win the opening 11.3 kilometre time trial.
The first Tour of Beijing runs from October 5 to 9, and Martin will be at the head of what he calls a “strong team”.
"Winning the world title was a dream come true for me," Martin said. "I'm really excited to be able to wear the jersey for the first time in competition and I'm excited about racing in Beijing. There is a certain pressure that goes with wearing the world champion stripes but it also gives you confidence."
The German could also be a candidate for the overall title, as he proven himself as climber. In 2009 he won the mountains classification at Paris-Nice and the Tour de Suisse, and this year won the overall title at Paris-Nice and finished second at the Tour de Romandie.
He will be supported by Vuelta a Espana stage winner Michael Albasini, Irish road and time trial champion Matt Brammeier, 2008 Olympians Kanstantsin Sivstsov and Hayden Roulston, and 2010 Vuelta third-place finisher Peter Velits, as well as Leigh Howard and Caleb Fairly.
"We'll have Leigh Howard for the sprints and the rest of the team is a great team for going for the overall, so we're looking forward to racing hard,” Martin said.
The Tour of Beijing is one of the final races for the team, which is ceasing operations the end of the year, and sport director Allan Peiper wants to finish off in style.
"We've had such a great season and we're motivated to win races right up until the end of the season," Peiper said. "We're looking forward to seeing what this new race will bring and we have a strong group of riders for both the sprints and the overall."
HTC-Highroad for the Tour of Beijing: Michael Albasini, Matt Brammeier, Caleb Fairly, Leigh Howard, Tony Martin, Haydon Roulston, Kanstantsin Sivtsov, and Peter Velits.