National title number seven for Tony Martin in Germany

Katusha-Alpecin rider back at top speed head of Tour de France

Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) won the first time trial since taking the world title last year, winning the German national championship time trial in Chemnitz today. The victory is the sixth straight German title for Martin, and the seventh of his pro career.

Martin was given a strong challenge from Movistar's Jasha Sütterlin, who came within 15 seconds of the winning time.

"The parcours and especially the distance of 48 kilometers was not easy for me today, especially mentally," Martin said. "Jasha Sütterlin did a great job. I'm glad to have the title again."

The result was a significant morale boost for Martin, who will start the Tour de France next Saturday in Düsseldorf with the aim of taking the first maillot jaune of the race in the opening time trial.

"Everyone can understand that my focus is on next Saturday. I do not need to worry about my form; everything is going according to plan. My body feels great. Now I am looking forward to a short relaxing time at home with my family before travelling on Tuesday to Düsseldorf," Martin said.

The Tour de France opens with a 14km time trial. Martin will lead Katusha-Alpecin along with sprinter Alexander Kristoff.

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