Holm: You start fast and then it's pain, pain, pain
The Omega Pharma-Quick Step team is hoping that Tony Martin continues to recover from his crash injuries after travelling from Corsica to Nice, in the hope that he can power the Belgian team to victory in today's 25km team time trial.
The current individual world time trial champion is expected to use his usual chainring of choice, a huge 58 tooth ring, to produce a constant high speed and drag along his teammates for long spells of the team time trial. Omega Pharma-Quick can also count on Mark Cavendish, Gert Steegmans, Niki Terpstra, Sylvain Chavanel and Peter Velits.
Martin crashed on stage one to Bastia but finished in the front group on Monday's hilly stage to Calvi.
"I'm just glad he's still in the race so that we can still dream about the team time trial. We have to be optimistic," Omega Pharma-QuickStep directeur sportif Brian Holm told Cyclingnews.
"Tony showed me a photo of his back but it looks like he fell asleep on a grill. His back is fried. But he fought to survive on Sunday and is coming back.
"Team Sky are in the same boat as us after Geraint Thomas crashed hard and so it's going to be close. It's going to be decided by just a few seconds. We lost as HTC by just five seconds because we crashed after 500 metres and Bernie Eisel lost his footing."
Current world TTT champions
Omega Pharma-QuickStep is the current team time trial world champion after winning the title last year in Valkenberg. Holm loves the TTT after learning the secrets of the event as an amateur.
"We're world TTT champion because we work at it. The guys love it and so do I. You start fast and then it's big pain and then pain, pain, pain," he said.
"You have to be strong but you have to be smart too, so that you use the right people at the right time. It's nice when it goes right but it can go spectacularly wrong too."
"You can blow up your team in the first two kilometres or finish too slow. We're lucky that we've got people like Mark Cavendish who came from the British track team and so knows how to do it, but we've also got guys from mountain biking, who don’t have a bloody clue about it."
"In my day we did 70km TTTs as juniors and then 100km as amateurs. The current generation has struggled to learn the technique, that's why we train for it so much at camps and things."
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