World time trial champion would have fit well with team
Team Project 1t4i has a number of Germans on its 2012 squad, including top sprinter Marcel Kittel, but it had hoped to add one more. The one that got away was World time trial champion Tony Martin.
“We had very good talks, partially because both side have similar views of cycling, whether it is training, technical, equipment or organisation,” team manager Iwan Spekenbrink told Radsport-News.com. “We were close to an agreement. Unfortunately he decided for Quick Step. We respect that and it changes nothing about our good impression that we have of Tony as a cyclist and person.”
Martin announced in September that he would ride for the new Omega Pharma-Quick Step team next season.
“When it became clear that HTC would stop at the end of the season, we went after Tony,” Spekenbrink said. “He is a first-class ride and as a personality he would fit in well with us too. He has a similar background as Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb, and was earlier with the Thüringer Energie Team.”
1t4i, known this year as Skil-Shimano, is not giving up hope on signing Martin in the future. “In any case, Tony is a rider in whom we will continue to be interested.”
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