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Tony Martin angry after being obliged to start last at Dubai Tour

By:
Stephen Farrand
Published:
February 05, 2014, 14:32 GMT,
Updated:
February 05, 2014, 13:46 GMT
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Race:
Dubai Tour, Stage 1
World TT champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)

World TT champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)

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German suspects Phinney benefitted from less wind during his early ride

Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) warmed down on the rollers after finishing fourth in the opening time trial at the Dubai Tour, but nothing seemed to ease the German's disappointment and anger after missing out on victory.

Martin set a time of 12:35 for the 9.9km time trial but was 22 seconds slower than winner Taylor Phinney (BMC), who seems to have set up overall victory.

Phinney opted to start the time trial early, in the hope that the wind would increase, as the riders had seen during training on Tuesday, while Martin was obliged to start last by race organisers as he is the current time trial world champion.

There were no clear signs that the American garnered a significant advantage and Martin was well beaten. But the usually self-controlled German was angry that all the favourites did not start in the same final block of riders.

"I felt really good, my motivation was good and I wanted to win here. It would have been nice if all the big guys had started in the same block. I wanted to start first but had to start last," Martin said to Cyclingnews and several other journalists who gathered around him as he warmed down.

"It's hard to say if the wind was the reason why, or if it was the legs. At the end (of the day) I still have the question but I don't have the answer."

"I don't want to say that starting earlier means I'd have won but I wanted to win. I understand they wanted me to start last, but they should then tell all the big guys to start at the end. My sports directeurs was fighting for me but when the race organisation says no, you can't fight it. If they want me to win, that's it. Next time they know it."

Cyclingnews spoke to race organisers RCS Sport but they were surprised by Martin's comments, claiming the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team had not raised a protest during the pre-race meeting when it was decided Martin would start last.

Little chance of gaining time in the road stages

Strong winds could blow across Dubai during the remaining three stages, spark echelons and so split the peloton, but Martin admitted that he is not an echelon specialist and so unlikely to unseat Phinney.

"I'm not a specialist in the cross winds. I think I'm able to defend a first place but to get it back in the cross winds, is not my best discipline," he conceded.

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