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Stage winner Tony Martin (Omega Pharma Quick Step)
Double champion says parcours may not suit him
With victories in the first two editions of the Tour of Beijing on his palmares, world time trial champion Tony Martin will head up the Omega Pharma-Quickstep team in the WorldTour finale this week, but is not sure the more difficult route will suit him.
The German won the inaugural Tour of Beijing on the strength of his time trialing, but claimed the lead in last year's race with a solo attack on stage two which he was able to defend through the final stage. However, with a new mountaintop finish on stage 4 added to the parcours, Martin knows the tactics will have to be different if the team is to take three in a row.
"Worlds really motivated me to get ready for Tour of Beijing," Martin said, "but to be honest the parcours this year is not really for me. There is no TT and there are a few uphill finishes. It’s kind of at the end of the season, so it is a question of being committed to try and do my best to defend my title.
"As for my presence at the race, we will have to change our tactic if we compare it with what we did in the last two years. The team is good, so we are looking forward to this race — even with a different approach."
Martin has had a long and successful 2013 season: he began the year with victories in the Volta ao Algarve, Tirreno-Adriatico, Pais Vasco, Tour de Romandie, Tour of Belgium and Critérium du Dauphiné time trials, parlaying those wins into overall victories in Algarve and Belgium.
His success continued with a time trial stage win in the Tour de France and dual world titles in the individual time trial and team time trial, and clearly has the form to give the Tour of Beijing a go.
"Even if it this edition is difficult, I will try. However, we have a great team able to fight for the sprint with Alessandro Petacchi and Nikolas Maes. We also have a few other weapons. Zdenek Stybar and Michal Golas, for example, can really play tactical roles in the team. So maybe they can also take advantage of the parcours."