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Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) before heading out on a training session with his team in Leeds
Ten Dam’s hard day, Terpstra not surprised by Sagan's crash
Tony Martin’s last minute TT look and see
Tony Martin wants to win today’s time trial at the Tour de France and isn’t about to leave anything to chance. He has even figured out a way to squeeze in an additional test ride of the 54 km course. He has a relatively late start time, and that gives him the chance to ride the course.
“I will use the time slot between the advertising caravan and the first starter,” he said on his website.“Logistically that is not so easy. I will have to get right back into the car and go back, but I am willing to do that, in order to get another go at the course.”
As world time trial champion, Martin is optimistic but not over confident.
"I am optimistic but it won’t be an automatic win, as can be read in some media. It may be written that anything other than a victory for me would be a surprise, but I cannot agree,” he said.
Ten Dam aging rapidly
Laurens ten Dam is on the verge of his first top ten finish in the Tour de France but was terrified to see it nearly slip away on the rain-soaked roads of the 19th stage.
“It was a nervous ride which cost me a year of my life, my sunglasses and my rain jacket,” he told AD.nl.
He was caught up in the closing crash but didn’t go down. “I stopped quickly and turned aside so that the other wouldn’t run into me.”
Ten Dam came away better than Belkin teammate Bram Tankink. “Bram had some pain in his hip and could hardly climb the stairs.”
Terpstra not surprised at Sagan
Niki Terpstra was not surprised to hear that Peter Sagan caused the crash at the end of Friday’s stage.
“Yes, Sagan does take risks. So it is not surprising that he fell on his ass,” the Dutchman told GVA.be.
The Paris-Roubaix winner was, despite the crash, was satisfied with yesterday’s stage. “There was a heavy rain all day. After three weeks, it is not that good any more but we wanted to get Renshaw into position for the sprint. Actually, everything went well, but in vain.”
Durbridge extends with Orica-GreenEdge until 2016
Talented Australian time trialist Luke Durbridge will have extra motivation for the time trial at the Tour de France after signing a new contract with Orica-GreenEdge that secures his place in the team until the end of 2016.
Durbridge is still only 23 and only turned professional in 2012 but has developed into a key rider in the team and helped Orica-GreenEdge win the opening team time trial at the Giro d'Italia. He secured a place in the Tour de France squad this year and is a favourite for today's time trial before finishing his first ever Tour de France in Paris on Sunday.
“I’m really glad to have signed. I couldn’t have picked a better place to turn pro and my first seasons here have confirmed that this is the right team for me going onwards,” Durbridge said in a statement from the team.
“I’m getting a lot of personal opportunities here and I’m able to work hard for my teammates to get some fantastic results. I feel at home on this team and it’s where I see my best possibilities to develop and grow as a rider."
Last year Durbridge became the first rider to win the Elite men’s road race and time trial at the Australian championships in the same year. The West Australian went on win the Duo Normand alongside Svein Tuft and was part of the silver medal winning team at the world team time trial championships. Orica-GreenEdge is determined to win the team time trial title this year after losing to Omega Pharma-Quick Step by a tiny margin in Florence in 2013.
“Durbo is an incredibly gifted athlete and a great rider to work with,” said sport director Matt White.
“He has a really big engine, is a world class time trialist and knows how to win races. His first years as a pro have been very successful and I find that often people tend to forget how young he still is. I think he still has a lot of potential that we will see unfold over the next years with us.”