Tony Martin (Omega Pharma Quick Step) defended his title in the Chrono des Nations with a commanding and unflustered performance over the 48.5km course. The double Tour of Beijing winner set the quickest times at each checkpoint to win in a time of 58:07. Teammate Sylvain Chavanel finished second, 41 seconds back; while Taylor Phinney (Team BMC) was a further second back in third.
The Chrono des Nations is the final race of the European road calendar, an invitational time trial celebrating its 30th anniversary. That the gold and silver medallists from the Worlds time trial attended was both a testament to the importance of the race as well as the powers of persuasion and purse of the organisers.
Joining the eventual podium placers were Chris Froome and Richie Porte (both Team Sky), who jetted in on the morning of the race.
Jeremy Roy (FDJ), Gustav Larsson (Vacansoleil-DCM), Frederik Kessiakoff (Astana) and Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) all travelled as well, giving the event a quality field.
Fresh from his win in Beijing, however, Martin was the clear favourite, while a number of contenders appeared to already be in off-season mode. Porte, who had not raced in over three weeks, finished over 8 minutes down, while teammate Froome couldn't fare much better, coming in 6:36 down on the winner.
Chavanel and Phinney swarmed around Martin's time at the first time check, the French national time trial champion 5 seconds down, with Phinney a further 7 back. But over a twisting and rolling parcours Martin's class was undisputable, his season enjoying an Indian summer with the best form he's shown all year.
By the second and third time check the German had the race sown up with Phinney unable to close the gap on Chavanel and take second.
"I had a really nice feeling," Martin told Cyclingnews as he stepped of the podium. "I had some jetlag after China but today I felt fine. We were lucky with the weather but it was a nice win and I'm happy.
"It's difficult to say whether this is my best form. In China I had really good condition and for me I wish the season could continue. It's always nice to finish with a win."
For Phinney, this was his final opportunity to take Martin's scalp in a time trial this year. "It was really painful out there,” he said. “It's a course where if you go a little too hard in the first part you pay in the end. The last 12 was relatively excruciating. I was hoping to do a little bit better and send out a bit of a message for next year but that wasn't the case but I go into the winter with a high level of motivation."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-QuickStep||0:58:07|
|2||Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-QuickStep||0:00:41|
|3||Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team||0:00:42|
|4||Jeremy Roy (Fra) FDJ-BigMat||0:01:45|
|5||Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Type 1||0:03:23|
|6||Carlos Oyarzun (Chi) Chile 01h01'42"450||0:03:35|
|7||Manuele Boaro (Ita) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank||0:03:48|
|8||Gustav Larsson (Swe) Vacansoleil-DCM||0:04:04|
|9||Loïc Desriac (Fra) Roubaix||0:04:42|
|10||Franck Vermeulen (Fra) Vérandas Rideau-U||0:04:46|
|11||Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana||0:04:47|
|12||Gregor Gazvoda (Slo) Ag2r-La Mondiale||0:05:19|
|13||Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-QuickStep||0:05:26|
|14||Romain Bacon Auber 93||0:05:35|
|15||Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM||0:06:22|
|16||Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne-Schuller||0:06:35|
|17||Chris Froome (GBr) Sky||0:06:36|
|18||Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur-Sojasun||0:06:40|
|19||Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis||0:07:25|
|20||Paul Poux (Fra) Saur-Sojasun||0:07:30|
|21||Richie Porte (Aus) Sky||0:08:00|
|22||Damien Monier (Fra) Cofidis||0:11:39|