In the absence of defending world champion Bradley Wiggins, Tony Martin is aiming to bring Germany a fourth world title in the elite men’s individual time trial held on Wednesday at the 2015 UCI Road World Championships in Richmond, Virginia.
Martin has won the event on three occasions, in 2011 in Denmark, 2012 in The Netherlands and 2013 in Italy. Last year, however, Wiggins broke his winning streak in Ponferrada and left him to settle for the silver medal.
Martin has had a strong season with time trial wins at the Volta ao Algarve, Tour de Romandie and the German championships. Although he was second in the opening time trial at the Tour de France to Rohan Dennis, he went on to win stage 4 and take the yellow jersey. An unfortunate crash, while in the race lead, at the finish line of stage 6 forced him to abandon because of a fractured collarbone.
He took time off to recover from the accident and returned to take the overall win at the Tour du Poitou Charentes. Instead of racing the Vuelta a Espana, he started the pair of WorldTour races in Quebec and Montreal earlier in September, and then recently helped his Etixx-QuickStep team to a silver medal in the team time trial at Worlds on Sunday.
In an interview with Cyclingnews from the start line of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal, Martin said that he has learned a valuable lesson from last year’s loss at the World Championships, one that he hopes to put to good use in this year’s time trial when he faces steep competition from riders like of Rohan Dennis (Australia) and Tom Dumoulin (The Netherlands), among others.
Cyclingnews: Do you feel like you are well prepared and on track to win another world title in the individual time trial?
Tony Martin: Yes, I am feeling pretty fine. I think I’ve learned my lesson from last year. I am more fresh, also depending on the crash at the Tour de France, but yes, I feel good and I am ready for the Worlds.
CN: What was the lesson you learned from last year’s performance at the Ponferrada World Championships in the time trial?
TM: I was very tired last year. I started the Worlds last year after doing the Vuelta a Espana. This year, with the crash at the Tour de France and then avoiding the Vuelta a Espana, I feel more fresh and I think I can make a much better performance this year in the time trial.
CN: How much training will you do on the individual time trial course ahead of the World Championships?
TM: I will arrive to Richmond on Monday [September 14] and will have one week to train on the parcour. I think one week is enough time to get to know the course.
CN: Who do you believe are the biggest medal contenders for the individual time trial this year, along with yourself?
TM: Tom Dumoulin has shown that he is in very strong condition right now. Also Rohan Dennis, especially after what he did at the Tour de France in July. Then there is Adriano Malori, who just won the individual time trial at the Tour du Poitou Charentes. There are a lot of guys who are riding very well right now who will be in contention for the world title.
The view the World Championships elite men's time trial start list and times please click here.