Tour de Suisse 2014: Tony Martin takes first yellow jersey in time trial

World champion strikes early blow against Sir Bradley Wiggins and Fabian Cancellara

Colin Henrys Colin Henrys

World champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) struck a blow to his time trial rivals by storming into the yellow jersey on the first stage of the Tour de Suisse.

The German made light work of the 9.4km stage, which included a climb up to Artore, to prove his form ahead of the Tour de France – beating rivals including Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) in the process.

Tony Martin, Omega Pharma-Quickstep, world champion, time trial, prologue, Tour de Romandie, 2014, prologue, time trial, pic: Sirotti
Tony Martin won stage one of the Tour de Suisse against an elite field of time trial riders (pic: Sirotti)

Having won the Baloise Belgium Tour courtesy of a stunning time trial effort at the start of the month, Martin proved he is on top form – finishing as just one of four riders to set an average speed of more than 40km/h.

Australian Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp), a perennial nearly man against the clock this season, went faster over the first part of the course, but as Martin got into his rhythm there only ever looked like being one winner.

He quickly turned a one second deficit into a one second advantage before powering up the climb and down into the Bellinzona finish.

Earlier, Peter Sagan (Cannondale) had set the early mark, with Bauke Mollema (Belkin) just three seconds slower.

Defending champion Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), meanwhile, who swapped his rainbow jersey of world road race champion for the Portuguese national time trial champion’s jersey did not threaten the leaders.

Dennis continued his good time trial form, however, to take six seconds off Sagan’s mark – fading slightly up the hill but crossing in 14.01.

Olympic champion Wiggins was first of the three world championship medal winners to roll onto the course, keen to repeat his Amgen Tour of California success.

A slower start meant he was always playing catch-up however, and his challenge faded on the climb – eventually crossing 20 seconds down on Dennis.

The young Australian’s hopes of finally ending his long search for a time trial win – having had four second places this season – were dealt a blow as Martin quickly got into his smooth rhythm however.

The world champion, in full flow, showed he is simply unmatchable on his day to move into the winner’s enclosure.

Cancellara, who crossed 16 seconds slower, could not match him while British time trial champion Alex Dowsett (Movistar) showed promise with a blistering start to the course, but he too quickly faded – the course not being to his liking.


Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) fared much better, going second fastest and the only man other than Martin to cross in less than 14 minutes.

Peter Kennaugh became Sky’s fastest man over the course, in 14.17, but with the number of riders left out on the course rapidly decreasing, Martin looked relaxed as he played on his phone in the winner’s enclosure.

Ion Izaguirre (Movistar) caught his minute man Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) as he too briefly threatened to dethrone the world champion, but lost time on the final descent and had to settle for ninth.

And when Rafael Valls (Lampre-Merida) became the last man to finish the short opening course, crossing 45 seconds down, Martin was able to celebrate the yellow jersey and a huge statement of intent ahead of the Tour.

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Tour de Suisse 2014: stage one – result

1) Tony Martin (GER) – Omega Pharma-Quickstep – 13.48
2) Tom Dumoulin (NED) – Giant-Shimano +6”
3) Rohan Dennis (AUS) – Garmin-Sharp +13”
4) Fabian Cancellara (SUI) – Trek Factory Racing +16”
5) Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +19”
6) Peter Sagan (SVK) – Cannondale – ST
7) Bauke Mollema (NED) – Belkin Pro Cycling +22”
8) Tom-Jelte Slagter (NED) – Garmin-Sharp +23”
9) Ion Izaguirre (ESP) – Movistar +27”
10) Mattia Cattaneo (ITA) – Lampre-Merida +29”

General classification

1) Tony Martin (GER) – Omega Pharma-Quickstep – 13.48
2) Tom Dumoulin (NED) – Giant-Shimano +6”
3) Rohan Dennis (AUS) – Garmin-Sharp +13”
4) Fabian Cancellara (SUI) – Trek Factory Racing +16”
5) Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +19”
6) Peter Sagan (SVK) – Cannondale – ST
7) Bauke Mollema (NED) – Belkin Pro Cycling +22”
8) Tom-Jelte Slagter (NED) – Garmin-Sharp +23”
9) Ion Izaguirre (ESP) – Movistar +27”
10) Mattia Cattaneo (ITA) – Lampre-Merida +29”

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Chris Froome, crash, yellow jersey, Team Sky, Criterium du Dauphine, 2014, stage six, pic: Sirotti

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