World time trial champion three years in a row, and with ITT stage victories dominating his palmares, Tony Martin is simply the best against the clock, and proved it again in the team time trial. His turn on the front for Omega Pharma-Quickstep was huge. Distinguished by his white helmet, Martin set the pace for the Belgian team and an average speed of just shy of 55km/h is testament to his performance.
Since recovering from wrist surgery in the winter, Martin has not quite shown his scintillating form against the clock – frustrated at finishing fourth at the Dubai Tour, where his start time placed him in a head wind, he finished third at the Volta ao Algarve. But leading out the team in Italy for the first stage of the ‘Race of the Two Seas’, Martin was back to his very best. The only anomaly was he did not cross the finish line alongside his team-mates, peeling off to allow Mark Cavendish to lead home the squad before finishing three seconds later. With Fabian Cancellara and Sir Bradley Wiggins in opposition, their chances of stopping the German appear very slim this season.