Tour de Suisse 2014: Tony Martin takes second time trial win to extend overall lead

World champion proves form with stunning effort against the clock

World champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) doubled up at the Tour de Suisse with victory in the stage seven time trial.

Race leader Martin, who has held the yellow jersey since winning against the clock on stage one, delivered another reminder of his prowess with a stunning victory.

Tony Martin stormed to another phenomenal time trial success on stage seven of the Tour de Suisse (pic: Sirotti)

Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) had set the early mark, while defending champion Rui Costa – who traded his rainbow jersey of world road race champion for skinsuit of Portuguese national time trial champion – went even faster.

But just as Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano), the penultimate finisher, was becoming the first to break the 32-minute mark on the undulating, technical course, the German appeared in the final kilometre.

Powering into the final straight, Martin gained a fourth stage win for Omega Pharma-Quickstep in seven days to extend his yellow jersey lead.

And while he did not manage to put as much time into Costa as he had hoped, the German will at least hold the yellow jersey for the first of the final two mountainous stages over the weekend.

His lowly overall standing meant Cancellara was actually second down the ramp, and with the backing of a vociferous home crowd set the mark – catching his minute man to become the first across the line.

His time of 32:18 certainly appeared a fierce one, the Swiss four-time world champion’s time untouchable for many of the other early starters.

Alex Dowsett (Movistar), in what could be his last outing in the jersey of British champion, was among those unable to beat the Swiss ace, losing more than 20 seconds by the first time check.

He eventually crossed more than a minute down on Cancellara – third fastest at the time he finished, but unfortunately a league below the home favourite’s efforts.

Fabian Cancellara, the second man onto the course, set the early mark (pic: Sirotti)

Jeremy Roy offered some hope to his colleagues, going fastest by four seconds at the first time check, but as the ascents and technical sections of the course hit, the Frenchman lost time and finished 45 seconds down in the end.

Cancellara, who as a result of his efforts spent most of the stage in the hot seat, began to sit up and take notice as the chief GC contenders took charge however – not least when Costa obliterated the first time check.

Lawson Craddock (Giant-Shimano) was another rider to put in a big ride, finishing 12 seconds down on Cancellara – but the focus was almost entirely on the Portuguese rider at this point.

The defending champion flew up the first uphill section to earn an 18-second advantage, the physical demands of his effort clearly visible.

He still held the advantage at the second time check, passing both his minute and two-minute man as he powered onto the long, wide road making up the start of the long, finishing straight.

Freewheeling at points, it was clear Cancellara had gone faster on the section – Costa being re-caught by Janier Acevedo (Garmin-Sharp).

Out of the saddle into the final 300 metres, however, Costa stormed to a new fastest time of 32.05.

Sergio Henao (Team Sky), racing on his comeback, would have been the next rider down the ramp after Costa but the Colombian suffered a training accident, sustaining a knee injury in the process.

Though details released by the team were minimal, the upshot was the Colombian – who had been well placed overall, was forced to abandon the race.

Matthias Frank, in the jersey of best Swiss rider, ensured he stayed in overall contention however, crossing in 32.22 with a very powerful sprint in the final 300 metres.

Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky), however, finished 1’27” down on the Portuguese time trial champion, while Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo) was unable to capture his best time trial form as he too finished more than a minute down.

Martin, however, showed he is in prime form, continuing his stunning efforts in Switzerland after having won stage one and delivered a perfect lead-out for Matteo Trentin on stage six.

Martin, who had traded in his rainbow skinsuit for the yellow version of race leader, showed why he was considered favourite for the stage as he rode a big gear into the long straights.

The German had bid to take at least a minute more off Costa to defend his yellow jersey in the mountains – the Omega Pharma-Quickstep team having been set up to support Mark Cavendish’s sprint as opposed to a GC challenge.

That particular challenge looked a big ask, but the world time trial champion managed to gain a further second on his road racing counterpart as he passed the second time check.

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano), second prior to the stage – a position is also finished on stage one, became the first man to cross in less than 32 minutes, meanwhile, to set a new mark for Martin – the last man on the road.

Dumoulin, who had been close at the two time checks, set a furious pace in the final section of the course to displace Costa from top spot.

It did not take long to establish Martin was going even faster however – the German having arrived in the final kilometre before Dumoulin had even stepped off his bike.

Burying himself in the final kilometre, the world champion was some 22 seconds faster than Dumoulin at the finish, stretching his overall advantage in the process.

He now leads third-placed Costa by 1’05” with a mountainous final weekend to come – a big lead, but not as much as he claimed he would need to hold off the Portuguese defending champion.

With Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre-Merida) also sat pretty overall, the Italian team appear to be in the driving seat.

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Tour de Suisse 2014: stage seven (time trial) – result

1) Tony Martin (GER) – Omega Pharma-Quickstep – 31.37
2) Tom Dumoulin (NED) – Giant-Shimano +22”
3) Rui Costa (POR) – Lampre-Merida +28”
4) Fabian Cancellara (SUI) – Trek Factory Racing +41”
5) Mathias Frank (SUI) – IAM Cycling +45”
6) Lawson Craddock (USA) – Giant-Shimano +59”
7) Stef Clement (NED) – Belkin Pro Cycling +1.02
8) Jon Izaguirre (ESP) – Movistar +1.06
9) Thibaut Pinot (FRA) – +1.13
10) Mattia Cattaneo (ITA) – Lampre-Merida – ST

General classification

1) Tony Martin (GER) – Omega Pharma-Quickstep – 31.37
2) Tom Dumoulin (NED) – Giant-Shimano +28”
3) Rui Costa (POR) – Lampre-Merida +1.05
4) Mathias Frank (SUI) – IAM Cycling +1.14
5) Jon Izaguirre (ESP) – Movistar +1.33
6) Peter Sagan (SVK) – Cannondale +1.36
7) Lawson Craddock (USA) – Giant-Shimano +1.42
8) Mattia Cattaneo (ITA) – Lampre-Merida – ST
9) Davide Fromolo (ITA) – Cannondale +1.47
10) Thibaut Pinot (FRA) – +1.48

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