Tony Martin storms to record-equalling fourth world time trial victory in Doha

UCI Road World Championships 2016: Alex Dowsett 12th as German powers to success

Germany’s Tony Martin won a record-equalling fourth time trial world title, with a blistering ride in the Doha heat at the UCI Road World Championships.

Martin’s time of 44.42.99 was 45 seconds faster than defending champion Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus), while no other rider posted a time within a minute of the German.

It means a fourth individual world title for Martin, taking him level with Swiss superstar Fabian Cancellara, and was the German’s second gold of the week, having early powered Etixx-QuickStep to team time trial success.

Spain’s Jonathan Castroviejo claimed bronze, meanwhile, 1’11” down on Martin, while British duo Alex Dowsett and Steve Cummings were 12th and 25th respectively.

Tony Martin stormed to world time trial victory in Doha (pic: Sirotti)

Ireland’s Ryan Mullen set the most significant early benchmark, and his impressive time of 46.04.74 proved difficult to beat for some time.

Birkenhead-born Mullen, a former world championship silver medallist in the under-23 time trial, nearly caught his 90-second-man Andriy Grivko, who had only moments earlier posted the time to beat.

Dutchman Jos van Emden set a similar pace over the early part of the course, but ultimately paid for his fast start as he fell short.

For the Brits, Steve Cummings was the first to head out onto the course but – even with the CamelBak hydration system, as used by many of the riders in the race – looked to be suffering in the stifling heat.

Cummings was well down at the first time check, and – with the sweat pouring off him on the run-in to the finish line – eventually stopped the clock in 47.31.52.

Alex Dowsett also started off the pace, but pulled it back well on the technical final part of the course as he finished in 46.54.07.

Though good enough for fifth at the time he finished, it never looked like being enough to better his career-best eighth at the Worlds – though he did claim a small victory over Poland’s Marcin Bialoblocki, just weeks after the ONE Pro Cycling man broke Dowsett’s 10-mile and 25-mile time trial records.

With the favourites out the course, Mullen’s time continued to be the one to beat – Yves Lampaert of Belgium coming closest when he set a time of 46.28.10, just 0.3 seconds faster than van Emden.

The final wave of riders included the biggest favourites, however, and Martin looked supremely impressive from the off.

The German held his form throughout, smashing the benchmarks at the intermediate checks and opening up on the run-in to the Pearl-Qatar circuit.

As Martin was hitting the final circuit, still holding his position as though the effort was taking no toll on him at all, Mullen’s time was finally beaten.

Maciej Bodnar (Poland) was first to break the 46-minute mark, with a time of 45.59.76, while Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain) back-loaded his effort to set a time of 45.53.90.

No sooner had Castroviejo finished, however, than Martin appeared on the final straight to post a phenomenal time of 44.42.99.

It was clear Martin’s time would not be beaten, but there remained some big names on the course – not least defending champion Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus).

Kiryienka, despite no results to shout of against the clock in 2016, looked back to his best as he rolled off the ramp with an impressively fast start.

Neither Rohan Dennis (Australia) or Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) looked in podium contention, but Kiryienka – gasping for air as he hit the final straight – gave a solid defence of his title.

Alex Dowsett was Britain’s best-placed rider, finishing 12th (pic: Sirotti)

The Belarussian lost more time to Martin over the latter half of the course, but his time of 45.28.04 was good enough for second place.

It meant Dowsett, Britain’s best-placed finisher, ultimately finished 12th, while Cummings was 25th on the day.

The headlines, however, were all Martin’s as the German proved he was back to his imperious time trialling best.

UCI Road World Championships 2016: men’s elite individual time trial

1) Tony Martin – Germany – 44.42.99
2) Vasil Kiryienka – Belarus +45”
3) Jonathan Castroviejo – Spain +1.11
4) Maciej Bodnar – Poland +1.17
5) Ryan Mullen – Ireland +1.22
6) Rohan Dennis – Australia +1.27
7) Yves Lampaert – Belgium +1.45
8) Jos van Emden – Netherlands +1.45
9) Reto Hollenstein – Switzerland +1.52
10) Bob Jungels – Luxembourg +1.57

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