Bayern Rundfahrt

Columbia-Highroad takes top two places in Bayern Rundfahrt TT

© Columbia - High Road

© Columbia - High Road

Columbia-Highroad secured an impressive top two places in the Bayern Rundfahrt time trial stage on Saturday thanks to Tony Martin and Bert Grabsch. Martin was the fastest in the 26 kilometre time trial starting and finishing in Friedberg, with World Time Trial Champion Grabsch in second place, 25 seconds back.
Their Columbia-Highroad team-mate Maxime Monfort also turned in a strong performance, taking fourth. Monfort is now in second place overall, with just one stage left to go. For Martin, victory in the individual time trial came on a course which he said “suited me perfectly.”

“It had a few short climbs which had some tricky sections, but overall it was fast and I could go all out 100 percent. I got off to a strong start, got into the right kind of rhythm early on and just kept going from there. I used Grabsch’s time references even though he started around ten minutes after me: when they told me he was slower than me after five kilometres I knew I was on a good day.”

In breaks the previous day and the lead-out man for Columbia-Highroad  team-mate  and double stage winner Andre Greipel, Martin said that he had started the time trial feeling confident.

“I had been jumping around in a lot of different moves on Friday because the race didn’t really have anybody controlling it. But I didn’t go too deep and I wasn’t worried I’d burned myself out for the time trial. I could still go for the win.”

“It was a great day for the team, because everybody really gave it 100 percent,” added team sports director Jan Schaffrath. We got the top two on the stage, three out of the the top four and four in the top ten. That is a pretty exceptional result.”

“Marcus Burghardt had been in a long break the day before, but he still went all out in the time trial and came tenth. That’s one of his best ever results in a time trial. The same goes for Greipel, normally a sprinter like him would take a time trial as a rest day, but instead he made a big effort and took eighteenth - a very good performance for him. Tony, of course, did extremely well. Even though he was under pressure as a key favourite, he did exactly what was expected of him.”

The Bayern Rundfahrt ends on Sunday with a stage from Friedberg to Gunzenhausen, likely to end in a bunch sprint.

“Maxime is only ten seconds behind [race leader Linus] Gerdemann, but the terrain is flat and  I think it will be very difficult to challenge for the overall victory,” commented Schaffrath. "We’ll work for Andre [Greipel] and see what happens. But if there’s an opportunity for Maxime, we won’t be slow to take it, either.”

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