Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) won his first race as time trial World Championon Wednesday in the Tour of Beijing. He topped four Brits to claim the opening 11.3-kilometre time trial stage in China’s capital city.

“It’s a big honour for me to ride in the rainbow jersey, and to win the first race in it,” Martin said. “Today takes a little pressure off.”

Martin won the World Championships in Copenhagen one and a half weeks ago ahead of Bradley Wiggins. Today, he led David Millar (Garmin-Cervélo) and three Sky riders, Alex Dowsett, Chris Froome and Steve Cummings.

The 147 riders all raced on normal road bikes. Martin said that he changed his position “just a little bit” and used deep section, aero wheels.

He covered the mostly flat course around the Olympic Bird’s Nest stadium and the Water Cube swimming facility in a time of 13-33 minutes. He averaged just over 50 kilometres an hour and put 17 seconds into Millar, who had held the provisional best time.

“I had been enjoying time with my wife and my new born baby after the Worlds” Millar explained, “I didn’t think I was going to do anything here.”

The German of HTC-Highroad now stands a good chance to win the overall as he did in the Paris-Nice earlier this year. The Tour of Beijing features four more stages, with the most threatening day on Friday to Yong Ning, north of Beijing and the Great Wall.

“It’s hard to say now, it’s only the first stage,” Martin added.

“You never know, some days may not be how they are listed [in the race book], you can crash or get sick. For sure, though, I will give it my all.”

“It will be difficult to out-race Tony martin, the guy’s proven he can climb,” Dowsett said. “He’s a better climber than I am, and so is Dave Millar!”

Dowsett finished 24 seconds back in third and claimed the best young rider’s jersey in his first WorldTour level race.

“It’s daunting to see so many good teams and riders,” Dowsett added. “A lot of races I do, there’s a few pro teams and a few continental teams, but this race seems to have everyone and anyone.

“This race is a good way to break into the ProTour level.”

Dowsett had given his all for the time trial, even staying at the hotel for his 23rd birthday on Monday while his team-mates went shopping at the famous Silk Market.

Sky may try to win the overall with Froome or Cummings and will place Italian Davide Appollonio for the sprint stages.

Result

Tour of Beijing 2011, stage one: Bird’s Nest to Water Cube, 11.3km ITT

1. Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad in 13-33


2. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Cervelo at 17 secs

3. Alex Dowsett (GBr) Sky at 24 secs

4. Chris Froome (GBr) Sky at 26 secs

5. Steve Cummings (GBr) Sky at 35 secs

6. Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank at 36 secs

7. Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 39 secs

8. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Rabobank at 41 secs

9. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r at 43 secs

10. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quick Step at 43 secs

Other

14. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r at 49 secs

64. Philip Deignan (Irl) RadioShack at 1-09

116. Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky at 1-43

Overall classification after stage one

1. Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad in 13-33


2. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Cervelo at 17 secs

3. Alex Dowsett (GBr) Sky at 24 secs

4. Chris Froome (GBr) Sky at 26 secs

5. Steve Cummings (GBr) Sky at 35 secs

6. Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank at 36 secs

7. Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 39 secs

8. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Rabobank at 41 secs

9. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r at 43 secs

10. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quick Step at 43 secs





Start ramp





David Millar





Chris Froome





Tony Martin





Finish at the Water Cube





Tony Martin, stage one winner





Martin in the red leader’s jersey

Tour of Beijing 2011: Stages

Stage one, Wednesday October 5, Bird’s Nest to Water Cube, 11.3km ITT

Stage two, Thursday October 6, Bird’s Nest to Men Tou Gou, 137km

Stage three, Friday October 7, Men Tou Gou to Yong Ning Town, 162km

Stage four, Saturday October 8, Yan Qing Gui Chuan Square to Shunyi Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre, 189.5km

Stage five, Sunday October 9, Tian An Men Square to Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium, 118km  

Related links



Tour of Beijing: A step forward for cycling?



Team Sky get ready for Tour of Beijing

Cycling Weekly April 17 2014 issue
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  • Andy

    Were the police and media the only ones watching or have you just put up some file shots of the preparation?

  • will bick

    ‘eased off’ lol – did u see him at the end of the stage?? p.s. why did they do the time trial on normal bikes?

  • geoff woods

    there was no doubt that tony martin would`nt win the time trial , he`s the best in the world ! but he hasn`t won the tour just yet . froome @ 26 seconds can take this tour if he gets some help from the rest of the sky team . plus he needs to go with nic roche on stage 3 , froome has a massive kick and get away , like he did in la vuelta . to my mind he eased off , i wouldn`t go into bilbao having taken the lead from a spanish rider . no no to dangerous . but in china he can win this , his main threats are peter sagan and lars boom . but good luck to him .