Departing Martin helps Etixx win world title
Tony Martin gave Etixx-Quick Step a parting gift as he helped them claim the men’s team time-trial title at the World Championships in Qatar yesterday, his last race for the Belgians. Etixx won a tight race in a time of 42mins 32.39secs, just eleven seconds ahead of BMC to reverse last year’s result. Australia’s Orica-BikeExchange finished third with early race leaders Team Sky fourth. “It’s really very emotional for me,” time-trial specialist Martin said afterwards. “It was the last race for the team, they have been a family for me in the last five years and I knew it was a last chance to lead the team to a great victory.”
Martin, a three-time world champion, will join Katusha next year. Boels Dolemans, who also included reigning road race world champion Lizzie Deignan (formerly Armistead) and four-times world champion Ellen van Dijk, brushed away the opposition to finish the course in 48mins 41.62secs. That was almost a minute ahead of their nearest rivals, Germans Canyon Sram Racing, with Americans Twenty16-Ridebiker third. It was a sweet end for Stevens, 33, who was also part of winning teams in 2012, 2013 and 2014. “I came into this season knowing this was my last race, it’s nice to have a goal and it makes it very special to win,” she told AFP. The woman’s race also featured a spectacular crash involving Anouska Koster from the Netherlands, riding for Raboliv, who ploughed into a barrier. The races were held in sweltering conditions, where the temperature reached as high as 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). —AFP
DOHA: BMC Racing Team’s cyclists compete in the men’s team time trial event as part of the 2016 UCI Road World Championships yesterday, in the Qatari capital Doha.