Germany’s Tony Martin claimed his first stage race victory as world time trial champion when he won the inaugural Tour of Beijing yesterday.
Russia’s Denis Galimzyanov, of Team Katusha, dominated a mass sprint to win the fifth and final stage of the race, who are making their first appearance on the International Cycling Union’s WorldTour.
Martin had taken possession of the red jersey with a victory in the race-opening time trial in midweek and, backed by a committed HTC-Highroad team, managed to protect his lead throughout the race held in and around the Chinese capital.
The victory tops and tails a stellar year for the 26-year-old German, who began this year by winning Paris-Nice and recently achieved a lifelong dream of winning the world time trial championship in Copenhagen.
“It’s been a fantastic year and now a fantastic week for me,” Martin said. “It’s really nice to have a victory and makes me so proud to win the first race here.”
Galimzyanov has been one of the outstanding performers among the elite peloton’s new boys this season and finally ended his quest for a maiden victory when he left Argentina’s Juan Jose Haedo and Elia Viviani in his wake.
“Of course I am very, very happy because this is my first victory on the pro tour,” said Galimzyanov, who also won the green jersey for the points competition. “I needed the team to bring me to the last kilometer in a good position and they did it.”
“I am happy about the jersey of course, but I am happier about the stage. For me it is much more important,” he added.
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