Twenty Highlights from the 2013 Cycling Season
15. Tony Martin’s 175km ITT at the Vuelta
Michael Morkov might have won stage 6 of this year’s Vuelta a Espana but the hero of the day was undoubtedly Tony Martin.
The German time-trial specialist attacked from the opening kilometre of the race and with no-one able to match his pace, Martin set off alone. It was a move that was supposed to be reeled back in at some point but over the course of the 175km stage Martin opened up a gap of as much as six minutes. But with 40km left to go the gap started to come down.
With 10km remaining Martin only had a 20-second advantage, and it seemed as if he would be caught at any moment. But the ITT world champion rallied and with a kilometre left, Martin still had an advantage over the panicked peloton.
It was only in the final five metres that Martin was overtaken and it was so close that he eventually finished seventh on the stage. What a remarkable performance and a heartbreaking finish.