Tour de France: Tony Martin wins stage nine solo as Tony Gallopin takes overall race lead
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 14/07/14 10:50am
Breakaway rider Tony Martin claimed a memorable 59km solo victory on stage nine of the Tour de France as Vincenzo Nibali passed on the overall race lead to Tony Gallopin.
Martin mounted a two-man breakaway alongside Alessandro de Marchi with more than 150km remaining but attacked his Italian colleague on the fifth of the day’s six categorised climbs and powered on to win by 2min 45sec in one of the most impressive Tour stage triumphs of recent years.
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Gallopin formed part of a large group that emerged from the peloton early on in a bid to chase the breakaway down and although they never got close to the magnificent Martin, they finished five minutes ahead of the main bunch.
That margin was enough for Gallopin to take over in the yellow jersey and he now holds a 1min 34sec advantage in the general classification over second-placed Nibali, who seemed happy to surrender the race lead and at no point ordered his team-mates to increase their pace.
'Didn't feel pain'
Tiago Machado joined Gallopin in the chase group and also profited by moving up to third overall, 2min 40sec down on the Frenchman.
Martin, who now has three Tour stage wins to his name, said: “The feeling of the last 5km, when I knew I had won, was incredible. I could still push 400 or 500 watts easy because I didn’t feel pain any more.
“I knew they were getting closer so I decided to go on my own and make my time trial last 50 or 60 kilometres. I’m really proud.”
I knew they were getting closer so I decided to go on my own and make my time trial last 50 or 60 kilometres. I’m really proud.
Martin (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) and De Marchi (Cannondale) made their escape after a previous breakaway attempt had been caught just after the summit of the day's first climb.
When a chase group containing around 28 riders formed, with Gallopin (Lotto Belisol) being joined by high-pedigree riders such as Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), it seemed inevitable that Martin and De Marchi would be caught, but the pair worked together well and their pursuers were unable to make any inroads.
As well as subsequently riding on to a famous solo win, Martin had double reason to celebrate after claiming the mountains classification leader's polka dot jersey by crossing the summit of the last five climbs either first or second.
Gallopin group's finished 2min 45sec behind the German and the 26-year-old will now have the honour of wearing the yellow jersey on Bastille Day on Monday.
Martin added: “We knew there were 28 guys behind us and I knew if they chased us down it was going to be a hard day. I didn’t want to have any silly games so I decided it doesn’t matter what De Marchi does, I go full gas."
Stage nine result
1 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, 4:09:34
2 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek Factory Racing, 2:45
3 Greg van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing, same time
4 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Shimano, st
5 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale, st
6 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar, st
7 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Belkin, st
8 Mikael Cherel (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, st
9 Brice Feillu (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement, st
10 Tiago Machado (Por) NetApp-Endura, st
25 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, +7:46
26 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo, st
1 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol, 38:04:38
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, +1:34
3 Tiago Machado (Por) NetApp – Endura, +2:40
4 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, +3:18
5 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky, +3:32
6 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +4:00
7 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, +4:01
8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar, +4:07
9 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo, +4:08
10 Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +4:13