Tony Martin wins Volta ao Algarve with comprehensive time-trial victory on final day
Germany's Tony Martin powered to a second overall victory at the Volta ao Algarve in three years.
Last Updated: 18/02/13 12:15pm
The Omega Pharma - Quick-Step rider and reigning world time trial champion stopped the clock in 45 minutes nine seconds, 1min 6secs faster than Polish team-mate Michal Kwiatkowski, who also claimed the runner-up spot in the general classification, 58 seconds down.
The Netherlands' Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) finished fourth on the day to secure the final spot on the podium, but it was a tough afternoon for overnight race leader Sergio Henao, who, as expected, struggled in the time trial and finished outside of the top 10 on the GC.
With early rain showers subsiding, the leading contenders were able to prepare for the stage knowing they would be competing on a level playing field.
Belgium's Thomas de Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) had set the early pace by posting 48min 05sec, before New Zealand's Jesse Sergent (RadioShack-Leopard) lowered that considerably with a time of 46min 24sec.
But then Martin left the start ramp in Castro Marim and it quickly became clear that there would be only one winner.
Wearing the rainbow jersey, the 27-year-old built up a healthy advantage in the uphill opening half of the course and then stretched it out further on the downhill run for home in Tavira.
Martin previously claimed overall victory of the race in 2011 and finished second last year.
Earlier in the day, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) won the prologue of the Vuelta a Andalucia.
The Spaniard crossed the line after a 6km time trial in 6min 46sec, two seconds ahead of Slovenia's Simon Spilak (Katusha), with the United States' Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) following a further two seconds back.
The four-day race finishes on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Arthur Vichot (FDJ) won the Tour du Haut Var in the south of France after finishing second on stage two behind Dutch rider Lars Boom (Blanco).
Volta ao Algarve stage four result
1 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, 45.09
2 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +1.07
3 Jesse Sergent (NZ) RadioShack-Leopard, +1.15
4 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM, +1.16
5 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar, +1.30
6 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha, +1.32
7 Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Leopard, +1.47
8 Rui Costa (Por) Movistar, +1.47
9 Andreas Kloden (Ger) RadioShack-Leopard, +2.04
10 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Team Sky, +2.42
1 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, 15:36.26
2 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +58secs
3 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM, +59
4 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha, +1.21
5 Rui Costa (Por) Movistar, +1.26
6 Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Leopard, +1.30
7 Jesse Sergent (NZ) RadioShack-Leopard, +1.40
8 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar, +1.45
9 Andreas Kloden (Ger) RadioShack-Leopard, +1.53
10 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Team Sky, +2.31