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dimanche 9 octobre 2011

Martin wins inaugural - Tour of Beijing - Stage 5

Tony Martin secured a commanding victory in the inaugural Tour of Beijing -- the UCI's first WorldTour event in Asia -- after being the only man to wear the leaders red jersey during the five day event.

For many this conclusion may have been inevitable after the world time trial champion's domination of his specialty on day one and the 17 second lead he established then and held until today's finale. But it required the steely resolve that his HTC-Highroad teammates displayed to keep him in the red jersey from start to finish.

Martin was joined on the final Tour podium by Garmin Cervelo's David Millar, who like the winner had been in that same spot since stage one, and Chris Froome (Sky Pro Racing) in third palce in the overall general classification.

On the final day of racing, Katusha produced the perfect strategy to deliver both a final stage win and the green jersey to their number-one man Denis Galimzyanov.

Martin's victory tops and tails a stellar year for the 26-year-old German, who had begun 2011 with another win on general classification in Paris-Nice in early March.

"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.

"But we had a very strong team that was pulling the whole time and I have to thank them for the win. The whole team was magnificent."

On the subjects of his transition from time trial specialist to stage race winner and the future, Martin expressed both satisfaction with progress to date and confidence for what is to follow.

"I think for the moment I can win every time trial and when the mountains are not too hard, I can stay with the best," he said.

"I will be happy if I can make the same races next year as this year. So many dreams came true this year I really have to think about what can be better, so I will be happy if I can be in the same races again.

"But the Olympics is also a big goal."

The Tour winner has one more race in France -- Le Chrono Des Nations -- one he has every intention of trying to win, before taking a well earned break.

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