Cycling

Martin wins Tour of Catalonia

2013-03-24 17:59
Daniel Martin (File)

Madrid - Daniel Martin claimed victory in the Tour of Catalonia on Sunday with the Irish rider's lead never seriously threatened on the seventh and final stage in Barcelona.

Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) was the winner of the 122km ride from El Vendrell into the Catalan capital as he pipped David Lopez Garcia (Sky) and Robert Kiserlovski (RadioShack-Leopard) on the line.

However, it was Martin, riding for Garmin Sharp, who took the overall victory as he shadowed second-placed Joaquim Rodriguez to the line to ensure his 17 second lead wasn't eroded, with Michele Scarponi finishing third.

Martin took a decisive hold of the tour on Thursday when he won the gruelling 217km trek to Port Aine after Alejandro Valverde, who had led after the third stage, was forced to retire after a crash.

The 26-year-old Birmingham-born Irishman won the stage in style, finishing 36 seconds ahead of Rodriguez to open a 10 second gap in the overall standings that he had extended to 17 seconds after Saturday's sixth stage.

Last year's Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins also suffered on Thursday's fourth stage as he lost over a minute on Martin and eventually finished 54 seconds back in fifth.

Martin's lead never looked in danger on the final day as the contenders remained in the peloton for the majority of the stage.

A leading group of 10 riders made a break early on and had built up a sizeable three-and-a-half minute advantage by the 50km mark.

However, their lead was slowly whittled down by the peloton and they were eventually caught as the race entered the first of seven laps around Montujic.

De Gendt, Lopez and Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol) then hit the front and were joined by Scarponi and Kiserlovski five kilometres later.

Lopez seemed to have made a decisive break with 5km to go but decided to reserve his energy for the sprint finish than trying to maintain his lead until the end and was just edged out by De Gendt.

Scarponi's late push to finish fourth was enough though to move him into third in the overall standings ahead of Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

Results after the seventh and final stage of the Tour of Catalonia, a 178.7km ride from 122 km ride from El Vendrell to Barcelona, on Sunday:

1. Thomas De Gendt (BEL/DCM) 2hr 45min 42sec, 2. David Lopez (ESP/SKY) at s.t., 3. Robert Kiserlovski (CRO/RSH) s.t., 4. Michele Scarponi (ITA/LAM) s.t., 5. Samuel Dumoulin (FRA/ALM) 0:21, 6. Julien Simon (FRA/SOJ) s.t., 7. Manuele Mori (ITA/LAM) s.t., 8. Travis Meyer (AUS/ORI) s.t., 9. Gianluca Brambilla (ITA/OPQ) s.t., 10. Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (DEN/AST) s.t., 11. Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL/LTB) s.t., 12. Danail Petrov (BUL/CJR) s.t., 13. Nicolas Roche (IRL/SAX) s.t., 14. Daniel Moreno (ESP/KAT) s.t., 15. Nicolas Edet (FRA/COF) s.t.

Overall

1. Daniel Martin (IRL/GRM) 29h02min 25sec, 2. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) at 0:17, 3. Michele Scarponi (ITA/LAM) 0:34, 4. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 0:45, 5.. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/SKY) 0:54, 6. Robert Gesink (NED/BLA) 1:07, 7. Przemyslaw Niemiec (POL/LAM) 1:18, 8. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) 1:26, 9. Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL/LTB) 1:28, 10. Tom Danielson (USA/GRM) 1:41.

Read more on:    tour of catalonia  |  cycling
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