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Martin kicks off season at Tour of Mediterranean

Posted 10 February 2012

By Cillian Kelly,

Dan Martin has kicked off his 2012 season at the Tour of the Mediterranean finishing comfortably in the bunch on stage one which was cut short by bad weather.

Snowfall forced the organisers to remove the major climbs from the stage route thereby scuppering any chances that Martin (Garmin-Barracuda) had of making a real impact on his season debut.

Martin finished 104th on the stage having taken a back seat as the sprinter’s teams controlled the front of the bunch as the race made its way over 132 kilometres from Pertuis to the finish in Meyreul.

The fast men were however, were left to rue the day as an impressive attack from Jonathan Tiernan-Locke in the final kilometre took everybody by surprise as he took the first win of the year for his Endura Racing team.

The sprint for second place was won by Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ-BigMat) followed by Sebastian Chavanel (Europcar) in third place.

Tiernan-Locke’s victory was his second since winning stage five of the Rás in 2010.

Having come through the opening stage unscathed Martin will have more of an opportunity to show what he can do today as the race covers 136km and three categorised climbs on the way from Salon-de-Provence to Martgiues.

Early spring has often been a troublesome time for Martin who has had to contend with allergies which affect his top end form. He has taken a number of measures to try and combat this problem and will be hopeful of making an impact in the early season races.

The former Irish road race champion will have his sights set on Sunday's final stage which features a summit finish at Mont Faron. He finished 13th on the equivalent stage in the 2009 edition of the race on the way to claiming third place overall.

Matt Brammeier meanwhile, was in the thick of the action at the front of the bunch on stage five of the Tour of Qatar from the Camel Race Track to Al Khor Corniche.

He worked tirelessly to set up his OmegaPharma-QuickStep team leader Tom Boonen for another stage victory. Unfortunately, at the end of the 160km stage, the Irish champion's efforts went unrewarded as race leader Boonen got badly boxed in approaching the finish line and ultimately finished in 13th position.

Brammeier's OmegaPharma-QuickStep team could only look on in frustration as Mark Cavendish  (Team Sky) zoomed past to notch his second stage win of the race.

Brammeier finished the stage in 87th place, 33 seconds behind the main peloton having done all his hard work for the team in the approach to the final two kilometres.

Ireland's David McCann finished first of his RTS Racing Team in the main peloton in 64th place.

Boonen maintains the race lead, 31 seconds ahead of Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) heading into today’s final stage.


Tour of the Mediterranean

Stage 1: Pertuis - Meyreuil, 135 kilometers

1.  Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GBr) Endura Racing 3:21:03     
2.  Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat          
3.  Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar          
4.  Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin - Barracuda          
5.  Guillaume Boivin (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10

104. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Barracuda - same time

General classification after stage 1

1.  Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GBr) Endura Racing 3:20:53     
2.  Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat at 0:00:04     
3.  Sebastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar at 0:00:06     
4.  Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin - Barracuda at 0:00:10     
5.  Guillaume Boivin (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10

104. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Barracuda - at 10 seconds

Tour of Qatar

Stage 5: Camel Race Track - Al Khor Corniche, 160 kilomeres

1.  Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling    3:30:40     
2.  Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale          
3.  Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale          
4.  John Degenkolb (Ger) Project 1t4i          
5.  Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Katusha          
6.  Allan Davis (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team          
7.  Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ-BigMat          
8.  Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia          
9.  Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha          
10. Gregory Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team

49. David McCann (Irl) RTS Racing Team - same time
87. Matt Brammeier (Irl) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:00:33     

General classification after stage 5

1.  Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 13:21:30     
2.  Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Barracuda  0:00:31     
3.  Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Sky Procycling 0:00:34     
4.  Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:00:36     
5.  Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling    0:00:45     
6.  Tom Veelers (Ned) Project 1t4i 0:01:00     
7.  Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:01:05     
8.  Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan 0:01:06     
9.  Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Barracuda 0:01:09     
10    Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:01:10     

63.  Matt Brammeier (Irl) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:04:16     
80. David McCann (Irl) RTS Racing Team 0:05:10  

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