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Martin makes big leap up Romandie GC

Posted 25 April 2012

Dan Martin has made a huge leap up the GC at the Tour de Romandie after surviving an aggressive finish to the opening road stage which ended in a sprint won by Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins.

Martin climbed over sixty places to 38th in the general classification and remains a big threat in the race with just 23 second separating him from Wiggins who took over the race lead from teammate Geraint Thomas.

Thomas lost contact with the race leaders on the penultimate climb of the Haut de la Cote after Team Sky had put in the work to bring back a four-man breakaway.

Martin Kohler (BMC), Angelo Tulik (Europcar), Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur-Sojasun) and Kenny Dehaes (Lotto-Belisol) capitulated on the second category ascent after 160 kilometres out front.

With Team Sky sprinter and world champion Mark Cavendish also losing contact on the climb it fell to Wiggins to take charge as the race entered the final 20 kilometres.

The Briton was unfortunate to experience a mechanical just as a break of some fifteen riders formed off the head of the peloton and did a great job to regain contact with support from teammate and green jersey holder Michael Rogers after a number of kilometres.

The British outfit wasted no time in reasserting their control on the race which regrouped shortly before the summit of the final third category climb of Le Communal de la Sagne.

Martin preserved a position near the head of the peloton, which had been reduced to about sixty riders, and hung tough as the race exploded over the next 12 kilometres.

An attack by Daniel Navarro (Saxo Bank) strung out the lead group over the summit and the success of Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R La Mondiale) and Maxime Mederel (Saur-Sojasun) in bridging to him sparked a full on chase on the descent.

They were captured after three kilometres and the pace remained high as the BMC team of defending champion Cadel Evans joined the Katusha team in seizing control of the race.

Wiggins was exceptionally well placed heading onto the narrow finishing straight and his decision to go early left his rivals in his wake as he claimed the stage and race lead.

Martin finished 21st among the fifty-nine riders in the lead group and remains a big threat with a series of tough mountainous stages to come.

Matt Brammeier (Omega Pharma Quickstep) had a tougher day conceding 7’22”. He has dropped to 126th in the GC.

Brammeier said afterwards that he had found the climbing tough after time away from racing due to illness, but that he felt okay and that he expected to get better each day.

Results:

Tour de Romandie
 
Stage 1: Morges - La Chaux de Fonds, 184.5 kilometres
 
1.  Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 4:50:23
2.  Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
3.  Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Pro Team Astana
4.  Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
5.  Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale
6.  Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team
7.  Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
8.  Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre - ISD
9.  Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Barracuda
10. Pieter Weening (Ned) GreenEdge Cycling Team
 
21. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Barracuda - same time
118. Matt Brammeier (Irl) Omega-Pharma Quickstep - 7 minutes, 22 seconds
 
General classification after stage 1
 
1.  Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 4:53:51
2.  Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:00:07
3.  Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:09
4.  Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
5.  Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Barracuda 0:00:11
6.  Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
7.  David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin-Barracuda 0:00:12
8.  Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha Team
9.  Molina Ruben Plaza (Spa) Movistar Team
10. Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:13
 
38. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Barracuda at 23 seconds
126. Matt Brammeier (Irl) Omega Pharma Quickstep at 7 minutes, 39 seconds

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