Tony Martin gets his revenge on the peloton

Here are three facts about Tony Martin.

  1. He would have finished sixth in the world team trial last year, competing on his own
  2. He once told Lance Armstrong to get fucked
  3. He raced the entire peloton over the full length of a stage of last year’s Vuelta a Espana and almost won

On that Vuelta stage, Martin spent 175km on his own. Yesterday, it was only about 60km. The difference is that this time he crossed the line first. Take that, the peloton!

This was no mean feat on a day when seemingly half the riders in the race wanted to get in the day’s break; riders who then chased the German like mad after failing to do so.

Martin spent 60km on his own this time. For most of the rest of the stage, he rode with Alessandro de Marchi and impressively, the two of them weren’t caught by a second breakaway group containing 20-odd riders, five of whom were from the Europcar team. In the end, that group finished 2m45s behind Martin (de Marchi was caught), while the peloton finished almost eight minutes back.

As well as a stage win, Martin earns a day in the king of the mountains jersey as well.

Yellow jersey news

Gallopin’ Tony took the overall lead. He was reasonably well-placed anyway and then got in the second breakaway group. Gallopin has no great stage racing pedigree and will almost certainly lose the jersey today, but it will be worth watching how he loses it. A Frenchman in yellow on Bastille Day? We will genuinely see what it means to have given everything.

Stage 10

Like I say, Bastille Day, so the Frenchies will be having a stab. It’s a day for the overall contenders though with the first, second, third and fourth first category climbs of the race. Here’s the profile. It’s a summit finish, so that’s the focus, but watch out for the penultimate climb, the Col des Chevreres as well. It’s only 3.5km but the last kilometre averages 14.9%. With no flat between there and La Planches des Belles Filles, we could potentially see someone attack before the descent that links them.