VUELTA: Stage 6: Michael Morkov steals the stage from Tony Martin


Panzerwagen Tony Martin (Omega Pharma Quickstep) puts on a one man show and is denied the stage with just metres from the line by winner Michael Morkov

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There was only one story about stage 6 of the Tour of Spain and its one that will go down in folklore as Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Tony “Panzerwagen” Martin showed his ability to time trial for an entire road stage on Thursday. UCI World TT Champion Martin attacked just kilometers into the 174.3km Stage 6 of La Vuelta a España, and no rider was able to bridge to him for the breakaway of the day.

290813 OPQS Vuelta stage 6-Martin action (c)TimDe Waele

Tony Martin going it alone. Photo: OPQS/Tim de Waele

Martin gained more than a seven minute advantage just 26km into the stage. However, the peloton slowly reeled him back kilometre-by-kilometre. Martin refused to go down without perhaps one of the biggest, longest fights of his career. Martin had just a 15″ gap with 15km to go, and it seemed he would be caught well before the line for a predicted bunch sprint. But the German rider kept on fighting. The gap dropped to 8″ with less than 13km to go, but he somehow managed to hold his power and bring the gap back up to 15″ with 5.8km to go. Suddenly, it seemed Martin had a chance to make it to the line after an amazing battle in the wind.

Martin had a 9″ gap going into the final kilometre, and he refused to give up. The peloton fast approached behind him, with leadout trains scrambling for position in case of a catch. Martin, despite an amazing effort, was caught within 30 meters of the finish line but still managed a 7th place finish on the stage.

Michael Morkov (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) won the stage, with Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre-Merida) 2nd and Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Leopard) 3rd. Gianni Meersman of OPQS was also just behind Martin, in 8th place.

[pullquote]Tony Martin: At 10km to go they were really close, and I thought about giving up. But no, I decided to relaunch the action and then I started thinking when they couldn’t close the gap that maybe I can do it after all.”[/pullquote]

“It was an unusual time trial of almost four hours,” Martin said. “I decided to enter the breakaway to try and protect the team. Because even if I was caught, in the final we will also have Gianni Meersman and Andrew Fenn able to do something good in the sprint.”


“So, I decided to go and suddenly I was alone but I took immediately a few minutes. At that point I said, why not? Actually I think it was a good move. I always went pretty good. I have to say the tailwind helped me. Without it, there was no chance to go until the end. In the final, the gap was really small. At 10km to go they were really close, and I thought about giving up. But no, I decided to relaunch the action and then I started thinking when they couldn’t close the gap that maybe I can do it after all.”

“But, I was tired with 5km to go, the parcour was hard in the final and worked against me with some small uphills, and also the peloton was going full gas. I stayed focused on the finish line. It was a strange feeling. I saw the stripe of the finish line and could hear the peloton behind at the same time. But I was really going all out with my legs. I couldn’t go any faster than I did in the last 200 meters.”

“Unfortunately, they caught me. As usual when you do something like that it’s always bittersweet. From one end you think you could have won with a bit more luck. On the other hand I felt like a winner. Everybody wanted to talk with me after the finish. I had the feeling I did something great and difficult.”

“I also went to the podium for the combativity award. It was really special to be there in front of the public. If I want to think positively it was also great training for the World Championships. The line between doing something super and losing is really thin in this sport, but you have to try. I think it was the first time I did a breakaway like this, especially for so long. Even if I didn’t win I will have it in my memories for a long time.”

290813 OPQS Vuelta stage 6-Martin podium (c)TimDe Waele

Tony Martin makes the podium after his long solo effort to win the stage. Photo: OPQS/Tim de Waele

Martin also was appreciative of his team, as the OPQS team car was a constant presence giving him encouragement during his solo breakaway attempt. “The team supported me really well,” Martin said. “Rik Van Slycke was following me and always encouraging,” Martin said. “We never lost control and we were able to handle the effort during the race. I really want to thank the team for the support for all those kilometers.”

Michael Mørkøv the Villan
Behind Martin solo out front, the closing stages saw Argos-Shimano and Orica-GreenEdge the two most dominating teams in the chase while Omega-Pharma Quick Step saved their energy for the finale. But it was a Dane for Saxobank Tinkoff who emerged from the scrum, Michael Mørkøv racing past Fabian Cancellara to win his teams second stage. “I’m so happy about this win and unbelievably proud. Winning in the Danish national jersey is special but to win in Vuelta a Espana is probably the highlight of my career.”

“I have been waiting for this opportunity and the guys and staff have been so supportive all the way. I just stayed on the wheel of Fabian for the final few hundred meters and I was worried about opening the sprint too soon but it was just perfect,” said a very happy Michael Mørkøv.

[pullquote]Fabian Cancellara : Tony Martin was out front all day and the sprinters’ teams needed to be working hard to bring him back. But in the end it was only two teams working so there was plenty of chaos at the end with no one in total control.”[/pullquote]

Testers Unite - Cancellara  Sprints to 3rd
But whilst one ‘tester’ failed to get the win starting his sprint with 175km to go, another, Fabian Cancellara, came close, finishing 3rd. Without a true sprinter on the roster for la Vuelta, and other notable sprinters not participating in the race, Cancellara’s power is being put to good use.

Fabian Cancellara “It was an unexpected sprint, actually, and rather a strange day. Tony Martin was out front all day and the sprinters’ teams needed to be working hard to bring him back. But in the end it was only two teams working so there was plenty of chaos at the end with no one in total control.”

“We were with Chris, Haimar and Robert in the front and soon enough I realized it was going to be hard to bring them back, but we were still up there in a good position. I felt pretty good and decided I might as well give it a try. I went too far out but as a non-sprinter, I think I reacted fairly well and put up a big sprint. It was a nice effort and it has boosted my confidence that there is good power in my legs.”

Barreling down the straightaway to catch fast man Tony Martin, Cancellara saw the chance to power up the middle for a possible stage win. Staying in the wheel and coming around at the perfect moment was stage winner and Danish road champion Michael Morkov of Saxo-Tinkoff.

Cancellara: “I can be up there with the best but I’ve suffered on some of the days, like yesterday. Today was perfect for me with the rolling parcours. Tomorrow my legs will hurt at the start from the effort, but that’s ok. The guys asked me why I didn’t ask for help but it was something unexpected. I was just in a good position at 2km to go and I moved up and then decided to go for the sprint. It’s good for the morale of the team.”

Friday brings the first week of racing to a close with another stage for the sprinters. The stage begins in Almendralejo and Mairena de Aljarafe at 206km. On Saturday the Vuelta heads to the mountains with a category 1 uphill finish

1 MøRKøV Michael Team Saxo-Tinkoff 03:54:15
2 RICHEZE Ariel Maximiliano Lampre – Merida @ st
3 CANCELLARA Fabian RadioShack – Leopard @ st
4 FARRAR Tyler Garmin – Sharp @ st
5 FLECHA Juan Antonio Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
6 MATTHEWS Michael Orica GreenEDGE @ st
7 MARTIN Tony Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
8 MEERSMAN Gianni Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
9 GILBERT Philippe BMC Racing Team @ st
10 BROWN Graeme Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
11 PETIT Adrien Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
12 LASCA Francesco Caja Rural-Seguros RGA @ st
13 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald Sky Procycling @ st
14 BOIVIN Guillaume Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
15 SINKELDAM Ramon Team Argos – Shimano @ st
16 SCHORN Daniel Team NetApp – Endura @ st
17 SOUPE Geoffrey Equipe Cycliste @ st
18 HENDERSON Gregory Lotto Belisol Team @ st
19 PAOLINI Luca Katusha Team @ st
20 TANNER David Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
21 NERZ Dominik BMC Racing Team @ st
22 HENAO MONTOYA Sergio Luis Sky Procycling @ st
23 CATALDO Dario Sky Procycling @ st
24 NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team @ st
25 HORNER Chris RadioShack – Leopard @ st
26 NOCENTINI Rinaldo AG2R La Mondiale @ st
27 POPOVYCH Yaroslav RadioShack – Leopard @ st
28 RATTO Daniele Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
29 MONTAGUTI Matteo AG2R La Mondiale @ st
30 KISERLOVSKI Robert RadioShack – Leopard @ st
31 MARTINEZ DE ESTEBAN Egoi Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
32 CARDOSO André Caja Rural-Seguros RGA @ st
33 ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
34 RAST Gregory RadioShack – Leopard @ st
35 CHAINEL Steve AG2R La Mondiale @ st
36 WYSS Danilo BMC Racing Team @ st
37 ZAUGG Oliver Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
38 SøRENSEN Nicki Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
39 LONGO BORGHINI Paolo Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
40 POZZOVIVO Domenico AG2R La Mondiale @ st
41 LASTRAS GARCIA Pablo Movistar Team @ st
42 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
43 SCARPONI Michele Lampre – Merida @ st
44 GRAZIATO Massimo Lampre – Merida @ st
45 SANTAROMITA Ivan BMC Racing Team @ st
46 ARROYO DURAN David Caja Rural-Seguros RGA @ st
47 KNEES Christian Sky Procycling @ st
48 IGLINSKIY Maxim Astana Pro Team @ st
49 ROUX Anthony Equipe Cycliste @ st
50 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ Samuel Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
51 NIEVE ITURALDE Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
52 FENN Andrew Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
53 FROHLINGER Johannes Team Argos – Shimano @ st
54 MONDORY Lloyd AG2R La Mondiale @ st
55 KANGERT Tanel Astana Pro Team @ st
56 LODEWYCK Klaas BMC Racing Team @ st
57 BARGUIL Warren Team Argos – Shimano @ st
58 SANCHEZ GIL Luis Leon Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
59 BASSO Ivan Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
60 BRAJKOVIč Janez Astana Pro Team @ st
61 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team @ st
62 MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
63 URAN Rigoberto Sky Procycling @ st
64 TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
65 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team @ st
66 DE CLERCQ Bart Lotto Belisol Team @ st
67 LANDA MEANA Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
68 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE Haimar RadioShack – Leopard @ st
69 VOSS Paul Team NetApp – Endura @ st
70 HUZARSKI Bartosz Team NetApp – Endura @ st
71 PAUWELS Serge Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
72 BERARD Julien AG2R La Mondiale @ st
73 ELISSONDE Kenny Equipe Cycliste @ st
74 HERMANS Ben RadioShack – Leopard @ st
75 PIMENTA COSTA MENDES José João Team NetApp – Endura @ st
76 MAJKA Rafal Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
77 VANSUMMEREN Johan Garmin – Sharp @ st
78 KONIG Leopold Team NetApp – Endura @ st
79 GUSEV Vladimir Katusha Team @ st
80 HOWES Alex Garmin – Sharp @ st
81 MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Katusha Team @ st
82 CHEREL Mikael AG2R La Mondiale @ st
83 HANSEN Adam Lotto Belisol Team @ st
84 CAPECCHI Eros Movistar Team @ st
85 VANENDERT Dennis Lotto Belisol Team @ st
86 REYNES MIMO Vicente Lotto Belisol Team @ st
87 JANSE VAN RENSBURG Reinardt Team Argos – Shimano @ st
88 HERRADA LOPEZ Jose Movistar Team @ st
89 MORENO BAZAN Javier Movistar Team @ st
90 SIJMENS Nico Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
91 HAEDO Lucas Sebastian Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
92 DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO David Team NetApp – Endura @ st
93 FERRARI Fabricio Caja Rural-Seguros RGA @ st
94 MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp @ st
95 PINOT Thibaut Equipe Cycliste @ st
96 EIJSSEN Yannick BMC Racing Team @ st
97 SARMIENTO TUNARROSA Jose Cayetano Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
98 ULISSI Diego Lampre – Merida @ st
99 CLEMENT Stef Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
100 VICIOSO ARCOS Ángel Katusha Team @ st
101 SORENSEN Chris Anker Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
102 COPPEL Jérome Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
103 MATE MARDONES Luis Angel Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
104 MARCZYNSKI Tomasz Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
105 GENIEZ Alexandre Equipe Cycliste @ st
106 AZANZA SOTO Jorge Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
107 LOSADA ALGUACIL Alberto Katusha Team @ st
108 BOLE Grega Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
109 SERRY Pieter Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
110 ARAMENDIA LORENTE Javier Francisco Caja Rural-Seguros RGA @ st
111 DE WEERT Kevin Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
112 VERDUGO MARCOTEGUI Gorka Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
113 PUCCIO Salvatore Sky Procycling @ st
114 KOZONTCHUK Dmitry Katusha Team @ st
115 CARUSO Giampaolo Katusha Team @ st
116 VANDEWALLE Kristof Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
117 IRIZAR ARANBURU Markel RadioShack – Leopard @ st
118 ANTON HERNANDEZ Igor Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
119 CAMANO ORTUZAR Iker Team NetApp – Endura @ st
120 TIRALONGO Paolo Astana Pro Team @ st
121 BARTA Jan Team NetApp – Endura @ st
122 PINEAU Cédric Equipe Cycliste @ st
123 BAGOT Yohan Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
124 KOHLER Martin BMC Racing Team @ st
125 STYBAR Zdenek Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
126 OROZ UGALDE Juan Jos̩ Euskaltel РEuskadi @ st
127 WURF Cameron Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
128 GARATE Juan Manuel Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
129 VELASCO MURILLO Ivan Caja Rural-Seguros RGA @ st
130 VEIKKANEN Jussi Equipe Cycliste @ st
131 SZMYD Sylwester Movistar Team @ st
132 DE GREEF Francis Lotto Belisol Team @ st
133 WAGNER Robert Belkin Pro Cycling Team 00:20
134 VAN DER SANDE Tosh Lotto Belisol Team @ st
135 RASMUSSEN Alex Garmin – Sharp @ st
136 COOKE Baden Orica GreenEDGE 00:23
137 VAN KEIRSBULCK Guillaume Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 00:34
138 VANENDERT Jelle Lotto Belisol Team @ st
139 PINOTTI Marco BMC Racing Team @ st
140 NUYENS Nick Garmin – Sharp @ st
141 PATERSKI Maciej Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 00:45
142 VAN DE WALLE Jurgen Lotto Belisol Team @ st
143 DALL’ANTONIA Tiziano Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
144 GASTAUER Ben AG2R La Mondiale @ st
145 LANDER Sebastian BMC Racing Team @ st
146 DODI Luca Lampre – Merida @ st
147 URTASUN PEREZ Pablo Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
148 DEMPSTER Zakkari Team NetApp – Endura @ st
149 HOOGERLAND Johnny Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
150 ARNDT Nikias Team Argos – Shimano 00:51
151 BUSCHE Matthew RadioShack – Leopard 01:00
152 FAIRLY Caleb Garmin – Sharp @ st
153 VALLS FERRI Rafael Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
154 DE GENDT Thomas Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
155 ANACONA GOMEZ Winner Lampre – Merida @ st
156 GUTIERREZ PALACIOS Jose Iván Movistar Team @ st
157 TOSATTO Matteo Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
158 ZANDIO ECHAIDE Xabier Sky Procycling @ st
159 ERVITI OLLO Imanol Movistar Team @ st
160 WESTRA Lieuwe Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
161 MARKUS Barry Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
162 TXURRUKA Amets Caja Rural-Seguros RGA @ st
163 GERRANS Simon Orica GreenEDGE @ st
164 KIRYIENKA Vasil Sky Procycling @ st
165 STORTONI Simone Lampre – Merida @ st
166 POELS Wout Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
167 EDET Nicolas Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
168 HUPOND Thierry Team Argos – Shimano @ st
169 PREIDLER Georg Team Argos – Shimano @ st
170 BESSY Cyril Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
171 BETANCUR GOMEZ Carlos Alberto AG2R La Mondiale @ st
172 PETROV Evgeni Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
173 VANOTTI Alessandro Astana Pro Team @ st
174 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team @ st
175 GARCIA FERNANDEZ Marcos Caja Rural-Seguros RGA @ st
176 INTXAUSTI Benat Movistar Team @ st
177 MORI Manuele Lampre – Merida @ st
178 ROWE Luke Sky Procycling @ st
179 HOWARD Leigh Orica GreenEDGE 01:17
180 DOCKER Mitchell Orica GreenEDGE @ st
181 ZINGLE Romain Cofidis Solutions Crédits 01:27
182 BEWLEY Sam Orica GreenEDGE 01:37
183 PIEDRA PEREZ Antonio Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 02:27
184 MEIER Christian Orica GreenEDGE 02:40
185 KREDER Michel Garmin – Sharp @ st
186 ZEITS Andrey Astana Pro Team @ st
187 MANGEL Laurent Equipe Cycliste @ st
188 POULHIES Stéphane Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
189 PETERSON Tom Team Argos – Shimano @ st
190 CLARKE Simon Orica GreenEDGE 03:46
191 STAMSNIJDER Tom Team Argos – Shimano @ st
192 BONO Matteo Lampre – Merida 04:41
193 COURTEILLE Arnaud Equipe Cycliste @ st
194 GRIVKO Andriy Astana Pro Team 05:41
195 ISAYCHEV Vladimir Katusha Team @ st

1 NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team 22:38:07
2 HORNER Chris RadioShack – Leopard 00:03
3 ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff 00:08
4 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE Haimar RadioShack – Leopard 00:16
5 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team 00:21
6 KISERLOVSKI Robert RadioShack – Leopard 00:26
7 URAN Rigoberto Sky Procycling 00:28
8 MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Katusha Team 00:31
9 MAJKA Rafal Team Saxo-Tinkoff 00:38
10 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff 00:42
11 HUZARSKI Bartosz Team NetApp – Endura 00:45
12 SANTAROMITA Ivan BMC Racing Team 00:46
13 MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling Team 00:48
14 KONIG Leopold Team NetApp – Endura @st
15 CAPECCHI Eros Movistar Team 00:52
16 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 00:53
17 SORENSEN Chris Anker Team Saxo-Tinkoff 00:55
18 EIJSSEN Yannick BMC Racing Team 00:59
19 ULISSI Diego Lampre – Merida 01:10
20 TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team 01:12


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