Tony Martin is a veteran in the cycling peloton. Starting next year, he will be riding for the Dutch Team LottoNL-Jumbo. Martin brings loads of solid experience with him despite being only 33 years old, so he’ll be able to influence the team in many different ways. He can ensure that the team will perform even better during team time trials—he is great at hunting down attackers and giving the sprinters on the team a chance for victory. Because if Tony Martin can do one thing really well, it’s racing fast.
Tony Martin as time trial king
If you think of Tony Martin, you automatically think of time trials, as this is where he has achieved his major successes. The first time we saw him in his full glory was in 2009. It was his second year as a pro racer for the HTC-Highroad team. That year he placed second at the German National Time Trial Championships and finished third in the men’s time trial at the UCI Road World Championships. During these races, however, we also saw his other strengths emerge. For example, he won the mountain jersey in Paris-Nice and finished second in the Tour of Switzerland. At that time, it was clear he was going to be a serious contender in Grand Tours.
But Tony Martin never took the path of say, Tom Dumoulin, going for results in the general classification (GC). Martin knew that he was exceptionally good at time trials. Which lead to opportunities in the classifications of races that last about a week and have no difficult climbs. In 2010, for example, Martin took the final victory in the Eneco Tour (now BinckBank Tour) due to his win in the time trial. The same year he became German champion in the German National Time Trial Championships for the first time.
Four times world champion
That was just the beginning for Tony Martin; the taste of victory was sweet and he wanted more. By 2011, he settled permanently into the character of a world class rider. After being third in the World Championships, he finally took the rainbow jersey for the first time. The two years after that he managed the same success. However, he lost track in 2014 and was pipped by Bradley Wiggins, and then in 2015 he finished seventh. But in 2016, after a failed Olympics, Martin made it clear once more that he was a great competitor by becoming the world champion again. His fourth in total.
In recent years, however, he is no longer dominating the field. If the course is completely flat, he can still take a win now and again, but he seems to fall short against the new generation of cyclists. In 2017, Martin finished ninth at the worlds, and in 2018 he finished only seventh.
When he races time trials, however, he is still in a special jersey at the start. Since 2012 he has been German time trial champion every year. A title that he also took in 2010, so he has no eight German titles to his name.
His departure to team Lotto NL Jumbo is logical as far as we are concerned. The team has moved into the field of time trials in recent years and has a number of riders who perform well. In addition, the team has a world class sprinter with Dylan Groenewegen. So, Martin could play an important role in the sprint train, launching Groenewegen to victory. We hope to see a lot more from this fast German in the next two years.