Martin owns 7th stage, extends Tour de Suisse lead - NBC Sports

Martin owns 7th stage, extends Tour de Suisse lead
AP Photo
June 20, 2014, 11:45 pm

WORB, Switzerland (AP) Time trial world champion Tony Martin of Germany extended his lead in the Tour de Suisse with a dominant performance against the clock in the race's seventh stage on Friday.

Martin was in a class of his own on the 24.7-kilometer (15-mile) course and beat Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands by 22 seconds. Portugal's Rui Costa was third, 28 seconds behind Martin.

With two mountain stages still to come, Martin leads Dumoulin by 28 seconds in the overall standings, while Costa moved up to third, 1 minute, 5 seconds behind.

Saturday's eighth stage takes the peloton from Delmont to the ski resort of Verbier. The tour finishes Sunday.

"Now for the weekend, anything is possible," Martin said. "Tomorrow's stage is the easier of the remaining two. The last climb, I hope I can treat it like a time trial, find a good rhythm and hang on to the other guys. I have the jersey, but it will not be easy."

Team Sky's Sergio Henao was involved in a training accident and retired from the race before the time trial. Martin's teammate Tom Boonen also pulled out, still feeling the effects of a crash in training earlier this month.

Boonen's Quick-Step team said the one-day race specialist has a right hip injury that requires a few days of rest.

"It's a shame, especially because I am sad I can't be there to help Tony Martin defend his leader's jersey at Tour de Suisse," Boonen said. "But I think it's a wise decision to stop now and recover."

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