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Tony Martin ends career with gold medal at cycling worlds

94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 - Team Time Trial Mixed Relay

BRUGES, BELGIUM - SEPTEMBER 22: Tony Martin of Germany after the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 - Team Time Trial Mixed Relay a 44,5km race from Knokke-Heist to Bruges - the day cyclist Tony Martin of Germany withdraws from professional cycling / #flanders2021 / TT / on September 22, 2021 in Bruges, Belgium. (Photo by Kristof Ramon - Pool/Getty Images)

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BRUGGE, Belgium - Veteran Tony Martin ended his much-decorated career in style as Germany won the mixed relay race at cycling’s world championships on Wednesday.

The 36-year-old Martin, a four-time time trial world champion from Germany who also won five Tour de France stages and wore the famed yellow jersey, announced last week that he would end his 14-year professional career after the world championships.

He finished sixth in Sunday’s individual time trial won by Filippo Ganna of Italy and said he would call it a day after competing in the mixed relay, where teams of three men and three women compete against each other in a team time trial.

The men’s teams started from the seaside North Sea resort of Knokke-Heist and completed a 22.5-kilometer course to Brugge, where their female teammates took over for a 22-kilometer loop around the picturesque city.

Martin and his five teammates - Lisa Brennauer, Lisa Klein, Mieke Kroeger, Nikias Arndt and Maximilian Richard Walscheid - finished 12.79 seconds faster than the Dutch team that included world champion Ellen van Dijk and Olympic champion Annemiek van Vleuten.

Italy completed the podium, lagging 37.74 seconds behind.

Ganna and his Italian teammates Matteo Sobrero and Edoardo Affini set the fastest time in the men’s race, at an average speed of 55.551 kph.

Martin had one year remaining on his contract with Jumbo-Visma but decided after this year’s Tour de France that he would not continue. Martin crashed out of the three-week event in July during Stage 11, when he had to be taken away in an ambulance.

Martin also crashed in the Tour’s opening stage after a careless spectator brandished a large cardboard sign while leaning into his path.

Nicknamed “Der Panzerwagen” for his enormous power, Martin also won the one-week Paris-Nice in 2011 and is a 10-time German time trial champion.