German all-rounder Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) won the 69th edition of Paris-Nice Sunday as French champion Thomas Voeckler (EuropCar) claimed victory in the eighth and final stage.
The 25-year-old Martin took control of the race when he won Friday’s 27km time trial, and held on to his 36-second lead over compatriot Andreas Klöden (RadioShack) to claim his second stage race victory in as many months.
Despite an attack by Spanish Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) on the Col d’Eze leading into Nice, Martin contained the threat to claim his first victory in the “Race to the Sun.”
Martin said his most serious concern was crashing in the rain, and not the potential threat from Klöden or Sky’s Bradley Wiggins.
“The biggest worry was having an accident or crashing. It was cold and the roads were very slippery because of the rain,” said the 25-year-old German, who believes Klöden and Wiggins had similar concerns and just wanted to finish unscathed.
“I think they were happy with their position, they knew that I had the legs to follow (any attacks). I didn’t expect them to attack, I was mostly concerned by the guys who were a bit further behind in the standings.”
Klöden, the race winner in 2000 and a former runner-up in the Tour de France, was second with Britain’s Bradley Wiggins (Sky) in third place.
Voeckler meanwhile defied another day of pouring rain to pick up his second stage win of the race for his Europcar team.
The 31-year-old French champion got into a breakaway and outlasted his companions to cross the finish line on the Promenade des Anglais on his own to add the win to his stage victory on Wednesday.
Italian Diego Ulissi (Lampre-ISD), 21, finished second 20 seconds back with fellow Frenchman Julien El Fares of Cofidis in third at over a minute behind.
Martin crossed the line in a small group of chasers around a minute and a half behind Voeckler.
- Born: April 23, 1985 in Erfurt, Germany
- Height: 1.85 m
- Weight: 75 kg
- Thuringer (2006 and 2007)
- HTC-Highroad since 2008
- 2011: Paris-Nice (plus 1 time trial stage); Tour of the Algarve (plus 1 time trial stage)
- 2010: Tour of Benelux (plus 1 stage); time trial stage in Tour of Switzerland; time trial stage in Tour of California
- 2009: Stage (plus King of Mountains jersey) at Tour of Switzerland; King of Mountains jersey Paris-Nice; time trial stage Criterium International; stage at Bayern Rundfahrt
- 2008: Stage in Ster ElektroToer 2008 (time trial)
- 2010: National time trial champion; Bronze medal in world time trial championship
- 2009: Bronze medal in world time trial championship
- 2008: Het Mergelland
- 1. Tony Martin, HTC-Highroad, 34h 03′ 37″
- 2. Andréas Klöden, Team Radioshack, at 0:36
- 3. Bradley Wiggins, Sky Procycling, at 00:41
- 4. Rein Taaramae, Cofidis Le Credit En Ligne, at 01:10
- 5. Samuel Sanchez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 01:13