Editor’s note: VeloNews.com is presenting selections from the January 2012 edition of Velo, the magazine’s 24th annual awards issue. It’s only a sampler — so if you want the full scoop, pick up a copy of the January 2012 edition of Velo.
Tony Martin ended Fabian Cancellara’s impressive dominance of time trials that dated back to 2006, when Spartacus began his run of TT podiums.
From 2006 to 2010, Cancellara was unstoppable against the clock, winning all the major season dates, including the 2008 Olympic gold medal and four world titles. It was Martin’s unassuming personality combined with a deadly powerful engine that finally pushed Cancellara off his throne.
The 26-year-old German hit his stride in 2011, clicking off time trial wins with ease throughout the season. He won every TT he started (except at Romandie, the German national championships and Tour de Suisse) and racked up a season haul of nine wins against the clock.
Three of his biggest victories came head-to-head against Cancellara: first at the Tour de France; then at the Vuelta a España; and finally at the world championships.
Those victories cemented Martin’s credentials as the man to beat going into the 2012 Olympics.
Cancellara and Martin will face off again, but each will be on a new team, facing new challenges, with Cancellara headlining the RadioShack-Leopard-Trek merger and Martin taking over the leadership role at Omega Pharma-QuickStep. The big showdown will come in London next summer.
Coming Tuesday: The International and North American Cyclocross Rider of the Year (Women).