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Tony Martin, Amber Neben win Chrono des Nations

LES HERBIERS, France (VN) — Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) defended his title in the Chrono des Nations on Sunday.

The two-time world time trial champion covered the 48.5km course in 58 minutes, seven seconds, 40 seconds faster than teammate Sylvain Chavanel, the reigning French TT champ. American Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) finished third, just a second slower than Chavanel.

In the 20.8km women’s race, American Amber Neben (U.S. National Team) took the flowers ahead of countrywoman Alison Tetryck (Exergy) and France’s Edwige Pitel.

Martin said “everything went perfect” in his title defense.

“It’s a nice way to finish the season,” he said. “When you win it’s always good. There were a lot of competitors — that’s why the race was so interesting. During the TT I had no radio, so it was impossible to modulate the effort. I only tried to find my tempo, a right pace and I maintained it until the end.”

Phinney, who started second to last in the men’s race, trailed Martin by seven seconds at the first intermediate time check (13km) and Chavanel by two. At the last intermediate check (35.5 km), he was nine seconds back of Chavanel, but didn’t know it because he and assistant director Rik Verbrugghe weren’t getting time-check details.

“That was okay, though, because I ran my race like I normally would,” Phinney said. “I didn’t quite have it at the end. The last 12 kilometers I suffered a lot. But I think I’ve grown a lot as a time trialist and in my ability to hang with these guys in these longer time trials.”

Martin’s victory marked his team’s 58th win on the season; Omega Pharma also reached the lesser steps on the podium 64 times, placing second 40 times and third 24 times.

“Sylvain was second — as a team we cannot complain about our result today,” said Martin. “We were one of the best teams for the entire season. I’m proud to be part of this group. Now I will go home, I will reach my family and I will take a period of rest. I think everybody in the peloton deserves it.”

Editor’s note: Stay tuned for more from the Chrono des Nations.

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