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Martin wins stage 2 of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco

German world time trial champion goes solo late and holds off the chasing peloton for a stage win in the Basque Country

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Tony Martin won stage 2 of the Vuelta al País Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country) Tuesday in Dantxarinea, Spain. Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) attacked late in the 155-kilometer leg from Ordizia for a solo victory.

Ben Swift (Sky) was second and Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma) was third.

Martin countered a move by teammate Jan Bakelants with 11.5km remaining, leaving his breakaway companions, Bakelants and Gorka Izaguirre (Movistar), behind. From there, the three-time world time trial champion pushed on alone, cresting the final climb with nearly a minute’s advantage and holding on by a handful of seconds at the line.

“I came here to try and do something good in the GC,” Martin said in a team press release. “But yesterday the final was too hard for a rider like me. So after yesterday I decided to focus on the breakaways and of course the TT. This morning I was really motivated. Everybody wanted to try and go. Jan and I went, and for [Omega Pharma] it was the perfect situation.”

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) finished in the peloton to defend his overall lead with four days remaining.

The Vuelta al País Vasco continues Wednesday with the 194km third stage, from Urdazubi-Urdax to Vitoria-Gasteiz.