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Tour de France

Tony Martin targets yellow jersey on Tour’s opening day

Time trial ace hopes to add yellow jersey to his trophy case as the Tour kicks off with a time trial in Utrecht, Netherlands

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BERLIN (AFP) — German time trial specialist Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick-Step) said on Wednesday one of his top priorities for the 2015 season is to pull on the fabled yellow jersey as leader of the Tour de France.

The 29-year-old three-time world champion in the race against the clock made his intentions clear at the unveiling of his Belgian team, Etixx-QuickStep, in Calpe, Spain.

“This year, I have a rare opportunity to wear the yellow jersey on the first day of the race. That is at the top of my priorities for 2015,” said Martin, in reference to the July 4 opening stage, a 14km individual time trial around the Dutch city of Utrecht.

The East German-born rider, who has won four stages on the Tour including two time trials, also has a fourth world title in his sights after British rider Bradley Wiggins (Sky) relegated him to second last year at Ponferrada, Spain.

“I want to win back this jersey [rainbow] so I can wear it in 2016,” said the 2012 Olympic silver medallist, again behind Wiggins, who begins his current campaign in two weeks at Dubai.

The 2015 world championships take place at Richmond, Virginia with the men’s individual time trial set for September 9 and the road race four days later.