Three-time world time trial champion Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) claims he will settle for the silver medal in the Olympic Games time trial in Rio, stating that Chris Froome is favourite to take gold.
Martin has visited Brazil to check out the parcours of the time trial and says the amount of climbing on the route doesn’t play to his strengths.
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Although a rider like Froome, the German says, could excel on the route. Martin beat the Team Sky rider to the silver medal in London by 26 seconds.
“I think the really big favourite will be Froome. They say it’s a really tough time trial, and you have to be good at climbing as well. He has both skills so he is surely the favourite,” Martin told Cycling Weekly at the Etixx-Quick Step training camp in Calpe.
“[Tom] Dumoulin is another man you have to mention [among the favourites], but you never know. First of all everyone has to survive the Tour de France!”
Froome could be in line for double gold at the Rio Games, with the Brit also among the favourites for a mountainous road race just days before the time trial.
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Should he pull off the feat, the Sky man would become the the first male rider to win both Olympic races. In 2000 Jan Ullrich came second in the time trial after winning the road race, while in 2008 Fabian Cancellara won the time trial after taking silver in the road race.
Froome will also be looking to retain his Tour de France title in July and could emulate his former colleague Bradley Wiggins by winning the Tour and Olympic Gold in the same year.
Playing to Froome’s advantage in the Tour is the inclusion of two individual time trials, but while Martin may be content with second place in Rio, he is very much targeting the win on stage 13’s 37km route.
“Of course the main objective at the Tour de France is the time trial – maybe it will compare a little bit to the time trial in Rio, but I hope it’s not that hard,” Martin added.
“I have a goal to win a stage again and it’s one of the most important races for me next year. It’s the biggest race in cycling, so I’m not just there for preparation [for the Olympics].”