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Mørkøv breaks Tony Martin's heart

Fotoreporter Sirotti

When the breakaway of the day was announced to be a solo-riding Tony Martin comments were "TT training day for Tony" and "that assures us a sprint finish doesn't it". But it wasn't until there were 20 meters left of the stage that the peloton managed to catch the German timetrial specialist. In the final 10 kms when the sprinters teams were supposed to take charge and comfortably reel Martin in he instead seemed to toy with the chase which lacked the cohesion we are used to seeing in the big race finales. With the wind in his back he gained time on the downhills and seemed to struggle a little when the road tilted up but it gradually became apparent that the catch, if it ever happened, would only come at the very end.

Going into the last km Argos was the team that did most of the pulling with Garmin throwing a single man up there to try and close the gap for Tyler Farrar but Tony Martin wasn't truly doomed until his eternal TT rival Fabian Cancallara launched his sprint at 3-400 meters to go. In his wake he dragged along J A Flecha and Michael Mørkøv and it was the dane who had the legs to come around Cancellara and kick for the finish just as they passed the unlucky Tony Martin in the final meters of the stage.

Saxo Bank's loyal helper, whos greatest wins have come on the track where he is both a Madison World Champion and winner of multiple six-days races, was an unlikely winner of a sprint but the bigger name sprinters in the race all disappointed greatly. In a race where there are so few opportunities one would think those few opportunities would be grabbed with both hands but both leadouts and sprinters managed to underperform spectacularly today. It will be interesting to read the comments on what went wrong today. In the meanwhile most of the sympathy on the day goes to the German Panzerwagen who put in an effort today that had most everyone cheering him on to stay away and get a deserved win .

The sprinters will get a chance to restore their honor tomorrow on a course that should end in a bunch sprint. The 206 km stage runs from Almendralejo to Mairena de Aljarafe just outside Sevilla. This is the last of the comfy stages before the race heats up with some decisive stages over the weekend.

Top 10 stage 6

1. DENMORKOV, Michael 203 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 3h 54' 15''
2. ARGRICHEZE, Maximiliano Ariel 137 LAMPRE-MERIDA 3h 54' 15'' + 0''
3. SUICANCELLARA, Fabian 181 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 3h 54' 15'' + 0''
4. USAFARRAR, Tyler 113 GARMIN SHARP 3h 54' 15'' + 0''
5. ESPFLECHA, Juan Antonio 214 VACANSOLEIL-DCM PRO CYCLING TEAM 3h 54' 15'' + 0''
6. AUSMATTHEWS, Michael 178 ORICA GREENEDGE 3h 54' 15'' + 0''
9. BELGILBERT, Philippe 51 BMC RACING TEAM 3h 54' 15'' + 0''
10. AUSBROWN, Graeme 43 BELKIN-PRO CYCLING TEAM 3h 54' 15'' + 0''

General Classification

1. ITANIBALI, Vincenzo 31 ASTANA PRO TEAM 22h 38' 07''
2. USAHORNER, Christopher 184 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 22h 38' 10'' + 3''
3. IRLROCHE, Nicolas 205 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 22h 38' 15'' + 8''
4. ESPZUBELDIA, Haimar 189 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 22h 38' 23'' + 16''
5. ESPVALVERDE, Alejandro 1 MOVISTAR TEAM 22h 38' 28'' + 21''
6. CROKISERLOVSKI, Robert 186 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 22h 38' 33'' + 26''
7. COLURAN, Rigoberto 198 SKY PROCYCLING 22h 38' 35'' + 28''
8. ESPMORENO, Daniel 127 KATUSHA TEAM 22h 38' 38'' + 31''
9. POLMAJKA, Rafal 202 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 22h 38' 45'' + 38''
10. CZEKREUZIGER, Roman 201 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 22h 38' 49'' + 42''