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Tour de Suisse: Martin Extends Lead... For Now

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Fabrice Coffrini, AFP/Getty

World Time Trial Champion Tony Martin of Omega Pharma-Quick Step helped himself to a bit more padding for his overall lead at the Tour de Suisse by winning the stage 7 time trial at Worb. Martin easily distanced Tom Dumoulin by 22 seconds and World Champion on the road Rui Costa by 28 seconds, with Martin's crono bete noir Fabian Cancellara fourth at 0.41.

The performance left Dumoulin of Giant-Shimano the lone rider within a minute of the Panzerwagen overall, a mere 28 seconds back, as the race heads toward two difficult mountain-top finishes. Martin's lead should disappear quickly once the road turns sharply up. But again, the question remains, who will take over?

Costa of Lampre was the prime mover on the day. He now sits third overall, at 1.05, with Dumoulin also unlikely to stay in contact on the climbs (though it can't be ruled out), and the Portuguese may be in line for his third and most satisfying Tour de Suisse win yet. Costa has had an all-too-quiet turn as World Champion, and winning one of the world's greatest stage races would do much to change that. Matti Frank of BMC remains hot on his heels, another nine seconds in arrears, with Jon Izagirre (1.33) and Thibault Pinot (1.48) not far off the pace. The day's biggest loser was Bauke Mollema of the Belkin Team. Capping a terrible week when the team's sponsor bugged off for 2015, Mollema dropped well over a minute to his rivals and has to do something special this weekend to pull off the win.

Stage:

  1. Tony Martin, OPQS
  2. Tom Dumoulin, Giant-Shimano, at 0.22
  3. Rui Costa, Lampre, at 0.28
GC:
  1. Martin
  2. Dumoulin, at 0.28
  3. Costa, at 1.05