Sagan denies Martin to win Tour of Poland
Sat, 06 Aug 18:09:00 2011
Peter Sagan won the Tour of Poland thanks to a superb sprint effort that saw him take second spot in the final stage in Krakow.
Liquigas rider Sagan had trailed Garmin-Cervelo's Martin going into Saturday's finale, but a strong finish gave him second place on the 128km final stage behind Skil-Shimano's Marcel Kittel.
The resulting time bonus gave the Slovak a five-second victory over Irish rider Martin, with Italy's Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil) finishing third in the final standings.
Sagan knew as soon as he had crossed the line that he had done enough, and popped a wheelie in celebration as he pedalled round to the winner's podium.
"I'm thrilled," said Sagan. "I have to thank the team, which was also extraordinary today. After the second place in the intermediate sprint I knew that I had to give it my all in the arrival as well.
"I put in everything I had and fortunately I managed to close out in second place. I knew that I could win or lose this race for only a matter of seconds. I gave it my all and this is the most wonderful victory in my career, because I built it day after day with stubborn obstinacy."
Martin was philosophical after his narrow defeat.
"Today there wasn't much I could do to win the race," he said. " It's too bad, but I proved that I'm the strongest on climbs in one of the races I love the most. Now I hope I can improve even more as I look forward to the Vuelta."
Tour of Poland: Last minute