French time trial champion Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) goes all out on the streets of Liege.
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Chavanel surprises with third as Martin suffers mechanical
Much had been expected of the dual between the German and eventual winner, Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) in the build up to the 6.4km race against the clock, but it was the time of Martin’s teammate Sylvain Chavanel which restored some pride for the high-flying Belgian squad.
Martin looked to be on course for the yellow jersey when a flat tire saw him dramatically back off the pace.
“I had a flat tire after the first split time,” Martin said. “I could feel that I was slipping away on the last roundabout and thought ‘OK, maybe it’s just a little bit slippery,’ but then I realized I had a flat in the back and had to change the bike. I think it was a quick change, but it kills the morale and the rhythm. I’m really disappointed.
“I still have a good time, and I think would have a made a really good time without the flat tire,” he continued. “I wanted to fight for the yellow. I’m disappointed, but I thought ‘just keep on fighting, the long time trials are coming.’ I can tell I have very good condition and now I have to fight now for the next time trial.”
Despite the misfortune, Martin still posted a time that would fall 23 seconds off the winning pace of Cancellara.
French chrono champion Chavanel, celebrating his 33rd birthday, was 113th rider out of the start gate in Liege with over an hour to wait to see if his time of
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