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Martin Extends Tour de Suisse Lead

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AFP / Yuzuru Sunada

Germany’s Tony Martin won Friday’s seventh stage time-trial on Friday to extend his overall race lead in the Tour of Switzerland. The Omega Pharma rider, the triple world time-trial champion, finished 22 seconds ahead of Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin after the 24.5km stage at Worb. Portugal’s two-time defending champion Rui Costa was third fastest, 28 seconds behind Martin. It was the German’s second stage win after winning Saturday’s opening time-trial. He extended his overall lead to 28 seconds over Dumoulin while Costa slipped to 1:05 adrift heading into the final two mountain stages that feature summit finishes.

“I should have gained another minute,” said the 29-year-old who now faces a stiff challenge to hang on to his lead by the end of Sunday’s racing.”

Home favorite and former world champion Fabian Cancellara took fourth place at 41sec while 2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans clocked the 11th fastest time at 1:16. Evans lies 15th overall and within touching distance of the leaders at 2:07 shy of Martin. Colombia’s ace climber Sergio Henao, who finished ninth on the 2012 Giro d’Italia, crashed in training before the stage and suffered a reportedly serious knee injury. The Sky rider was expected to play a supporting role in the defense of British rider Chris Froome’s Tour de France title, when the race begins in Leeds, England, on July 5, but that could now be in doubt. Former world champion Tom Boonen of Belgium, who is still suffering from a hip injury suffered in a crash last week, also failed to make the starting line.

Saturday’s eighth and penultimate stage is a 219km ride from Delemont to
Verbier, which finishes at the Valais ski resort.

Tour de Suisse Stage 7
1. Tony Martin (GER/OPQ) 31:37
2. Tom Dumoulin (NED/GIA) @ :22s
3. Rui Costa (POR/LAM) @ :28
4. Fabian Cancellara (SWI/TRE) @ :41
5. Mathias Frank (SWI/IAM) @ :45
6. Lawson Craddock (USA/GIA) @ :59
7. Stef Clement (NED/BKN) @ 1:02
8. Jon Izagirre (ESP/MOV) @ 1:06
9. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) @ 1:13
10. Mattia Cattaneo (ITA/LAM) @ s.t.

General Classification After Stage 7
1. Tony Martin (GER/OPQ) 23:42:43
2. Tom Dumoulin (NED/GIA) @ :28
3. Rui Costa (POR/LAM) 1:05
4. Mathias Frank (SWI/IAM) @ 1:14
5. Jon Izagirre (ESP/MOV) @ 1:33
6. Peter Sagan (SVK/CAN) @ 1:36
7. Lawson Craddock (USA/GIA) @ 1:42
8. Mattia Cattaneo (ITA/LAM) @ s.t.
9. Davide Formolo (ITA/CAN) @ 1:47
10. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) @ 1:48