Copenhagen 2011: Tony Martin storms to World Championship, Wiggins gets silver
German a class above as Cancellara fails to claim fifth rainbow jersey, with late slip-up costing him second place
Germany's Tony Martin, twice a bronze medallist in the past two years behind Fabian Cancellara in the World Time Trial Championship, this afternoon outclassed the Swiss rider and the rest of a strong field on a thrilling afternoon's racing to win the rainbow jersey in a time of 53:43:85. A mistake by Cancellara as he overcooked a bend towards the end of the course and had to brake to avoid crashing into the barriers let Britain's Bradley Wiggins through to take silver, 1 minute 15 seconds down on the German.
Martin, who came to Copenhagen on the back of a season in which he had dominated the time trials he'd ridden in, with wins in Grenoble in both the Tour de France and the earlier Criterium du Dauphine, as well as Salamanca in the Vuelta a Espana at the start of this month, among others.
The penultimate man to start on the two lap, 46.4 kilometre course today, the 26-year-old German, nicknamed Der Panzerwagen, looked a class apart from the moment he rolled off the ramp, catching the man who had started a minute before him, last year's silver medallist David Millar, a little more than a third of the way through the parcours.
That Millar would himself finish a very creditable seventh only served to underline Martin's dominance, as the German emulated the success 24 hours earlier of his compatriot - and fellow member of the Highroad Sports set-up - Judith Arndt in clinching the time trial title that had previously eluded them.
Wiggins - who amid the confusion of the finish learnt that he had secured silver from his wife Cath after phoning her to find out what was going on - had started steadily on the flat course.
While he was only fifth fastest at the second split and fourth fastest at halfway, unlike some of his rivals, he was pacing himself perfectly, with his split time at the midpoint of the race of 27:30:43 exactly half his final time of 54:59:68.
The Team Sky man, third on the overall podium at the Vuelta earlier this month, appeared to be heading for a similar finish here as Cancellara went through the final intermediate time check nearly a minute down on Martin, but 17 seconds ahead of Wiggins.
However, while he managed to keep his bike upright after misjudging that corner, the mistake saw the colour of the four-time world champion's medal this year change from silver to bronze.
Earlier, there had been drama as French rider Laszlo Bodrogi approached the end of his first lap, several Danish police officers wrestling to the ground a rather burly man who had somehow made it onto the course.
Then, as the Belarus rider Vasili Kiryienka rolled down the starting ramp, the first man on the course from the final group of 16 riders that contained all the favourites, spots of rain were starting to come down.
A downpour had been predicted for late afternoon, whch would have made a lottery of the event and favoured the weaker riders who had gone off earlier. Happily, though, the rain held off, with the the thunder provided by Martin instead as he powered his way round the course and into the rainbow jersey.