"Panzerwagen" Tony Martin reigns supreme

The German time trial ace Tony Martin managed a third successive overall victory in the Tour of Belgium. Martin, who competes for the Belgian Omega Pharma-QuickStep cycling team, seized the power in Friday's time trial and stood strong in the weekend. It was a German day in the Ardennes, as the day's prize was claimed by Paul Martens.

Tony Martin was quick to thank his team mates after Sunday's finish in Oreye. "It was very tough, but the team did an incredible job. I thank my team mates for sacrificing their own chances. " 

"It was one attack after another, but we always had an answer. My red leader's jersey was never threatened", Martin told reporters about how attacks by the Belgian cycling ace Philippe Gilbert and Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel were neutralised.

The German showed he is capable of more than just time trials. Martin is nicknamed "Der Panzerwagen" or "The Tank" in the peloton because he is unstoppable once he is gaining speed.

The final stage included the arduous climb of the renowned Mur de Huy, the traditional finish of the Flèche Wallonne. Germany's Paul Martens won the stage. In the final overall standings, Martin holds an advantage of 16 seconds over Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, and 26 over Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel.

Bright skies for Tom Boonen

The Baloise Belgium Tour included 5 stages in Flanders and Wallonia. Belgium's cycling hero Tom Boonen won the first two stages with finish in Buggenhout (East Flanders) and Knokke-Heist (West Flanders). Martin won Friday's 17 km time trial in Diksmuide (West Flanders), while the German sprint ace Andre Greipel was the fastest man yesterday in Lacs de l'Eau d'Heure.