Wiggins's speed rival aims to dominate
Reigning world time-trial champion Tony Martin has said he aims to dominate the speed discipline this season and challenge Britain's Olympic champion and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins.
The 27-year-old Martin won time-trial gold at both the 2011 and 2012 world cycling championships and is aiming for a hat-trick of titles when this year's event is held in Florence, Italy, in September.
The German, who claimed silver at the London Olympics behind time-trial champion Wiggins, starts his first endurance race of the season on Thursday when the Tour of the Algarve begins (February 14-17).
He finished second overall in last year's Algarve race behind Australia's Richie Porte, with Wiggins third.
"I want to try to win every major time trial I race this year," Martin told VeloNews.
"I know I will not win them all. The goal is to be competitive in every time trial and try to win.
"Wiggins was very strong last year, (Switzerland's Fabian) Cancellara is always good in the time trial, and (American Taylor) Phinney has always made it hard for me.
"He gets better every year. But this pressure motivates me, I want to be the best."
The four-day race culminates on Sunday with a 35-km time trial in Tavira in southern Portugal, which Wiggins won last year with Martin second, and will provide the German with a good idea of how his rivals are shaping up.
"I'm ready for the race and really want to ride a good season after last year when I had so much bad luck," said the German Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider, who endured a catalogue of calamities in 2012.
Martin was knocked unconscious after hitting a car in training last April, then broke his wrist after a crash on the first stage of the Tour de France in July before later retiring from the race.