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Cycling-Martin too strong for Wiggins this time


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By Julien Pretot

FLORENCE, Italy, Sept 25 (Reuters - German Tony Martin crushed his rivals including Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins to clinch a third consecutive time trial title at the cycling world championships on Wednesday.

Martin, the 2011 and 2012 world champion, clocked one hour 05.36 seconds over 57.9 km from Montecatini Terme.

Briton Wiggins took the silver medal, 46 seconds off the pace, with Swiss Fabian Cancellara finishing third two seconds further back in a carbon copy of the 2011 podium.

Martin, using an impressive 58 chainring while Wiggins used a 56, powered through the flat course in Tuscany at an average speed of 52.911 kph - a performance that would have earned sixth place in last Sunday's team time trial, which he won with his Omega Pharma-Quick Step outfit.

The German, who won a Tour de France individual time trial at the Mont Saint Michel this year, was less than a second behind Cancellara at the first check point.

Martin, a silver medallist behind Wiggins at the London Olympics, was then 14 seconds ahead of Cancellara at the second check point and 29 ahead of the Swiss, a four-times world champion in the discipline, at the third.

Wiggins, who rode solely on power output and declined to be informed of the intermediate times, finished strongly to deny Cancellara a silver medal. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; editing by Ken Ferris)

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