This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.
Tony Martin showed that he has recovered from injuries suffered earlier in the Tour de France, winning the stage 11 time trial. The reigning World time trial champion crossed the finish line at the world-famous Mount-Saint-Michel in a time of 36:29. Second on the 33km course was yellow jersey Chris Froome (Sky), a mere 12 seconds down, with Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) a surprising third at 1:01.
Chris Froome (Sky) not only easily maintained his overall lead but increased it. He now leads Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in second place by 3:25 and Bauke Mollema in third at 3:37.
The time trial had a dramatic ending, as Froome, the last rider to take the course, broke Martin's times at both intermediate time checks. The German looked on nervously, but Froome lost over 14 seconds on the closing 11km of the course.
"I had a terrible last 30 minutes," Martin said. "I didn't expect him to come so close. I'm happy he lost some seconds in the finale. It doesn't matter if you win by one second or one minute but it's great to win for me," Martin said.
"For sure the stage suits me better than him but we saw he has incredible power on the climbs, too."
Martin finished the stage in obvious pain, the wounds on his body from that stage 1 crash seeping through the white shorts of his world champion's kit.
"I think I was ok today but it takes time to recovery. I spent an hour an day changing my bandages and had pain at night, so it was hard to recover."
Chris Froome defended his yellow jersey well, gaining two minutes or more on all his rivals
The stage was marred by an early incident, when a bystander threw a cup of urine on Omega Pharma-QuickStep sprinter Mark Cavendish. His team confirmed it, while the Manxman, perhaps wisely, made no comment.
Cadel Evans (BMC) had to finally bid adieu to his hopes of a high place in the overall, as he lost two and a half minutes. Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Leopard) was in the same position, as he put in his usual time trial performance, not evening finishing in the top 100, some 4:44 down.
Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) kept his losses to just over two minutes to Froome, setting up a tight battle for the podium. He stands in fourth, 17 seconds behind Mollema, with his teammate Roman Kreuziger three seconds further behind in fifth, and Laurens ten Dam (Belkin) in sixth at 4:10.
Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) put in a strong ride to take over the lead in the young rider classification. He was fifth on the stage at 1:51 from Martin, and now leads Movistar's Nairo Quintana by 34 seconds.
The wind played a role on the day's happenings. It changed directions as the riders went around the course, and picked up as the afternoon went on.
Martin covered the course with an average speed of 54.271 km/h. It was surprisingly only his second Tour stage win, as he won the time trial in the penultimate stage of the 2011 Tour. In 2012 he punctured in both the prologue and stage 9 time trial, before abandoning the race a few days later with an injury.