Sylvain Chavanel, with a powerful performance at the 2012 Tour de France Prologue, finished 3rd (+07") at the 6.4km stage on Saturday to Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Nissan) and Bradley Wiggins (Sky ProCycling).
"I did a great race," Chavanel said. "I wanted to make a good performance. From the beginning of the season I'm doing good in the time trials. I knew that the specialists could have beat me, but I'm super happy in any case. I have no regrets. I really did my best to honour my brand new French champion jersey. It's a third place in a prologue of the tour against the best time trialists of the world. I'm disappointed for the flat tire of Tony. Today he was really strong and he could have fought with Cancellara until the end. The Tour is just getting started. I have time to try to attack and do something good. Today is my birthday and even without a victory, we are going to celebrate!"
World Time Trial Champion Tony Martin was well on his way to a great performance, tying Chavanel for 1st at the time he passed the intermediate checkpoint with a time of 3'35". However, a mechanical forced Martin to change bikes. Despite the mechanical, Martin finished just 23" back.
"I had a flat tire after the first split time," Martin said. "I could feel that I was slipping away on the last roundabout and thought 'OK, maybe it's just a little bit slippery,' but then I realized I had a flat in the back and had to change the bike. I think it was a quick change, but it kills the morale and the rhythm. I'm really disappointed. I still have a good time, and I think would have a made a really good time without the flat tire. I wanted to fight for the Yellow. I'm disappointed, but I thought 'just keep on fighting, the long time trials are coming.' I can tell I have very good condition and now I have to fight now for the next time trial."
Martin is determined to support his teammates, and come back strong in the next days.
"Now my goal is to keep the morale, stay in front, show the strengths of me and the whole team, and try again in the long time trial," Martin said.