Denis “Go-Go” Galimzyanov of Katusha won the final stage of the Tour of Smoggy Beijing. He came flying through the polluted air to beat Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank-SunGard) and Elia Viviani (Liquigas). He wasn’t even wearing a mask!
The 118 kilometer stage was a kind of low and highlight show for the Chinese government. The low being the start at Tianamen Square, scene of the famous massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators and the high being the Bird’s Nest, made famous during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Denis wasn’t really thinking about those historical notes when he won the first ProTour race and the green jersey. “Of course I am very, very happy because this is my first victory on the pro tour,” said Galimzyanov . “I am happy about the jersey of course, but I am happier about the stage. For me it is much more important.”
Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) made some history of his own in becoming the first winner of the Tour of Beijing. He won the opening time trial and never looked back.
“It’s been a fantastic year and now a fantastic week for me,” said Martin. “It’s really nice to have a victory and makes me so proud to win the first race here. But we had a very strong team that was pulling the whole time and I have to thank them for the win. The whole team was magnificent.” Martin almost sound like Cavendish what with all the thank-yous.
Martin won the race by 17 seconds over David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo), with Sky’s Christopher Froome in third at 26 seconds. And so we draw the curtain on the Tour of Beijing and head back to cleaner air somewhere else.