German Gold produces fairytale finish for Tony Martin at World Championships

‘It’s the best finish, isn’t it?’ ­says Tony Martin. Aside from second-place Netherlands, you’d probably be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t enjoy the mixed team time trial relay result at the UCI World Championships. A perfect ending for a fitting goodbye to one of cycling’s very best champions, Tony Martin certainly went out with a bang.

The mixed time trial relay first made its debut at the world championships in 2019, and it looks like it’s here to stay after replacing the trade team time trial.

But it was the latest instalment that tugged on the heartstrings of many worldwide. The German men set off first, producing a time of 24:38 with Martin, Nikias Arndt and Max Walscheid.

Then the German women stepped up and showed out. Lisa Brennauer, Lisa Klein and Mieke Kroeger’s performance resulted in a time of 50:49 for Germany.

No-one could beat that. Five years after his last individual world champion bands, Tony Martin won his fifth rainbow jersey surrounded by his national teammates.

It was a beautiful conclusion to a career that has brought the cycling world such entertainment and joy as the ‘Panzerwagen’ consistently helped elevate the sport through his dominating performances.

36-year-old Martin won five stages of the Tour de France throughout his 14-year career.

On stage four of the 2015 Tour, he broke away on the cobbles to claim victory and tearfully celebrated his first donning of a yellow jersey.

He’d narrowly missed achieving such a feat on the previous three stages, making it all the more sweeter.

He cited safety concerns in his decision to retire.