Martin retains time-trial title

Germany's Tony Martin successfully defended his men's time-trial title at the UCI Road World Championships in Holland on Wednesday.

Martin recorded a narrow triumph over Taylor Phinney of the United States.

Martin, the Olympic silver medallist behind Bradley Wiggins, completed the 45.7-kilometre route in 58 minutes 38.76 seconds to claim Germany's second time-trial success in Limburg after Judith Arndt won the elite women's event on Tuesday.

Phinney finished just over five seconds behind in 58mins 44.13secs, with bronze going to Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus in 1:00:23.75.

Alex Dowsett, Great Britain's sole representative in the absence of Wiggins and Chris Froome, finished eighth in 1:01:04.82, with Spain's Alberto Contador ninth.

Contador, the Vuelta a Espana champion, was the penultimate rider to take to the course, two minutes ahead of Martin, but was overtaken by the German after around two thirds of the route.

Phinney was four seconds faster than Martin at the first time check, but the German moved 13 seconds ahead at the second.

At the 38.4km time-check, Martin held an eight-second advantage over Phinney, meaning the finishing ascent of the Cauberg would determine who would emerge victorious.

Phinney had Sweden's Fredrik Kessiakoff, who started two minutes ahead of him, in his sights in the latter stages, giving him a target to chase.

The American was fourth in the road race and time-trial at the London Olympics but ensured he would take a medal by finishing provisionally first with just Martin and Contador, who was out of contention, behind him on the road.

The question was the colour of the medal but Martin powered over the Cauberg and secured victory to retain the rainbow jersey he won in Copenhagen 12 months ago.