Tony Martin ends career with world title

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Tony Martin has ended his glittering career in style with a fifth career world road championship title as Germany took the mixed team time trial gold in Flanders.

Martin teamed up with Max Walscheid and Nikias Arndt on the first leg for the men on Wednesday, handing over in second place to the women's trio of Olympic track team pursuit champions Lisa Klein, Lisa Brennauer and Mieke Kroeger, who clinched victory.

The Germans clocked 50 minutes 49 seconds on the 44.5 kilometre course from Knokke-Heist to Bruges, with the Netherlands, including women's world champion Ellen van Dijk and Olympic champion Annemiek van Vleuten, taking silver 12 seconds back.

Italy, who with men's champion Fabio Ganna had led after the men's section of the race, pipped Switzerland for bronze,

""Its the best finish, isn't it?" Martin said. "It's a dream for me. Now it's time to celebrate.

"Leaving cycling with a gold medal is a dream for me and I'm really thankful to the team, especially the women who made a difference today," added the German, who announced last week that he'd be hanging up his bike after a 15-year professional career following the championships.

The 36-year-old won four world individual time trial titles in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016, as well as five Tour de France stages and an Olympic silver.

Martin had one year remaining on his contract with Jumbo-Visma but decided after this year's Tour de France that he would not continue. He crashed out of the three-week event in July during stage 11, when he had to be taken away in an ambulance.

Martin had also crashed in the Tour's opening stage after a careless spectator brandished a large cardboard sign while leaning into his path.

Nicknamed "Der Panzerwagen" for his enormous power, Martin also won the one-week Paris-Nice in 2011 and is a 10-time German time trial champion.

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