Tony Martin was literally showered with congratulations and thanks when he left.

Thanks from colleagues from all over the world for a great man in his craft.

For someone who was not only able to pedal with tremendous force for a long time, but also powerfully raised his voice.

Who (as one of the few in the peloton) clearly named and denounced grievances in cycling.

Never destructive, but always solution-oriented.

The fact that hardly anything is happening for the rider when it comes to safety has noticeably worn down him, who has been decorated with titles and trophies, in his last years on the bike.

Martin, the four-time world time trial champion, who was once indestructible, is relegated.

But not because his passion for cycling would have died out, but because of the health risk it poses to the riders.

A bad sign for the industry.

The 36-year-old is a key witness for this development in cycling.

Images of Martin crouching bleeding on the asphalt fill the archive, his career is riddled with violent accidents and injuries.

Martin has left a lot of skin - five of his 13 appearances in the Tour de France he had to break off prematurely due to injuries.

Not because he had a particularly breakneck driving style, on the contrary.

The introverted ascetic

But because he was often thrown to the ground in the falling peloton.

Martin's late work with his legs is characterized by his self-sacrificing helper services for his Jumbo-Visma team.

The late work with the voice is aimed at those responsible and also colleagues to find ways that the gladiators can drive safely and not constantly attack each other (in the event of mass falls).

Martin wasn't a showman on the bike, more of a tinkerer, an introverted ascetic who didn't make a fuss about himself.

The voice of reason of a highly recognized and respected sportsman will be missing.

Especially since nobody in this country is ready to inherit him in this role.

Tony Martin was socialized in his sport when it was equated with doping offenses in the post-Ullrich era in this country.

It took a long breath to withstand this and to become one of the front men of the so-called "new cycling".

It is true that one cannot know whether he has really resisted all temptations during his successful career.

But Martin always seemed believable in his fight.

And at times almost unbeatable in the fight against the clock.

Martin shaped a decade in the time trial.

Almost ten years after his first individual world championship title, he is retiring from cycling by winning the mixed relay in Flanders, his eighth world championship title.

The iconic image of last year's Tour de France will also remain.

When dozens of drivers slipped on the wet roads near Nice.

Martin, the trained police master, brought the peloton to their senses with a gesture.