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Cancellara got his revenge from his defeat in the prologue as he beat Malori by 4 seconds in the final time trial; Quintana lost a lot of time but still managed to win the race overall

Photo: Sirotti

ADRIANO MALORI

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BAUKE MOLLEMA

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FABIAN CANCELLARA

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MOVISTAR TEAM

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NAIRO QUINTANA

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RIGOBERTO URAN

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TIRRENO - ADRIATICO

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TREK - SEGAFREDO

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VASIL KIRYENKA

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17.03.2015 @ 16:54 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Fabian Cancellara (Trek) got his revenge after he had been beaten into second in the Tirreno-Adriatico prologue by Adriano Malori (Movistar) when he won today’s final time trial of the Italian race. The Swiss covered the 10km course in a time of 11.23 which was four seconds faster than the Italian while Nairo Quintana (Movistar) could only manage 55th and lost a bit of time to his rivals but still managed to win the race overall ahead of Bauke Mollema (Trek) and Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-QuickStep).

 

One week ago Fabian Cancellara was left hugely frustrated after the Tirreno-Adriatico prologue. The Swiss had gone into the stage as the overwhelming favourite but having made several mistakes on the short course, he missed out on the win by a single second.

 

The rider who beat him was Adriano Malori who had beaten the Swiss in the final time trial of the race in San Benedetto del Tronto in 2014. Hence, Cancellara was in a determined mood when he rolled down the ramp for the final stage where he targeted a revenge and a third win in the stage that he won in 2011 and 2012.

 

As expected, the stage developed into a battle between the two specialists but this time the Swiss came out on top. At the intermediate check, the Trek rider was 1 second behind his rival but when they turned into the tailwind, he dropped the hammer.

 

Malori had stopped the clock in 11.27 and looked like the winner of the stage but Cancellara made a great comeback. With a time of 11.23, the Swiss was four seconds faster and continued his domination of this stage as he has now won this stage in three out of five editions.

 

Cancellara and Malori gauged their effort better than some of their rivals as both Vasil Kiryienka (Sky) and Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) were faster at the intermediate check. However, both of them lost ground in the second half, with the Belarusian ending the stage in third and the Spaniard taking fourth.

 

While the specialists battled it out for the stage win, the GC riders were involved in a big fight for the top positions on GC. Nairo Quintana went into the stage with a  comfortable 39-second lead over Bauke Mollema and it seemed that only disaster could prevent him from winning the race overall.

 

That prediction turned out to be correct but the Colombian actually lost a lot of ground in the short test. Mollema had a great ride to finish 22nd while Quintana could only manage 55th and so the Dutchman shaved 21 seconds off his deficit.

 

Mollema faced a tough test as he was only 9 seconds ahead of Rigoberto Uran but the Colombian was on a bad day and actually lost 4 seconds to the Trek leader, ending the race in third overall. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) confirmed his great progress in time trials as he only lost 2 seconds to Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) who was the best rider of the riders in the top 5 with a 16th place, and so defended his fourth place.

 

The big winner in the GC battle was Stephen Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka) who started the race in 9th. An 8th place finish on the stage, however, was enough to catapult him into 6th and he only missed out on 5th by a single second.

 

Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) won points classification while Carlos Quintero (Colombia) took the mountains jersey. Quintana was the best young rider and his Movistar team topped the teams classification.

 

A flat course

For the fifth year in a row, Tirreno-Adriatico finished with a short, flat time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto. This year’s course had a length of 10km and was completely non-technical, meaning that it suited the really powerful specialist.

 

The first rider down the ramp on this cold, cloudy day along the Adriatic coast was Francisco Ventoso (Movistar) who set an early mark of 13.06. He was quickly beaten by Jens Mouris (Orica-GreenEDGE) who stopped the clock in 12.37 but it was the fourth rider, Damien Gaudien (Ag2r), who took the early lead with a time of 12.12.

 

Best time for Hepburn

With a time of 12.21, Mathey Hayman (Orica-GreenEDGE) was the first to finish within 10 seconds of Gaudin but it was Jesse Sergent (Trek) who was expected to be the first threat. The Kiwi lived up to expectations by stopping the clock in 11.55.

 

Sergent never got the chance to sit in the hot seat as he had barely finished his ride when Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEDGE) powered across the line in a time of 11.39. Christopher Juul Jensen (Tinkoff-Saxo) had a very good ride with 11.53 to move into second but he was quickly beaten by Markel Irizar (Trek) who was 3 seconds faster.

 

Bodnar takes the lead

Maciej Bodnar (Tinkoff-Saxo) had now hit the course and he confirmed his great condition when he set a new best time, just fractions of a second faster than Hepburn’s. Moments later Matthias Brändle (IAM) had a disappointing ride with 12.05.

 

Yaroslav Popovych (Trek) and Manuel Quinziato (BMC) both briefly slotted into the top 10 before Daniel Oss (BMC) set a new 6th best time of 11.56. He was beaten by 6 seconds though when Stijn Devolder (Trek) showed signs of form ahead of the classics.

 

Malori lives up to expectations

Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEDGE) was the next rider to make it into the top 10 with a  time of 12.06 and Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) posted the same time just moments later. However, all eyes now were on Malori who was the big favourite.

 

Everything seemed to be working perfectly for the Italian who was fastest at the intermediate check and stopped the clock in 11.27. However, he had barely finished his ride before he learnt about some very fast split times by some of his big rivals.

 

Cancellara gets his revenge

At the intermediate check, Kiryienka had gone one second faster than the Italian while Cancellara was just one second slower. Ramunas Navardauskas (Cannondale) was also on a good day as he was only one second further behind in fourth.

 

The latter lost ground in the second part and his time of 11.40 was only good enough for fourth. Kiryienka had no luck either as his time of 11.32 put him into second. However, Cancellara had timed his effort better and he stopped the clock in 11.23 to take the lead.

 

Solid ride by Nibali

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) slotted into 7th with a time of 11.50 but he was beaten by Andrey Amador (Movistar) who went 2 seconds faster. Moments later, Sagan crossed the line after a leisurely ride that ultimately cost him the points jersey.

 

Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) proved that he is ready for the classics when he stopped the clock in 11.49 to move into 8th and Kanstantsin Siutsou and Leopold König (both Sky) both had decent rides to go below the 12-minute mark. Tour de France champions Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) tested his TT legs and set a good time of 11.55.

 

Castroviejo gets close

However, most eyes were on Castroviejo who had set the fastest split time. However, he also lost ground in the second half and his time of 11.35 was only good enough for fourth.

 

The GC battle had now started and it was Wout Poels (Sky) who set the first good time among the top 10 candidates. 12.01 was enough for the Dutchman to move from 10th to 7th in the overall standings.

 

Cummings wins the GC battle

Cummings powered across the line less than one minute later to move into 8th overall before the big loser turned out to be Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) who slipped out of the top 10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r) and Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE) both had respectable rides to defend their spots in the top 10.

 

Contador made up for his poor prologue when he managed to hold off Cummings by a single second, stopping the clock in 11.54. Pinot had a great ride as he was just 2 seconds slower before Uran turned out to be the big disappointment as he could only manage 12.01. Mollema did well to defend second with 11.57 before Quintana rolled across the line in 12.18 to win the race overall.

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