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Malori powered over the 6.8km course in a time of 7.58 to beat his teammate Dowsett by 9 seconds and Navarduaskas by a massive 15 seconds; the Italian also takes the overall lead

Photo: Sirotti

ADRIANO MALORI

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ALEX DOWSETT

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CIRCUIT CYCLISTE SARTHE

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MOVISTAR TEAM

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RAMUNAS NAVARDAUSKAS

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08.04.2015 @ 18:52 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Adriano Malori lived up to his status as the overwhelming favourite when he crushed the opposition in the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe time trial. Covering the short 6.8km course in 7.58, he distanced his Movistar teammate Alex Dowsett by a massive 9 seconds to take both the stage win and the overall lead while defending champion Ramunas Navardauskas (Cannondale-Garmin) completed the podium.

 

After his many excellent performances in the early part of the year, Adriano Malori went into the 6.8km time trial in the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe as the overwhelming favourite. The Italian was in a determined mood when he headed down the ramp and he fully lived up to expectations as he turned out to be in a class of his own.

 

Last year his teammate had won the stage with a time of 8.05 but Malori did what most had thought to be impossible: to cover the 6.8km distance in less than 8 minutes. The Italian stopped the clock in an impressive 7.58 and despite facing a long wait in the hot seat, there was never any real risk that he would miss out on the win.

 

His teammate Dowsett had hoped to repeat last year’s win as he continues to build form for his Hour Record attempt. He showed good form by going just 2 seconds slower than last year and he made it a great day for Movistar as he was a very comfortable second.

 

Defending champion Ramunas Navardauskas was determined to set himself up for the title defence and he did well by stopping the clock in 8.13 to take third. He narrowly beat one of his biggest rivals Tiago Machado (Katusha) who had to settle for fourth while an in-form Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo) who had hoped to win the stage, had to settle for fifth.

 

Anthony Roux (FDJ) had taken the lead by a surprise win in the morning stage and being a time trial specialist, he was expected to defend himself well in the afternoon stage. However, the Frenchman had made it clear that he is not in his best condition and when he crossed the line, he had lost 29 seconds to Malori.

 

As a consequence, Malori also takes the overall lead and he goes into tomorrow’s queen stage with his 9-second advantage over his teammate Dowsett. However, he faces a very tough day in the saddle as the 190.3km stage end with 5 laps of a tough finishing circuit that ends on the short, steep Cote de la Boucherie climb.

 

A flat course

After the surprise outcome of the morning stage, the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe continued with a 6.8km time trial in Angers. The short course was completely flat but included several technical sections.

 

The first rider down the ramp was John Ebsen (Androni) and he took the start under a beautiful sunny sky. However, a pretty strong wind was expected to make things tough for the riders.

 

Moser takes the lead

Ebsen set the fastest time but he was quickly beaten by Loic Chetout (Cofidis) who stopped the clock in 9.15. However, he didn’t lead the race for long as TT specialist Moreno Moser (Cannondale-Garmin) lived up to expectations by posting a time of 8.41.

 

Dominique Rollin (Cofidis) slotted into second with 8.55 while Preben van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen) moved into third. Moments later Edwin Avila (Colombia) created a small surprise when he set the second best time.

 

Europcar dominance

The surprise was even bigger when Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar) powered around the course in 8.37 to take the lead but he was quickly relegated to second by his teammate Thomas Voeckler who went one second faster. Alexandre Pichot continued the good Europcar showing with a time of 8.43 and their dominance was complete when Pierre Rolland stopped the clock in 8.34 to take the lead.

 

Jan Ghyselinck (Wanty) slotted into fourth with 8.44 before Simone Stortoni (Androni) made it into the top 10. However, it was Johann van Zyl (MTN-Qhubeka) who took the attention when he took the lead with a time of 8.29.

 

Malori sets the best time

Vladimir Isaychev (Katusha) slotted into second with 8.31 while Benoit Vaugrenard (FDJ) had to settle for seventh. Moments later, Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) proved that he is more than a sprinter when his time of 8.23 allowed him to take a comfortable lead.

 

Benoit Jarrier (Bretagne) slotted into fourth but he didn’t get much attention as big favourite Malori was now on the course. He fully lived up to expectations by crushing the opposition and stopping the clock in 7.58.

 

Herrada moves into second

Jonathan Hivert (Bretagne) made it into the top 10 with 8.39 before his teammate Pierrick Fedrigo took fourth with 8.31. Arnaud Gerard (Bretagne) took 8th before Anthony Delaplace continued the good Bretagne performance by taking fourth.

 

Movistar continued their dominance when Jesus Herrada posted a time of 8.18 to move into second. Arthur Vichot (FDJ) had a good ride with 8.28 that was good enough for fourth.

 

Dowsett continues Movistar dominance

Stephen Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka) was slightly off the pace and could only manage the third best time before Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo) briefly broke the Movistar dominance by moving into second with 8.18. His teammate Michael Valgren made it into fifth but he was quickly out of the spotlight as Dowsett stopped the clock in 8.07 to move into second.

 

Tiago Machado (Katusha) made himself an overall contender when he set the third best time but he was knocked into fourth by Navarduaskas who stopped the clock in 8.13. It was now left to the morning escapees Quentin Jauregui (Ag2r) and Roux to try to prevent Malori from winning the stage but none of them got close, with Roux losing 29 seconds to the Italian.

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