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"It’s been a bit of an unlucky week for the team - first with (Chris) Froomey’s back, having to pull out of this race with Richie and then Geraint (Thomas) crashing out of Paris-Nice. On the bright side it is nice to see Ni...

Photo: Sirotti

MIKEL NIEVE

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS

TIRRENO - ADRIATICO

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS
17.03.2014 @ 10:21 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With illness forcing Richie Porte out of the race, Team Sky had suddenly lost their hopes of overall victory in Tirreno-Adriatico but the team still played a prominent role in yesterday's mountain stage. New signing Mikel Nieve took over the captaincy role and rode an excellent race to move himself into sixth on GC.

 

Mikel Nieve elevated himself to sixth place overall following an energy-sapping fifth stage at Tirreno-Adriatico.
 

The Spaniard turned in one of his best performances to date in a Team Sky jersey as he formed part of an elite five-man chase group behind a rampant Alberto Contador.

 

Despite the attention centring on the steep slopes of the final climb into Guardiagrele, the race detonated much earlier on the more substantial Passo Lanciano.

 

The climb saw Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) take the stage and the race by the scruff of the neck after attacking from over 30 kilometres out to come home the winner - zig-zagging his way up the final wall to open out a two minute and eight second race lead in the process.

 

Nieve crossed the line as part of a larger chasing pack after a glut of contenders regrouped on the final run-in. 2:50 behind Contador, Nieve retains his foothold in a relatively close top 10 battle.

 

The stage began without Richie Porte after the Team Sky rider fell ill overnight and was forced to abandon the race out of a promising fourth position.

 

“Obviously it wasn’t the best news to wake up to," said Sports Director Dario Cioni following the stage.

 

"It’s been a bit of an unlucky week for the team – first with (Chris) Froomey’s back, having to pull out of this race with Richie and then Geraint (Thomas) crashing out of Paris-Nice. On the bright side it is nice to see Nieve able to step up. He put in a really good ride.

 

“It would have been interesting if we’d had the full line-up here. I think we would have been in a really good position. But Mikel did a good job today. It was unlucky that the other group came back just before the steep part of the final climb but he is right up there in sixth overall.

 

“We’ll do everything we can to make sure he keeps the position and see if we can move forwards.”

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