3.13.2012

Tirreno Adriatico final fireworks

Whop! whop! - concede me this dubious exclaimation - last two days of race have been breathtaking and I already was breathless by myself. I'm exhausted dudes, like after a 300 km stage. BUT enthustiast. Yesterday in Offida we had 1. an amazing Purito victory in perfect Purito's style: a direct attack on the last climb without watching behinde 2. a fearless sprint by the consolidate couple Nibali-Sagan, both so strong that they can just defeat eachother. Kreuziger and Horner managed to resist, not to improve.
Today TT is my regret: I couldn't watch it! Cancellara 1st! Bennati 2nd! Cameron Meyer 3th! Whop! whop! that's great! Mayer made the top ten in the GC and is behinde Wout Poels for the White Jersey for just 8 seconds. Horner's gap from Nibali is 14: the Shark adds Tirreno Adriatico to his palmares but the Freak - like Hayden Roulston called him -showed a solid shape. Roman Kreuziger was a strong contender too. In the second row, splendid Nocentini, Pirazzi and Pozzovivo Colnago and AG2R La Mondiale did often the - first part of the - race and the second one won the team classification. RSNT leads now the UCI world teams classification :)
Here you have their press release.
Pic by RSNT
Fabian Cancellara posted up the best time in the final time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico to earn the second win of the season for RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK. Teammate Chris Horner defended the race lead, but slipped to second on the classification behind winner Vincenzo Nibali. Throw in Daniele Bennati’s second place finish today and you have the makings of a very successful week in Italy.
“It was a tough one,” said Fabian Cancellara, “especially when I had in mind my best time from last year. But the conditions today were totally different.  We had a tailwind to go out but a full headwind to come back.  I see that I did three seconds slower than last year’s ride but I still think I did a great ride. I also wanted to provide good split times for Chris to compare. I didn’t feel under pressure to win this. I know where my form is now after 30 hours on the bike in this race and I have a lot of confidence.”
Starting in the first one-third of riders, Cancellara challenged his last year’s winning time by posting the time to beat at 10:36.   Teammate Daniele Bennati challenged with the second best time at 10:48, a time that held up to the finish, making for a one-two punch on the final stage in San Benedetto Del Tronto. Third place on the stage went to Cameron Meyer of GreenEdge. 
Roman Kreuziger (Astana) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) were five- and six-seconds behind Chris Horner on the GC, and started on the 9.3km, pan flat course just in front of him.  Nibali looked strong, finishing with a time of 10:56 but Kreuziger faded in the headwind return. While Horner looked steady on the bike, his time was not quite good enough to hold off a strong Nibali, and the Italian took the overall victory by 14 seconds ahead of Chris. Horner became the first American rider to podium in Tirreno Adriatico. 
“I have no mixed feelings about this,” said a happy Chris Horner after the stage. “It’s been a fantastic week. The team did a great TTT to set me up to take the jersey and I defended it for a few days.  Tactically I think we did a brilliant race.  This is not a course that is ideal for me, but to stay on the podium is good for me.  I was concerned that I might not stay in the top three.  The only feeling I have about this is one of feeling great – great about the way the team worked this week and great about the way my legs feel.  After what happened in the Tour last year and to be out of racing for so long, for me there was always a little bit of doubt how I would feel to come back.  I held the jersey for three days in my first race in eight months. I’m coming out of this very satisfied.  My form is fantastic and I look forward to the next stage races.”  Chris’ suffered a horrific race ending/season ending crash in last summer’s Tour de France, keeping him off the bike until his comeback in Italy.
Team director Luca Guercilena explained the team’s objectives coming to the race: “Tirreno-Adriatico is a big, historical race which has a lot of different aspects to it. We came here to get a good result with Chris Horner, to perform at best in the TTT and at the individual TT with Fabian, and to try our luck in the sprints with Bennati. We weren't successful in the sprints, but we managed the other two goals really well with Horner and Cancellara. 
“The expectation was to be competitive and to build up form for the upcoming Classics, starting with Milan-Sanremo on Saturday. With the exception of Horner, the group here is more or less the line-up that is going to help Fabian in his spring goals. Therefore, it is very important that they ride together a lot and build on teamwork that will be useful in the Classics. The guys all come out of Tirreno-Adriatico in good shape and are ready for Milan-Sanremo on Saturday. Tirreno-Adriatico is in our eyes a better preparation for Sanremo than Paris-Nice because the stages here are longer. We had a stage of 230 km and one of 260 km, which comes close to the length of la Primavera,” Guercilena concluded.
Looking toward Saturday, Cancellara added, “I’ll have a few days rest now and then Milan-Sanremo on Saturday.  I feel calm about the race.  It’s a race where no one can predict what’s going to happen.  I’ve won before in 2008 but I think that was a surprise and now everyone watches me so it isn’t so easy.”
Cameron Meyer's  first reaction on Twitter: "3rd in the final time trial and moved into 10th overall. Very happy. Just missed the white jersey. Congrats to Wouter Poels. Strong ride."

TT results
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan 0:10:36
2 Daniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:12
3 Cameron Meyer (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:00:16
4 Svein Tuft (Can) GreenEdge Cycling Team
5 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Team Saxo Bank
6 Hayden Roulston (NZl) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:17
7 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:18
8 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:00:20
9 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
10 Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:21
11 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:23
12 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
13 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone 0:00:24
14 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
15 Mads Christensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank
16 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:00:25
17 Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre - ISD
18 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
19 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:00:26
20 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale

GC
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 29:38:08
2 Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:14
3 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana Pro Team 0:00:26
4 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:53
5 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:01:00
6 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 0:01:16
7 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD
8 Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:01:25
9 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:31
10 Cameron Meyer (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:01:33
11 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:01:41

Mountain
 1 Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox
 Youth
1 Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 29:39:33
2 Cameron Meyer (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:00:08
3 Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:01:36
4 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:03:15
5 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:03:44
6 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:15:37
7 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Acqua & Sapone 0:15:54
8 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:18:21
9 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:19:49
10 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:23:32
  
Team
 1 AG2R La Mondiale

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