Van Avermaet was the last rider to hit the course and stopped the clock on the 10km ITT with one second to spare over runner-up Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and 23 seconds on Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quick-Step) who rounded out the podium. Fabian Cancellara claimed victory in the time trial.
“One second is not a lot but it was enough to win the race. I knew it would be close and I’m not the best time trialist but I hoped to beat Sagan. I’m really happy that the one second difference is on my side. I never dreamed about winning Tirreno-Adriatico but I did it,” Van Avermaet said.
Van Avermaet is the first Belgian rider to win Tirreno-Adriatico since 1977.
“It’s amazing to win this race and it’s really nice to have this on my palmares. I’m feeling really confident going into Milan-San Remo this Saturday. The Classics are still my main goal but I’m going in with a few nice victories in my pocket. It’s nice to now go to the first big Classic a bit more relaxed.”
BMC Racing Team Sports Director Max Sciandri said the team had its sights set on overall victory from the start.
“We went in with Tejay van Garderen as leader and Greg was really our guy for the stage wins. We had a brilliant week with the TTT victory on the first day and then Greg’s stage win yesterday. It was really unfortunate for Tejay who lost time yesterday in a crash that caused him to need a wheel change. For the team to still walk away with the overall win is amazing,” Sciandri said.
“Even before he was in contention for the GC, Greg was really solid. Sometimes it pays off for the strong riders like Greg. The confidence, the morale, the motivation is all there now for Milan-San Remo. Tirreno-Adriatico now goes into his palmares as a great race to win.”
BMC Racing Team finish Tirreno-Adriatico with two stage wins, the stage 1 team time trial and Van Avermaet’s stage 6 victory, as well his overall race win.
Hear audio lines from Greg Van Avermaet, Taylor Phinney and Max Sciandri here
Results from the seventh and final stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico cycling race, a 10.1km time-trial at San Benedetto del Tronto:
1. Fabian Cancellara (SUI/TRE) 11min 08sec (average: 54.4 km/h),
2. Johan Le Bon (FRA/FDJ) at 0:13sec,
3. Tony Martin (GER/ETI) 0:15,
4. Alex Dowsett(ENG/MOV) 0:15,
5. Tom Leezer (NED/LNL) 0:16,
6. Maciej Bodnar (POL/TIN) 0:17,
7. Alexandre Geniez (FRA/FDJ) 0:18,
8. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/DDT) 0:19,
9. Vasili Kiryienka (BLR/SKY) 0:20,
10. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) 0:22
1. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) 20hr 42min 22sec,
2. Peter Sagan (SVK/TIN) at 0:01sec,
3. Bob Jungels (LUX/ETI) 0:23,
4. Sébastien Reichenbach (SUI/FDJ) 0:24,
5. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) 0:24,
6. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 0:29,
7. Zdenek Stybar (CZE/ETI) 0:33,
8. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/SKY) 0:39,
9. Bauke Mollema (NED/TRE) 0:45,
10. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/TIN) 0:48