Milan, March 14, 2017 (AFP) – Colombian Nairo Quintana secured his second Tirreno-Adriatico title on Tuesday after defending his overnight lead — and then targeted Tour de France glory.
The Movistar team rider, who last won Italy’s “Race of the Two Seas” 2015, is also expected to challenge for his second Giro d’Italia in May and underlined his credentials by racing to victory on Saturday’s hilly fourth stage to take command of the race.
“It was more difficult to win two years ago when I had more rivals who were more experienced than I was. Now I’m stronger and smarter and I had a better team this time around,” said Quintana, the diminutive climbing specialist.
“I expected to finish the week of racing in better shape than I had at the start and that’s the case. I can pursue my preparation for my goals — the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France — as I’m happy with my condition.”
The seventh and final stage was won by the Australian Rohan Dennis, who in the end came closest to upsetting Quintana’s victory plans.
Dennis, of the BMC team, hit an average speed of just over 53 kph to complete a flat 10km time-trial around San Benedetto del Tronto in a winning time of 11min 18sec.
Dutchman Jan Van Emden (Team Lotto) was second at 3sec while Michael Hepburn (Orica), also from Australia, completed the stage podium after finishing with the same deficit.
After two stages in which he defended his lead, Quintana took a 50sec lead over Frenchman Thibaut Pinot into the race decider on Tuesday.
Pinot, however, suffered on the time-trial bike to finish out of contention.
Dennis finished 25sec behind in second place. Pinot was third overall at 0:36.
Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, who won two stages on the race, came close to disaster after swerving into a bike lane to avoid a woman and her dog casually walking across a zebra crossing.
Results from the seventh and final stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico, a 10km time trial around San Benedetto del Tronto on Tuesday:
1. Rohan Dennis (AUS/BMC) 11min 18sec, 2. Jos Van Emden (NED/LNL) at 3sec, 3. Michael Hepburn (AUS/ORI) same time, 4. Stephen Cummings (GBR/DDT) 0:08, 5.
Primoz Roglic (SLO/LNL) 0:11, 6. Maciej Bodnar (POL/BOA) 0:15, 7. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/DDT) s.t., 8. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 0:16, 9. Ryan Mullen
(IRL/CAN) 0:17, 10. Alex Dowsett (GBR/MOV) s.t.
1. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 25hr 56min 27sec, 2. Rohan Dennis (AUS/BMC) at 25sec, 3. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) 0:36, 4. Primoz Roglic (SLO/LNL) 0:45, 5.
Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 0:58, 6. Tom Dumoulin (NED/GIA) 1:01, 7. Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP/MOV) 1:18, 8. Rigoberto Uran (COL/CAN) 1:36, 9. Bauke Mollema
(NED/TRE) 1:38, 10. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/ALM) 1:59.