Ready for the mountain challenge
14 March 2014

Tirreno-Adriático (st. 3)

Nairo Quintana to start hard two days in Tirreno-Adriatico at 38" from Kwiatkowski (OPQ), new GC leader as Sagan (CAN) prevails in Arezzo's uphill

The plains in Tuscany will leave room to the Appennines from tomorrow in the 2014 Tirreno-Adriatico, the maglia azzurra changing hands today after a technical, narrow, cobbled finish in Arezzo -after 210km from Cascina- on Friday. Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQ) has taken the relay from team-mate Mark Cavendish after claiming 2nd into a demanding sprint dominated by Peter Sagan (CAN). Nairo Quintana, always well protected by his Movistar Team mates, came across the finish 14 seconds later within the first echelon of favourites, and now ranks 38″ behind the Polish rider on a GC that will turn very much upside down in the two ‘marathons’ coming up this weekend.

Saturday (09.10 CET) will bring the longest day of racing so far this season. 244 kilometers starting at Indicatore will feature the climbs of Forca di Cerro to Forca Capistrello before the decisive Cittareale Selvarotonda, over 10km around 7% average. In turn, Sunday’s stage five will finish atop the ‘wall’ of Guardiagrele, with its infamous 30% gradient completing a hellish day that will also include the Passo Lanciano. The Colombian will have his big chance to open gaps there, before the ‘Due Mari’ finishes with a 9km individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto on Tuesday.