Tirreno-Adriatico (final stage)
Malori beats Cancellara, Wiggins and Martin for his 2nd win in Blue -Movistar Team’s 10th in the 2014 season- as Quintana beats podium rivals in final ITT to claim second overall in Tirreno-Adriatico
Not even the most optimistic predictions could expect such an excellent result from Movistar Team in the final time trial of the 2014 Tirreno-Adriatico, a completely flat, 9km race in San Benedetto del Tronto, where two of their top riders would produce almost identical surprises. Adriano Malori claimed the day’s win after flying over the course (54kph average) to clock 10’13” a time that neither Cancellara (TFR) nor Martin (OPQ) nor Wiggins (SKY) -respectively fourth, third and second, with a great Alex Dowsett in 6th- could best.
Malori claims his second victory of the season, his 11th as pro cyclist and the Blue team’s 10th -with one month’s advance over their first three years in the pro scene-, whose Canyon Speedmax TT bikes already have led them to three triumphs in just two months of racing.
The other front of the day was the fight for the overall classification, with Nairo Quintana defending his 2nd place against Kreuziger (TCS) and Péraud (ALM). The Colombian not only held the charge of two theoretically better specialists, but clocked a time two seconds faster than the Czech and the Frenchman -even quicker than Alberto Contador (TCS), the overall winner- to stay onto the podium in 2nd, alongside the two Tinkoff riders. A great ride -20th in the day- that proves the progress in the speciality by the man from Boyacá.
Adriano Malori: “It’s the most beautiful victory in my entire life. Looking at the classification, it almost feels like a dream to win in front of the best specialists in the world. I can’t still believe myself. It’s a reward to the efforts made for so many years – I just hope to follow this path from now on. When I crossed the finish and saw the time, I compared it to other years and saw it was really good, but I didn’t think I could win until Tony Martin came through the line. Now I’ll be focusing on Milano-Sanremo and the first classics in Belgium before getting ready for the Giro. There, I hope to perform well in the Barolo TT, though the course will be pretty hard. I hope my condition will be better than it is right now. The Adriatic coast always brought me good luck, with my victories as an amateur, the maglia rosa in the Giro two years ago… I had dreamt of winning this TT for the last four years, had already taken 2nd last season and 3rd on two more occassions. I could take that grudge off at last. I dedicate this victory to everyone who really believed in me up to this point, my girlfriend, my friends and my family.“
Nairo Quintana: “I’m pretty satisfied with today’s performance. Not only due to this podium, but also because this was an important test for me, and it turned our well. The route didn’t suit me well, but I could defend myself. We’re working extensively on my TT skills, we went to the wind tunnel… and all those improvements are paying off. Still, we must keep training and progressing, though it’s true that this will give me confidence towards the next time trials. It was a very important day for the team, because we had worked hard throughout the week – thankfully, the reward came with Adriano’s victory. My preparations for the Giro are going well and that’s important, too. I’m getting used to the way of racing in Italy, the roads, how everything works here… it will be good for the upcoming races. Now I’m heading to the Volta a Catalunya, where I’ll be having better racing form. It will be a beautiful race, with some of the best taking part. I prefer to face such competition because it gives you a more exact idea on how you’re doing. After that, I will fly back to Colombia – I’ll only return for a stagerace before the Giro.”