Colombian from Movistar Team -strongest squad in Italy- claims 'Race of the Two Seas', repeats success from 2015 in Tirreno-Adriatico after holding off specialists in final San Benedetto TT for 15th UCI stagerace triumph
Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) had no troubles to cover the 10km individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto and seal his second overall triumph in Tirreno-Adriatico on Tuesday, two years after claiming his first 'trident' in 2015 with a similar procedure as for the last week of racing: leaving his rivals behind into the Terminillo climb and holding them off into the TT showdown.
Australian Rohan Dennis (BMC, 2nd), winner of today's final stage, and Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (FDJ, 3rd) joined the 'Cóndor de Boyacá' over the podium, as the Movistar Team secured their title as best squad in the 'Race of the Two Seas' following excellent work from Castroviejo -7th overall-, Dowsett -10th in the TT-, Moreno, Amador, Oliveira, Sütterlin and Bennati.
Quintana's win, his 35th as a pro and the 15th he obtains at UCI-sanctioned stageraces, brightens up even more what already was a solid start to the Movistar Team's 2017 season (9 wins so far), the Blues having claimed four multi-day events this year -Valencia, Andalucía, Alentejo- and showing again that they become stronger as races get tougher over the course of several days of competition.
Nairo Quintana: "I’m really happy with this victory. Tirreno-Adriatico is a really beautiful race, one that I really like, and conquering it again makes me proud, for all the effort I put here and especially my Movistar Team, which supported me all the way to this time trial. I knew I had to go strong today, I couldn’t let the specialists put too much of a gap over me. Yet, I was calm and confident that I could secure the victory with the advantage I held. With all rivals we had to face and such a tough course, it’s a really prestigious victory to take. It’s a tribute to all those supporting me and my team-mates, for the help they offered me all week.
"Taking part in races like this one is always important, and not only because the win that’s at stake. In the end, it’s also a Giro d’Italia-organised event, and that makes sure you’ll find finishes very much similar to those you’ll have to tackle in the Giro. For us, getting to know the roads, reinforce our bond as a team, get used to the pace we’ll find in May – it’s all about getting focused on that first GT goal of our season.
"I leave this race with a better feeling that I had when I came here. Currently I’m not at 100% fitness, I’m still lacking some form before heading into the Giro. Some important weeks are coming up, with some training at home, enjoying my family and friends and getting to my best condition. I don’t feel like all those victories in the early season mean I’m reaching the top of my career’s physical condition, either. I’ve been growing it and obviously one can end up thinking there must be a limit to his progression, but I’m hopeful that the best times are still to come."