Tirreno-Adriatico 2013 – Race Report

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Tirreno-Adriatico attracted many big names for its 2013 edition, but eventually it was last year’s winner Vincenzo Nibali victorious once again, in Astana colors this time. Team Sky’s Tour De France GC hope Chris Froome finished the podium in second place whereas Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador finished third.

In the initial team time trial stage, it was Omega Pharma Quick-Step to cross the finish line fastest, putting Mark Cavendish into the overall lead. Australian sprinter Matthew Goss from Orica GreenEdge won the first sprint stage of the tour, and it was Cannodale’s Peter Sagan outsprinting Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel in the third stage.

In the queen stage of the race, the pelaton arrived to the mountains for a mountaintop finish in Prati di Tivo, which was goodbye to Maglia Azzura for Cavendish. Froome won the stage and shaked the general standings dramatically and thanks to the TTT performance of OMQ in the first stage, Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski stepped into the overall lead. Despite having only an overnight lead and losing time afterwards, Kwiatkowski still managed to finish the race in fourth place and on top of the young riders’ classification; pretty impressive for the 22-year-old Polish.

The fifth stage had Peter Sagan’s name written all over it, but he cracked on the drag of Pietragrossa with 6 kilometers to go before the finish line and Joaquim Rodriguez was then unrivaled in Chieti. it was Froome’s turn to wear the leader’s jersey this time.

The sixth stage, a transition stage in paper, proved once again how spectacular pro cycling can be. Peter Sagan won his second stage of the tour and Vincenzo Nibali advanced to the overall lead. Nibali now had 34 seconds lead over Chris Froome before the penultimate individual time trial, which he easily defended and won the Tirreno-Adriatico for the second year in a row.

Alberto Contador led the points classification, thanks to mostly his attacks for seconds modifications in the sprint gates; and some were positioned very elegantly indeed. Damiano Cunego of Lampre-Merida won the mountains classification with his breakaway performances in the fifth and sixth stages. Finally, congratulations to Movistar, they finished on top of the teams classification with four riders in the top 40.

Andy Schleck, meanwhile again failed to finish the tour. After Tour Down Under, Tour Mediterraneen and Strade Bianchi, his retirement in Stage 6 was his fourth quit this season. So far, he only managed to finish G.P. Camaiore, 5:30 behind winner Peter Sagan; not promising at all for the grand tours ahead.

General Classification

1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 28:08:17
2. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 23″
3. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 52″
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 53″
5. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha 54″
6. Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard 1′ 21″
7. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 2′ 03″
8. Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team 2′ 42″
9. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 3′ 19″
10. Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 3′ 35″

Points Classification

1. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 27 pts
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 26 pts
3. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 25 pts

Mountains Classification

1. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida 20 pts
2. Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team NetApp-Endura 13 pts
3. Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 10 pts

Young Rider Classification

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 28:09:10
2. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 16′ 34″
3. Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ 16′ 47″

Teams Classification

1. Movistar Team 83:57:42
2. Sky Procycling 2′ 30″
3. Katusha 15′ 40″

Tirreno-Adriatico 2013 Preview – Stage 6

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Stage 6 is a looping circuit around Porto Sant’Elpidio in the Fermo province on 11th March, Monday. There is only 1 categorized climb, which will be passed 3 times though it is a rolling circuit. We’re heading with this transition stage to tomorrow’s penultimate time-trial, and the fatigue of back to back mountain stages makes it very unlikely for the GC teams to chase a breakaway. Only SKY is expected to work with Maglia Azzurra on the shoulders of Chris Froome, though they’ll be more interested in keeping the GC as it is rather than winning the stage.

Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel are without a victory so far in Tirreno-Adriatico. They may both want the stage but OPQ may be more willing to keep podium candidate Michal Kwiatkowski away from trouble. Both Francesco Chicchi and John Degenkolb abandoned the race whereas Matthew Goss and Peter Sagan each won a stage so far. And I don’t think FDJ, AG2R, MTN-Qhubeka or Lampre-Merida has the strength to chase a break and then enter the sprint with a good positioning.

Everything favors some strong breakaway to succeed, a good rouleur with fresh legs can score a very prestigious win here.

Milan-San Remo 2013 Preview

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— UPDATE: Due to heavy snow on the Milano-Sanremo route, the riders will be transported by bus from kilometer 117 to kilometer 207 (Finale Ligure). The race will be re-started at 3.00. —

During Tirreno-Adriatico, we’ve seen even Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel are not invincible, Peter Sagan is in top notch form, same also true for Sylvain Chavanel, considering his GC run and stage win in Paris-Nice.

Edvald Boasson Hagen was ok in Tour of Qatar and Tour Down Under but we haven’t seen him race since then. Fabian Cancellara was not impressive at all so far, but still someone you shouldn’t ever ignore for a second. Last year’s winner Simon Gerrans, despite winning a stage in Tour Down Under, failed to finish Paris-Nice, did no start stage 5 due to breathing problems.

Alongside Cavendish and Greipel; Marcel Kittel and Matthew Goss looked strong, each winning a stage past week. If Milan-San Remo ends with a bunch sprint, expect lead out trains checking each other in the front and a frenzy gallop between these riders.

If it comes to a breakaway within the last 30 kilometers, Peter Sagan will definitely follow and can be unstoppable in the final meters. Neither Philippe Gilbert nor Tom Boonen looked strong enough to win with a solo escape. And even if Cancellara or Chavanel tries that, just remember Sagan in this year’s Tour of Oman 2nd stage; closing the 200 meter gap alone before the final kilometers against a 3-rider breakaway and then passing them for his first win of the season.

But the most possible scenario is a select group of maybe 30, 40 riders making it to the final 20 kms. And from that point, we’ll see everyone playing their cards open and a clash of tactics in the field where only both physically and mentally tough riders can react.

Milan-San Remo final 30 kms

Expect to see some attacks on the Cipressa and the front group getting thinner and thinner as early breakaways get swept. But the race is %95 of the time won or lost in Poggio. With his recent form, it is Peter Sagan‘s race to lose but we’ve witnessed SKY cracking him on the drag of Pietragrossa in Tirreno-Adriatico very recently. But  also saw him take his “revenge” by attacking with Nibali on the Muro di Sant’Elpidio just the day after.

It is the longest and one of the fastest single stage races and positioning is key more than ever.

Also check out pre-race interviews and TV Guide / live streaming options.

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Milan-San Remo 2013 – Riders’ List

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6 teams are invited with wildcards besides the 19 pro tour teams: Androni Giocattoli-VenezuelaBardiani Valvole – CSF Inox and Vini Fantini-Selle Italia from Italy, IAM Cycling from Switzerland, French Team Europcar and South Africa’s Mtn-Qhubeka.

Peter SaganMark CavendishAndre GreipelMarcel KittelMatthew Goss and Sylvain Chavanel are this year’s favorites. But Milan-San Remo is an endurance test rather than a regular sprint stage. Check out Race Preview for more detail and predictions.

The startlist of the 104th edition of Milan-San Remo
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Sagan Beats Cavendish and Greipel Under Heavy Rain

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This time it was the Slovak sensation Peter Sagan out-sprinting Andre Greipel and Mark Cavendish in the second and final sprint stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.

It was another rainy day, and the soggy conditions made it easy for Cesare Benedetti from NetApp Endura, Garikoitz Bravo of Euskaltel and Vini Fantini’s Francesco Failli to jump clear and break away. But eventually, they got caught with 21 km to go by Cannondale’s efforts. A couple of unsuccessful attempts brought us to a bunch sprint, and this time both Greipel and Cavendish were positioned pretty well before the sprint frenzy, but it was Peter Sagan accelerating past Greipel to hit the line first.

Mark Cavendish, with a last second move, clinched second place in the podium and kept his Maglia Azzurra, where Greipel finished third.

Stage 3 Results

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 5′ 15′ 12
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
3 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol
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Tirreno-Adriatico 2013 Preview – Stage 3

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Tirreno-Adriatico heads south on 8th March, Friday to the Central Apennines for Saturday’s and Sunday’s stages; from Indicatore to Narni Scalo. There is only one categorized climb in the middle of the stage but the final 70 kilometers is a rolling route and can favor some late breakaway groups. If no breakaway succeeds, the stage is tailor-made for Peter Sagan to win. It can be hard for pure sprinters to hang on to the group considering how hard Cannondale managed to raise the tempo on the second stage.

Stage profile is quite similar to last years Stage 3, which was won by Edvald Boasson Hagen out-sprinting Andre Greipel and Peter Sagan. This was one year ago, and Sagan already proved himself as a notorious winner. The stage is very similar to the upcoming monument Milan – San Remo, so expect it to be even more hectic than Stage 2.

Goss claims victory over Cavendish and Greipel in a frentic sprint

Tirreno Adriatico 2013

It was a glorious day for Australian team Orica-GreenEdge; Michael Albasini won the  4th stage of Paris-Nice and Matthew Goss was the first to cross the line in the frentic sprint of 2nd stage in Tirreno-Adriatico. Manuel Belletti from Ag2r La Mondiale came second, while Gerald Ciolek of  South African pro-continental team MTN Qhubeka came third.

“This is my first road race in Europe this season and I’ve won, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the season now. I know if I’m in good shape I can do a good Milan-San Remo next week. It’s definitely a goal for me”, told Goss. The general expectancy was a  duel between Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel but neither of them managed to get a spot in the podium. Peter Sagan opened the sprint with 500 meters to go, Greipel burned himself being forced to open the sprint earlier than desired and Cavendish could not even find an opening in the front.

“I was 30 riders back in the last kilometre but I still fought and had a chance with 300 meters to go, even less than that”, told Cavendish to the press. “I came to the right but the peloton swung on the right at the same moment. I just had to slam my brakes with 200 meters to go and so that was the end of the chance of winning. I feel we could have got a lot more out of that race than we actually did today, but we will try again tomorrow”. With the 2 seconds gain from the intermediate sprint, Cavendish still leads the GC and will keep wearing the “Maglia Azzurra”, Matthew Goss leads the points classification and will wear the red jersey tomorrow and Euskaltel-Euskadi’s Garikoitz Bravo from the breakaway group will wear the green mountains jersey.

Check out Tirreno-Adriatico jersey colors, they are quite different than what is considered the norm.

Stage Results

1. Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 5:48:41
2. Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
3. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
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Tirreno-Adriatico 2013 Preview – Stage 2

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The second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico starts on 7th March, Thursday from San Vincenzo, the stage town of the team-time-trial, from the west coast and heads inland to the east all the way to Indicatore. It is a pretty long stage with 232 km to go, but still nothing more than a bunch sprint should be expected. It will be the first clash of the season between Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel of Lotto Bellisol and considering they are both in form, it’ll be pretty hard for the other sprinters in the field to catch the two.

There are two categorized climbs early in the stage, so expect one of the riders from the breakaway to wear the mountains classification jersey, which will be “green” at the end of the day.

Check out jersey colors in Tirreno-Adriatico.

Tirreno-Adriatico 2013 – Riders’ List

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3 teams are invited as wildcard entries besides the 19 pro tour teams; Vini Fantini-Selle Italia from Italy, Team NetApp-Endura from Germany and MTN Qhubeka from South Africa.

There will be quite some interesting competition from the likes of Alberto Contador, Joaquim Rodriguez, Chris Froome and last year’s winner Vincenzo Nibali for the blue jersey. Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel, Peter Sagan, Fabian Cancellara, Taylor Phinney are amongst the several names that can win a stage or two in here.

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