Nairo Quintana wins Tirreno-Adriatico 2017
Geraint Thomas climbs to fifth overall as Rohan Dennis wins stage seven time trial
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) sealed Tirreno-Adriatico success for the second time in three years as Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) won the final stage time trial, and Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas climbed into the top five overall.
Quintana went into the final stage defending a 50-second overall lead over Thibaut Pinot, but the Colombian’s victory never looked in doubt despite Australian time trial champion Dennis climbing to second overall with his effort.
Dennis stopped the clock in 11’18", enough to overhaul Jos van Emden’s long-standing benchmark by three seconds, while Quintana finished in 11’59".
Dennis’ effort was all the more remarkable considering the wind had changed for the final few riders, with a headwind in the final straight making things tough for the men fighting for their GC positions.
Thomas was one beneficiary of that; the Welshman’s solid effort of 11’34" – eight seconds slower than compatriot Steve Cummings (Dimension Data), but marginally faster than British time trial champion Alex Dowsett (Movistar) – saw him leapfrog Dutch time trial champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) to claim fifth overall.
After a disastrous team time trial for Team Sky, there was no repeat of the wheel issues which beset the team that day, and with a stage win, second place on the queen stage and now fifth overall in the bag for Thomas, completed a brilliant recovery.
Ireland’s Ryan Mullen (Cannondale-Drapac) had earlier set one of the most significant early benchmarks in 11’35", but Van Emden booked himself a long stay in the hot seat when he stopped the clock in 11’21".
Cummings looked like he might challenge that but the Brit lost further seconds on the uphill latter half of the course, coming in five seconds slower.
Michael Hepburn was another to go close, the Australian just milliseconds behind, but Van Emden was only unseated when Dennis – the third-last rider on the course – shaved three seconds off his time.
— BORA – hansgrohe (@BORAhansgrohe) March 14, 2017
The stage otherwise passed with little incident, but for a heart-stopping moment for Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) as he nearly collided with a pedestrian.
Approaching a zebra crossing, Sagan had to veer off course and onto a bike path as a pedestrian tried to run across the road with their dog.
Sagan survived, however, and heads into Saturday’s Milan-San Remo in good form after two stage wins, while Quintana issued a big marker as he gears up for a Giro-Tour double assault later this year.
Tirreno-Adriatico 2017: stage seven (ITT) – result
1) Rohan Dennis (AUS) – BMC Racing – 11.18
2) Jos van Emden (NED) – LottoNL-Jumbo +3"
3) Michael Hepburn (AUS) – Orica-Scott – ST
4) Steve Cummings (GBR) – Dimension Data +8"
5) Primoz Roglic (SVN) – LottoNL-Jumbo +11"
6) Maciej Bodnar (POL) – Bora-hansgrohe +15"
7) Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) – Dimension Data – ST
8) Geraint Thomas (GBR) – Team Sky +16"
9) Ryan Mullen (IRL) – Cannondale-Drapac +17"
10) Alex Dowsett (GBR) – Movistar – ST
1) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar – 25.56.27hrs
2) Rohan Dennis (AUS) – BMC Racing +25"
3) Thibaut Pinot (FRA) – FDJ +36"
4) Primoz Roglic (SVN) – LottoNL-Jumbo +45"
5) Geraint Thomas (GBR) – Team Sky +58"
6) Tom Dumoulin (NED) – Team Sunweb +1.01
7) Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP) – Movistar +1.18
8) Rigoberto Uran (COL) – Cannondale-Drapac +1.36
9) Bauke Mollema (NED) – Trek-Segafredo +1.38
10) Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +1.59