In one of the closest-fought races in the history of Tirreno-Adriatico, Peter Sagan took second in the overall GC, just one second off the top spot of the podium. In an incredible performance on the Individual Time Trial on the last day, Peter completed the 10.05km course in 11:32, with Maciej Bodnar putting in an amazing performance to come 6th on the stage, with a time of 11:25. Peter takes the Maglia Rossa for his performance in the points classification.
With Tirreno-Adriatico’s road race ending on stage 6 and only seconds separating the top three, there was everything still to race for on stage 7, where the outcome of the Race of the Two Seas was to be decided on the individual time trial. The course was a straight ‘out and back’ route over a flat 10.05km course in the picturesque seaside town of San Benedetto del Tronto on Italy’s east coast.
From the start, Peter Sagan went on the attack. Setting a time of 11:32 it was then a matter of waiting to see how his rivals in the GC performed. As the seconds ticked on, it was clear that Peter had set a strong time. It was all down to the last rider – but as BMC’s Van Avermaet crossed the line, only a second separated Peter and first place.
“You can always say if, if, if… but today it didn’t happen for us in the end.” Sport Director, Lars Michaelsen, said after the race. “Peter was really battling to recover from his efforts in the previous day’s and still did, in my opinion, a great time trial. Maciej Bodnar did a strong ride to finish in the top ten and we used his time splits for Peter.”
Looking back on the week, Peter was happy to finish on the podium. “If you look at the result, it’s easy to be disappointed, but I’m not – if it weren’t for the cancelled stage I wouldn’t be here fighting for the win. I’ve done my best to be here and in this position in the GC, and I did my best today as well. I’ve won stages here in the past, so it’s a pity I didn’t make it this year, however, I have big goals ahead in the season, so if you look at it from that point of view overall it went very well.”
“Overall I’m happy with what we’ve achieved in Tirreno-Adriatico.” Peter continued. “The team did brilliant work and my teammates worked hard, but my form is very good and I think now that we can safely tackle the rest of the season.”
Lars was supportive of the team and the way they had raced together. “The positive note for me and the team is that it was a good result overall, together with the other stages, and we have to keep going on winning. We came here to win a stage and came close on several occasions, which is frustrating.”
Looking forward, Lars was pleased with the team’s form for the Classics. “The guys have got a lot of race kilometres in the legs ahead of an important part of the season, the Classics, and this will be very important and they can use this to keep getting stronger. Yesterday’s ride in particular they demonstrated what a strong team we are and we can carry that thought forward to keep pushing and as motivation.”
With Milan-San Remo the next race on Peter’s calendar, he felt it was too soon to talk about his chances, having only just completed Tirreno-Adriatico. “San Remo is the next main goal but it’s still five days away, so at this stage it’s too early to talk about it. There are many favourites and we shall see on Saturday what will happen. I feel I’m in good form, but even if you’re in perfect form you’re not guaranteed to have the best result.”
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