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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

There is no greater harm than that of time wasted. - Michelangelo

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How about looking back at the 2016 Tour de France?

Tirreno-Adriatico final reports

Here's what final winner Nairo Quintana's Movistar team had to say:

Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) had no troubles covering 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

Quintana successfuly defended his lead to win the 2017 Tirreno-Adriatico

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."

LottoNL-Jumbo sent me this news:

Jos van Emden finished second in the final time trial of Tirreno-Adriatico today in San Benedetto del Tronto. Winner Rohan Dennis came home three seconds faster than the Dutch TT-specialist. Primoz Roglic retained his fourth place in the classification behind race winner Colombian Nairo Quintana.

"When you're so close, you just want to win. I'm very disappointed," Van Emden said. He also lost the Eneco Tour time trial last year to Dennis. "It's the second time that I’ve missed a WorldTour victory because Dennis is faster."

Just after 14:00 local time, Jos van Emden started his time trial of 10 kilometres around San Benedetto del Tronto’s seaside. After 4.4 kilometres, Van Emden time was 4'47". Dennis was a second faster at that check. Team-mate Roglic recorded the same time as Van Emden.

On the line, the clock stopped at 11'21" and Van Emden sat in the hot seat for around an hour. It was exciting until the last riders. With only three riders to go, Dennis ended Van Emden’s dream of a WorldTour win.

Rohan Dennis

Rohan Dennis riding to his stage 7 victory

"I didn’t constantly look at the TV screen. I really don’t like it. When you see all those times, you’re just nervous. I've never been that nervous. It really sucks."

On the line, Primoz Roglic recorded 11'29", the fifth best time. In the overall, the Slovenian finished fourth, 45 seconds behind winner Quintana.

"I'm happy with my performance, but also the performance of the team. We've done a good job to finish fourth. We can be proud of it. "

"I looked forward to this stage. Every day I have to work hard for the GC, but today, I was focussed on the stage win. My main goal in such a time trial is to race ten kilometres as hard as I can. I did it today."

Sports Director Addy Engels added, "Van Emden rode a great time trial, he did nothing wrong. It is very honest but sour. That’s my mood in this moment. We have to be realistic. It's a good result to be fourth with Primoz Roglic. The gap behind him was more exciting than the gap to the front. We didn’t expect him to move up the overall, but you never know. He rode a very good time trial."

And here's Lotto-Soudal's final Tirreno-Adriatico report:

Just like last year, the Tirreno-Adriatico finished with an individual time trial. Tim Wellens got an extra day rest ahead of Milan-Sanremo.  Lotto Soudal wasn't in the running for today's stage win. Jos Van Emden occupied the hot seat for a long time as he had covered the time trial of ten kilometres in 11’21”, but it was Rohan Dennis who won the stage in 11’18”. Michael Hepburn finished third. Nairo Quintana wins the GC for the second time in his career . Rohan Dennis is second on the GC, Thibaut Pinot third.

The plan of sports director Bart Leysen going into Tirreno-Adriatico was to attack. And that’s exactly what the Lotto Soudal riders did. Tim Wellens and Tiesj Benoot attacked a lot during the stages and made the race hard.  The big goal was a stage win. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. Jürgen Roelandts and Jens Debusschere were close to a stage win with a third a fifth place but just came up short.

Sports director Bart Leysen: “The big goal was a stage win. That didn’t happen so I’m a little bit disappointed. But putting the results aside the Tirreno was an ideal preparation for Milan-San Remo and the rest of the Classic season. We started well with a nice seventh place in the team time trial.  Jens Debusschere was supposed to sprint in the third stage but he crashed close to the finish and couldn’t get to the front of the bunch anymore. Jürgen Roelandts sprinted to a well-deserved third place but it’s frustrating that due to unforeseen circumstances we couldn’t defend our chances.”

“The fourth day was a big mountain stage and here we also had to deal with bad luck. Tim Wellens crashed at five kilometres from the bottom of the last climb. He joined the peloton just in time but because he gave his all to return to the front, he couldn’t follow the pace in the bunch. Wellens didn’t start today because he deserved an extra rest day. Tim has been riding really strong since Strade-Bianche so with our focus on Milan-San Remo this was the right decision. On the penultimate day Jens sprinted to a fifth place, for a second we hoped for more, but the competition was also really strong. Everyone can see that Peter Sagan is in top condition and we shall have to keep our eye on him Saturday. In the end this was a perfect preparation on Milan-Sanremo.”

Bardiani-CSF headed to Milano-San Remo

This update came from the team:

Bardiani-CSF announces today its selection for 108th Milano-Sanremo, the first Monument of the season and eighth UCI World Tour event, scheduled on Saturday, March 18. With the Tirreno-Adriatico experience almost over, team directors have resolved all the doubts.

Line up - Led by Stefano Zanatta and Roberto Reverberi, the eight men squad includes Simone Andreetta, Enrico Barbin, Nicola Boem, Mirco Maestri, Lorenzo Rota, Paolo Simion, Simone Velasco and Luca Wackermann.

Quote - “We have a clear target: taking the spotlight racing with the combative spirit showed at Tirreno” said Zanatta. “Milano-Sanremo is a very prestigious race and we have to honor it doing more than our best. It’s a unique showcase for our young riders and for our sport project. Our selection includes, of course, the riders having the best condition at the moment. I’m sure everyone will be super motivated to shine and leaving an evident mark on the race”.

Facts - Bardiani-CSF will have one debutant at Classicissima, Velasco, while Boem is the most expert with four participations. In 2016 edition Maestri shines being part of the breakaway caught by the peloton on Cipressa. In its palmares, the #GreenTeam has three top placements, all achieved by Colbrelli - 9th in 2016, 6th in 2014 and 12th in 2013. Average age of the team is 24 years old, Velasco the youngest (1995) and Boem the “oldest” (1989).

Quentin Jauregui to ride Milano-San Remo

Ag2r sent me this:

Jauregui said, "Milan-San Remo was not part of my program. When it was announced that I was replacing Matteo Montaguti, I was both happy and impressed. Milan-San Remo is a monument, seven hours saddle with champions contesting the final.

I am happy to discover this race. I had lightened my training program after the Strade Bianche (March 4). I returned to work this week, including a six-hour ride Tuesday to be ready to support Jan Bakelants. My condition is good.

I raced in the front at the Strade Bianche, a fabulous race, with minor placing at the finish (12th). I will be at the start of the Tour of the Basque Country to work for Romain Bardet."

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