Contador wins Tirreno-Adriatico in grand style
Two mountain stage wins following an impressive solo effort and brilliant collective team work secure Tinkoff-Saxo 1st and 3rd place on the final podium in Tirreno-Adriatico.
The last stage of Tirreno-Adriatico featured a short but very fast 9,2 kilometer time trial in the seaside city of San Benedetto del Tronto. Before the stage Tinkoff-Saxo held both 1st and 3rd place with Alberto Contador and Roman Kreuziger respectively. But with 2:08 from Contador down to 2nd place, Nairo Quintana of Movistar, the overall win seemed certain if accidents were avoided.
And they were. Alberto Contador rode securely through the course and arrived at the finish line 3 seconds slower than the Colombian, who showed what a strong competitor he had been throughout the race. This meant that the Spanish captain could receive the iconic trident as a symbol of overall victory in Tirreno-Adriatico. Philippe Maduit, DS at Tinkoff-Saxo, was obviously proud of the team effort.
The boys rode with great self-belief and confidence throughout the entire race. I think they knew that they were a part of a very strong squad. It was incredible to witness the two victories in the mountains, where the team worked superbly together and Alberto’s solo ride crowned the whole experience.
Double podium for Tinkoff-Saxo.
Before the 7th stage’s time trial, Roman Kreuziger was only 7 seconds behind Nairo Quintana and his second place. The ambition was to try to gain enough seconds to overtake the Colombian in the GC. But an impressive effort by Quintana, who finished two seconds faster than Kreuziger, meant that Tinkoff-Saxo had to settle with the 3rd place.
- We tried to see if we could climb to second place but Nairo was very strong today. But it really doesn’t matter. We are tremendously happy with the results and the same is Roman, who rode the whole race for his captain and still finished on the podium. That’s an amazing achievement.
A memorable solo ride
Not very often do we witness the great solo rides that defined the sport of cycling decades ago. Now because of increased competition and tactical importance, mountain stages are often decided in the last few kilometers of the final climb. But 5th stage of this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico broke with the norm. After a strong effort by his teammates, Alberto Contador launched an attack with 35 kilometers to go, dropped his competitors, caught the breakaway and rode them out of his wheel on the final steep climb. For Philippe Mauduit, the way the victory was secured makes it more special to take home the overall victory.
It’s just special to see this kind of riding. It makes the race more exciting and it shows that it can be done if the team is supportive and the riders are determined enough. And of course, you have to have the legs to do it.
Contador will race again in Catalunya
Next stage race for Tinkoff-Saxo will be Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, where Alberto Contador, once again will be in the line-up. This time though, the ambitions are a bit lower.
- Well, Alberto came to Tirreno in great shape. Now he will get some rest and then he’ll race again in Catalunya. But we don’t want to put too much pressure on him, and we also focus on big goals later in the season. But of course, if he’s good and don’t have to strain himself too much, a rider like Alberto is always among the favorites in a mountainous stage race, finishes Philippe Mauduit.