Thu, Mar 14, 2013 - Page 18 News List

Vincenzo Nibali wins his second Tirreno-Adriatico

Reuters and AFP, SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO, Italy, and MADRID

Home rider Vincenzo Nibali won the Tirreno-Adriatico race for the second year running after finishing 12th in Tuesday’s seventh and final stage.

Britain’s Chris Froome and Alberto Contador of Spain, likely contenders for the Tour de France title later in the year, finished second and third respectively.

The last 9.2km stage, a flat ride, was won by world time-trial champion Tony Martin of Germany.

“This second Tirreno win is very important, not just because it is my first win of the 2013 season,” said Nibali, who was third behind winner Bradley Wiggins and second-placed Froome in last year’s Tour de France.

“It’s also important because of the riders I’ve managed to beat, like Contador and Froome,” the 28-year-old Astana rider said after winning one of the highest-quality Tirreno races for several years. “In the final time trial I had a good margin, so I didn’t want to take any risks on a few of the wet corners.”

After losing ground to Froome on Friday and Saturday, Nibali turned the tables in spectacular style during Monday’s rain-soaked short climbs and perilous descents at Port Sant’Elpidio.

“I had to make my move at exactly the right time yesterday,” the Italian said. “In the Tour de France last year, Sky laid down the law with a great team, but there weren’t any stages like yesterday’s or any hard, rainy days.”

Second behind Martin on the final dash along the windswept Adriatic coastline was Italy’s Adriano Malori. Andrey Amador of Costa Rica was third.

Meanwhile, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has reiterated its call for the blood bags confiscated from Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes to be handed over to them for inspection.

Fuentes is on trial in Madrid accused of endangering public health by performing blood transfusions on a number of high-profile cyclists.

However, very few of Fuentes’ clients have ever been named publicly and WADA is keen to find out which athletes were involved.

“The blood bags ought to be given to WADA or another competent national body involved in the case to work out their original destination,” a lawyer acting on WADA’s behalf said.

In a significant development, the RFEC also reduced their desired sentence for three of Fuentes’ four co-accused should they be found guilty.

The federation deem Fuentes’ sister Yolanda, Manolo Saiz and Vicente Belda to be less culpable than Fuentes and Jose Ignacio Labarta, and would like to see them receive a jail sentence of just a year and one day, rather than the two years asked for by other prosecutors.

However, WADA asked for a two-year jail term and a professional ban of eight years and three months for all those involved.

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