Thu, Mar 19, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Quintana wins Tirreno-Adriatico despite struggle

AP, SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO, Italy

Nairo Quintana won the Tirreno-Adriatico despite finishing well off the pace in the seventh and final stage, an individual time trial, on Tuesday.

Quintana, who finished runner-up last year, was 51st, 55 seconds behind stage winner Fabian Cancellara on the 10km course, but it was enough to take overall victory, 18 seconds ahead of Bauke Mollema.

Rigoberto Uran was third overall, 31 seconds behind Quintana, who wore the leader’s blue jersey since claiming it in a snowy uphill finish on Saturday.

Cancellara, who lost out to Adriano Malori by one second in the opening time trial, won the final stage by four seconds over Malori. Vasil Kiryienka finished third, nine seconds behind the Swiss cyclist.

The win is a boost for Cancellara ahead of Sunday’s Milan-San Remo — the first classic of the season.

“I think I made up for the mistakes from the prologue,” Cancellara said. “I just gave it all in. I’m really happy and satisfied, not just with the race, but also with the bigger picture and the big races in the next weekends.”

Quintana’s victory was never really in doubt, going into the final day with a 39-second advantage over Mollema and a 48-second lead over Uran.

However, the race for the other two podium places was still alive — Thibaut Pinot just missed out, finishing four seconds behind Uran.

Defending Tirreno champion Alberto Contador was fifth, 39 seconds behind Quintana.

It was the 50th edition of the race across central Italy.

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