Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 5: Alberto Contador wins again, storms into race lead

Tinkoff-Saxo man attacks from a long way out, overnight leader Michal Kwiatkowski cracks

by Simon_MacMichael   March 16, 2014  

Tirreno-Adriatico logo 2014

Alberto Contador this afternoon stormed into the race lead at Tirreno-Adriatico as he won his second successive stage, today's concluding with the brutal Guardiagrele ascent, where the gradient hits 30 per cent. Overnight leader Michal Kwiatkowski of Omega Pharma-Quick Step struggled today, and crossed the line 6 minutes after Contador, who now lead Nairo Quintana of Movistar by 2 minutes 6 seconds.

It was vintage Contador as the Spaniard launched his first attack on the climb of the Passo Lanciano, with 36km remaining of the 192km stage from Amatrice remaining, and only Quintana able to go with him.

Just 7 seconds behind him in the overall standings, the Colombian was the last person Contador would have wanted as a riding companion, and after an exchange of words, they appeared to knock off the pace, allowing others to rejoin them.

But Quintana had no response to Contador's second attack which he launched with 32km left and this time was quickly dropped.

Reaching Lotto-Belisol's Adam Hansen, dropped from the day's break, the pair worked together to get across to the three remaining members of the escape group still ahead of them.

Once the group hit the Muro di Guardiagrele, the toughest part of the final climb, Garmin-Sharp's Ben King attacked, but Contador countered and moved ahead.

Towards the top of the steepest section, it seemed that Simon Geschke of Giant Shimano would get back to him. However, he had to be content with second place as the Tinkoff-Saxo rider, aware of the threat, surged again, with King finishing third.

With a strong field in this year's race, the past two days suggest that Contador is getting back to his best, and will give defending Tour de France champion Chris Froome food for thought.

Froome had been due to lead Sky's challenge at Tirreno, but pulled out through a back injury and was replaced by Richie Porte. The Australian was missing from the start this morning, having been ill overnight.

4 user comments

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Simply breathtaking performance by dirtyberty. Looks like the TdF is still an open race Smile

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posted by Bobbinogs [55 posts]
16th March 2014 - 20:34

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Oh dear - sounds like Bertie is back on the 'steak' again. Be interesting to see if he brings any with him to France in July... Devil

Pastaman

posted by pastaman [213 posts]
16th March 2014 - 23:37

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Steven De Jongh (formerly of Sky) is now Contadors trainer.

Marginal gains Rolling On The Floor

posted by Decster [246 posts]
17th March 2014 - 12:58

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Decster wrote:
Steven De Jongh (formerly of Sky) is now Contadors trainer.

Marginal gains Rolling On The Floor

That is interesting. Interesting use of the word trainer too. I watched this stage with interest. The average speed was 25 mph despite going uphill for the 45km. Faster than I've seen most races these days.

To be fair to Berti he's probably not doing anything that many of the others aren't.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1120 posts]
17th March 2014 - 23:56

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