Chris Froome takes 11 seconds from Nibali but it's not enough as Team Sky man has to settle for second...

Vincenzo Nibali of Astana has won Tirreno Adriatico for the second year running. The Italian lost 11 seconds to Team Sky's Chris Froome in today's 9.2 kilometre closing time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto, but that only ate up a third of the advantage he held this morning after seizing the race lead yesterday. World champion Tony Martin of Omega Pharma-Quick Step set the quickest time today of 10 minutes 25 seconds, with Adriano Malori of Lampre Merida 6 seconds behind in second place and Andrey Amador of Movistar 4 seconds further back in third.

Exactly 12 months ago in the same town on the Adriatic coast, Nibali, found himself in third place overall prior to the time trial, 1 second behind then Astana rider Roman Kreuziger and 6 down on overnight leader Chris Horner of RadioShack-Nissan, and managed to win the overall by a margin of 14 seconds.

Had Froome lost time, as well as the race lead, on yesterday’s brutal Stage 6 to someone weaker in the time trial, or had today’s parcours been considerably longer, the Team Sky man might have been able to turn the situation around.

Instead, Nibali was confirmed as winner for the second year running, with Froome, sixth fastest today, occupying the runner-up spot, and this week’s performance by the Astana rider, not least in riding himself into the race lead on the penultimate stage, shows why many consider that he will thwart Bradley Wiggins’ dreams of adding the maglia rosa to the maillot jaune in May’s Giro d’Italia.

The bottom step of the podium saw a change  in its occupant, however, with Katusha’s Joaquim Rodrigiuez, riding a discipline today that is his Achilles’ heel, ceding third place to Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador – although the latter was run very close by best young rider Michal Kwiatowski of Omega Pharma-Quick Step, who closed the gap on him to just one second as he claimed fourth place on GC.

Kwiatowski’s team mate Tony Martin’s winning time of 10 minutes 26 seconds was never threatened, although early starter Malori and third-placed Amador may have surprised many with their performances, putting them ahead of RadioShack-Leopard’s Fabian Cancellara, winner of this stage 12 months ago, placing fourth today.

Tirreno Adriatico Stage 7 result

1.  Tony Martin             Omega Pharma-Quick Step    10:25

2.  Adriano Malori          Lampre-Merida               at 6

3.  Andrey Amador           Movistar Team              at 10

4.  Fabian Cancellara       RadioShack-Leopard         at 12

5.  Jonathan Castroviejo    Movistar Team              at 14

6.  Chris Froome            Sky                        at 15

7.  Hayden Roulston         RadioShack-Leopard         at 20

8.  Michal Kwiatkowski      Omega Pharma-Quick Step    at 21

9.  Dario Cataldo           Sky                        at 23

10. Alex Dowsett            Movistar Team              at 23

Tirreno Adriatico final overall standings

1.  Vincenzo Nibali         Astana                  28:08:17

2.  Chris Froome            Sky                        at 23

3.  Alberto Contador        Team Saxo-Tinkoff          at 52

4.  Michal Kwiatkowski      Omega Pharma-Quick Step    at 53

5.  Joaquim Rodríguez       Katusha                    at 54

6.  Chris Horner            RadioShack-Leopard       at 1:21

7.  Mauro Santambrogio      Vini Fantini             at 2:03

8.  Andrey Amador           Movistar Team            at 2:42

9.  Przemyslaw Niemiec      Lampre-Merida            at 3:19

10. Wout Poels              Vacansoleil-DCM          at 3:35

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.


drheaton [3318 posts] 4 years ago

It was a good solid ride from Froome who's clearly on a different schedule to Rodriguez and Nibali who are both looking to peak much earlier, namely for the classics and Giro respectively.

What's most interesting is how Froome compared against Contador and Evans, two riders concentrating on the Tour this year. It's clearly too early in the season to take concrete findings from the race but he certainly looks to be in a strong position.

arrieredupeleton [580 posts] 4 years ago

Good point re TdF contenders. I just can't see Nibali winning the Giro for some reason. He was dropped twice during Tirrano and whilst he played a blinder to win yesterday, the parcours suited him. He struggles on longer climbs to dislodge others and is only an average TTer. Unless every stage finishes with a mountain top descent (when is clearly awesome), then I just don't see it.

Having said that, he's moved to Astana and if Vino has anything to do with it, he'll be flying this season.

Colin Peyresourde [1805 posts] 4 years ago

What was the time difference between Froome and Tony Martin?

Nice to see Alex Dowsett doing well in that discipline. Didn't know he was even riding though.

Some Fella [890 posts] 4 years ago

Froome was refreshingly and characteristically honest about why he thought he lost it yesterday - he made a couple of mistakes on a difficult day - could have happened to anyone. Nowt to be ashamed of and i think he knows that. Just glad he beat Beefy Bertie.

sam_everythingvelo [11 posts] 4 years ago

A good interesting start to the season. Not the worst thing that Froome didn't win, it's just part of his preparation and I think generally things look good.

My excitement about the Giro and TdF are building more and more each day!