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Tirreno Adriatico Stage 7: Vincenzo Nibali wins for second year running, Tony Martin takes closing TT

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

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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