What looked to be a close-fought 2018 edition of Tirreno-Adriatico ended with a solid overall victory for Michal Kwiatkowski, who extended his slim three-second lead on Damiano Caruso (BMC) in the 10km final time trial.
Although late rains dampened the course for the late starters, there were no issues for Kwiatkowski, who powered his way around the tricky San Benedetto del Tronto course, pulling out an additional 21 seconds over Caruso to seal the win for the week-long stage race.
Rohan Dennis added to his team's success in the WorldTour race, taking the stage win in the time trial by three seconds over Jos van Emden (LottoNl-Jumbo).
While Caruso hung onto his second place overall, Movistar's Mikel Landa had an off-day, finishing well down in the stage rankings and tumbling in the GC to sixth. Geraint Thomas made it two Team Sky riders on the podium by moving over Landa into third.
Chris Froome, still awaiting his pending salbutamol case, put in a strong but safe ride for 11th place, 19 seconds slower than Dennis, finishing the week in 34th, 13:31 down on his teammate.
2018 Tirreno-Adriatico Final General Classification
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky||25:32:56|
|2||Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team||0:00:24|
|3||Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky||0:00:32|
|4||Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal||0:01:06|
|5||Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott||0:01:10|
|6||Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team||0:01:13|
|7||Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:01:15|
|8||Jaime Roson (Spa) Movistar Team|
|9||George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo||0:01:16|
|10||Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale||0:01:22|
The 2018 Tirreno-Adriatico marks the 53rd edition of the Race of the Two Seas. Tirreno-Adriatico will start in Lido di Camaiore on Wednesday March 7 with a 21.5km team time trial and end on Tuesday March 11 with a 10km individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.
This year the seven-stage race will remember Michele Scarponi with stage 5 finishing in his hometown Filottrano. Scarponi won Tirreno-Adriatico in 2009 and three stages, often excelling in the steep climbs of his Marche region near the Adriatico coast. Scarponi was tragically killed in late April after being hit by a vehicle as he started a training ride from his home in Filottrano.
Tirreno-Adriatico was created as an alternative to Paris-Nice and is considered the best way to peak for Milan-San Remo while avoiding the risk of bad weather in northern Europe. It is now sandwiched between Strade Bianche (March 3) and Milan-San Remo (March 17).
The five road race stages of the 2018 route offer chances to the sprinters and attackers with a mountain finish during the weekend revealing the overall contenders. WorldTour points and a tougher route in recent years have attracted a growing number of Grand Tour riders. Last year Nairo Quintana limited his losses in the final time trial to beat Rohan Dennis (BMC) by 25 seconds and so lift the winner's Trident trophy.
The 2018 Corsa dei Due Mari starts on the Tyrrhenian coast with the now traditional team time trial that has seen BMC triumph for the last two years.
The 167km second stage hugs the Tuscan coast for an expected sprint finish in Follonica. Stage 3 is from Follonica and Trevi, covering 234km. It takes the race inland and south to beyond Rome on rolling roads before a kick-up to the finish. Stage 4 is 219km long and ends in Sarnano Sassotetto at 1345 metres, after a 14km climb to the line.
Stage 5 has been baptized the 'The stage of the Walls' due to the string of short but steep climbs on the road from Castelraimondo to Filottrano. Stage 6 is a final chance for the sprinters to test their legs before Milan-San Remo while the final 10km time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto is again up and down the flat sea front.
Cyclingnews will have full coverage of the race, including exclusive interviews, news and features.