Mollema surprised by Tirreno time trial performance
Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing) rode an impressive final time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico, finishing 36 seconds behind the stage winner, and teammate, Fabian Cancellara. While it wasn’t enough to strip Nairo Quintana (Movistar) of his leader’s jersey, the Dutchman closed the gap to just 18 seconds and cemented his second place overall.
“I am tired,” Mollema said. “I didn’t feel like I was going really well, but maybe that’s the feeling you need. A flat TT like this is hard for me, but I am really happy that I kept second place. I didn’t expect to be so close to Quintana, only 18 seconds in GC and that’s really good; I am really satisfied with my level."
His improvement in the time trial comes after joining Trek Factory racing over the winter, where he has been working on his ability against the clock, and seeing the fruits of his labours has spurred him on. “We started working on my time trial in December and I am really happy with my position on the bike now, and with the bike itself,” he explained.
“It gives me motivation to train harder and make another step this year, because you can see that if you do a good time trial you can really fight for the podium and fight for victories in the biggest races. Now I want to continue this in the other stage races, too.”
Uran runs out of gas in final Tirreno time trial
Rigoberto Uran had aspirations of moving up in the overall classification of Tirreno-Adriatico on the morning of the final time trial, but found himself without the energy to overcome Mollema.
"I didn't perform as expected, probably also because of the fatigue of the last days," the Etixx-Quick Step rider said. "But I tried to defend myself, I gave my all in the final ITT, and I preserved my third place. Even if I have to say this morning I kept an eye for maybe moving up to second, during the race, when you feel you cannot go full gas, you have to reconsider your priorities and be happy with what you have.
"Mollema also had a strong TT today and he deserves to finish on the second step of the GC podium."
“Finishing third overall at this race is something I am happy about, as Tirreno-Adriatico was the first goal of my season, the first race where I needed to be in good shape and among the protagonists. I accomplished my first goal. I’m on the podium, so I’m satisfied. I'm especially happy when comparing this result to last year when I was suffering with stomach problems and I couldn’t really show myself. I've taken the first step of the season."
Uran will now focus on the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour de Romandie as preparation for the Giro d'Italia.
Sagan's Cycling Academy take first win
In the same week that their ambassador Peter Sagan secured his first victory of 2015, the Cycling Academy did the same. The team that is focussed on fostering Israeli talent took first and second overall at the Tour of Arad, with Ido Zilberstein the victor, plus two stage wins and the team classification.
“Congrats to Ido and to the guys for winning a stage race so fast,” Sagan said following the victory. “I'm proud of you guys and I hope to train with you one day on that crazy Scorpion Hill, and then take a mud bath into the Dead Sea.”
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