Pavel Sivakov climbed up the Ineos Grenadiers hierarchy in Tirreno-Adriatico on stage 2 to Chiusdino, putting in a smart late attack to take the three-second time bonus. The result put the 23-year-old Russian in the best young rider's jersey and moved him into fourth place overall behind race leader Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).
Sivakov formed an elite escape group on the climb of the Poggio alla Croce with 30 kilometres to go along with Simon Yates (BikeExchange), Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious), and João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep), although their gap never reached much above 20 seconds. Sivakov attributed the move's ultimate failure to the wind.
"Honestly I believed it, especially on the final climb when the gap was going down slowly," Sivakov said. "But then with a headwind it was a bit hard for us. Maybe if the wind direction had been different it would have been better for the breakaway. It was a good move for sure."
With a strong team at Tirreno-Adriatico including former Tour de France winners Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas only a few seconds behind in the standings, the Ineos Grenadiers team have plenty of options for the general classification. Sivakov said his attack was not part of any particular plan.
"We had nothing written on the plan, it was just to have moves, to make the race hard for everyone. It wasn't say one rider or another, just everyone had to move. It was a good opportunity on that climb, Simon Yates followed me and then Almeida and Landa, so that was a really good group. It is good to race like this."
Sivakov is fourth at 11 seconds behind the top three riders in the world: Van Aert in the lead, with world champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) second at four seconds and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) third at eight seconds.
The result confirms the depth of talent the Russian possesses, which he struggled to show at last year's Tour de France after suffering double crashes in the rain-slicked opening stage around Nice.
Second to Bernal in the Route d'Occitanie and the best young rider of the Tour Down Under in 2020 and the winner of the Tour de Pologne and Tour of the Alps, Sivakov seems to be prepared for another breakthrough season.
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