The final road stage of Tirreno-Adriatico offered the classics men one last chance to test their legs before the resumption of the one-day races. In Civitanova Marche, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) crossed the line in third place behind Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan to prove he is on track for a strong classics showing.
"It was really good, and we knew we had to be in the front when we passed the finish line for the first time," said Stuyven of the final. "Markel (Irizar) and (Marco) Coledan were the perfect guys to do this. Markel was there at first, but he had a mechanical, so then we only had Marco; we knew these guys would have a hard time to make it over the climb so we used them there and it was perfect."
In the sprint for the line, Stuyven had a clear run at the line up the left-hand side of the road but the power and pace of Gaviria and Sagan would ultimately prove too much as he added.
"Koen (de Kort) kept me again in the front for the climb, and I followed Sagan and Gaviria when they went over the top. But then the peloton came back, but I was able to keep good position; I had the good wheels, but I just couldn't come around them at the end," he said.
Last year's Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne winner started his 2017 classics campaign with eighth at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and was then second to Sagan in his K-B-L defence. While the 24-year-old rode well in the final of stage 6, importantly his Trek-Segafredo teammates also rode with aplomb in a good sign for the classics to come.
"It was a good day to finish off the week - well there is a time trial tomorrow, but a nice way to finish the road races."
Stuyven is likely to line out at Milan-San Remo this weekend in support of John Degenkolb before the all important block of Dwars Door Vlaanderen, E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
Before then, in the final day Tirreno-Adriatico 10km time trial Trek-Segafredo are backing Bauke Mollema to improve on his ninth place as a vital race in his bid for Giro d'Italia glory come May.
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