The penultimate starters in the Tirreno-Adriatico team time trial, Bora-Hansgrohe knew the time to beat when they rolled down the start ramp. At the conclusion of the 21.5km race against the clock, Bora was unable to hunt down stage winners BMC Racing, coming up 30 seconds short.
The result ensures Bora's GC riders Rafa Majka and Davide Formolo are up on rivals such as Romain Bardet and Rigoberto Uran but have work to do to catch the likes of Chris Froome and Tom Dumoulin. Well aware of the chrono quality on the start line, Peter Sagan stated post-stage that the team can be pleased with the result knowing there are six more race days to come.
"It was a good day. Although we knew it would have been very difficult to win against the strongest teams, I feel BORA-Hansgrohe has improved from last year and our team time-trials have stepped up," said Sagan of his team who was 1:11 minutes behind BMC in last year's opening TTT.
"I think the hard work of the riders and the effort of the coaches, last year and during the off-season, is paying off. The Tirreno-Adriatico is long and difficult, and we have many stages ahead of us where anything can happen but I think we had a good start."
Sports director Patxi Vila meanwhile said the stage went "as expected" for Bora and was content with the dynamics of the squad considering the number of new riders. Vila added that having closely followed the plan for the stage, the GC aspirations of the team remain on track.
"I think we can be satisfied with our result in the opening team time-trial of the Tirreno-Adriatico," Vila said. "We have achieved what we had expected, given also the fact we had some new riders today that raced together for the first time, in their first team time-trial. Still, we managed to be within the goals we had set. We knew we would have some very strong opponents and our aim was not to lose more than two seconds per kilometre. We crossed the line 30 seconds behind the day's leaders, which is very close to our target.
Stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico is a 167km day in the saddle for the peloton from Camaiore to Follonica with the expected outcome a bunch sprint finish. Sagan will be a favourite for the stage with the world champion looking to add to his seven career stage wins at the 'race of the two seas'.
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