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Tirreno-Adriatico 2012: Stage 7


Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 7 - Individual Time Trial over 9.3km at San Benedetto del Tronto

There's three riders with a realistic chance of winning the GC as the race enters its last stage. The USA's Chris Horner (RadioShack-Nissan) is in the lead, but only five seconds clear of Roman Kreuziger (Astana) and six ahead of Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale).

The fans will be hoping that local boy Nibali can come out on top this afternoon. Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) has already set a scorching pace. He sits top of the pile after posting a time of 10:36 - a full 12 seconds faster than his nearest rival.

Some key start times for you to look out for (all times CET):

There are five Italian riders in the top ten ahead of this final stage. So the tifosi have several reasons to turn out in force to watch as this prestigious World Tour race reaches its conclusion. Nibali, Nocentini, Scarponi, Di Luca and Pozzovivo have all shaped well this week.

Nibali is also at the top of the points classification with 30. Sagan is three points behind him in second place, with Kreuziger in third.

In another sub plot this afternoon, GreenEdge's Cameron Meyer will be looking to regain the young rider's jersey from Wout Poels. Although the gap is 19 seconds between the two, Meyer's excellence in time trials will give him confidence.

The riders are starting out behind a tailwind and coming back into a headwind. Cancellara's searing time earlier this afternoon came via an astonishing average speed of 52.64 km/h...

10:59 for Peter Sagan, moves him up into 7th place on the day. Good performance for a rider not noted for his brilliance in time trials, but still 23 seconds behind Cancellara.

2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans (BMC) has just started. Evans won this race last year too but his form this time round hasn't reached the same heights. His cause hasn't been helped by a crash on stage five though.

Just so you know, in the battle for the young riders white jersey, Meyer is due out in 15 minutes (15:30 CET) and Poels two minutes later.

If Chris Horner can hang on to his advantage this afternoon he will become the first American to win Tirreno-Adriatico. Just over half an hour to go until the three leaders get underway.

Cadel Evans finishes in 11:34, almost a full minute behind Cancellara's time. Early days for the Aussie but he appears to be a little behind last year's form at this time of year.

Not many riders breaking the 11:00 minute mark this afternoon. Cancellara's time is looking pretty untouchable at the moment and the RadioShack-Nissan man will be pretty confident that he can hang on for the win as things look at present.

Cameron Meyer is now out on the course. He could be the only man who can run Cancellara close and has scorched through the opening part of the course. Let's not forget that GreenEdge won the team trial earlier this week, too.

Meyer into his last kilometre but looking off Cancellara's pace

Meyer finishes in a time of 10:52 - third overall on the day so far. Is it enough to seize the white jersey back? We should know any moment

Wout Poels finishes eleven seconds behind Meyer - enough to hang on to the white jersey for best young rider in the colours of Vacansoleil-DCM

Just four minutes now until Vincenzo Nibali (in third place) goes out onto the course as the first of the three GC leaders

All three leaders now out on the course. In ten minutes time we'll know the winner of the 2012 Tirreno-Adriatico

Kreuziger has been in contention all week; Nibali is the only one of the three to have won a stage; and Horner could become one of the oldest winners in history if he can win

Nibali finishes in a time of 10:56 - is it enough?

Kreuziger struggling - surely going to finish well behind Nibali

Kreuziger finishes in a time of 11:23 - Nibali ahead of him with only Horner left on the course

Horner must finish in 11:03 or faster to overtake Nibali

Horner finishes in 11:16. So Nibali wins the 2012 Tirreno-Adriatico in front of his home fans. Cancellara takes the stage comfortably.

Top three GC: 1 Nibali; 2 Horner; 3 Kreuziger

Top Five stage result:

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