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Tirreno-Adriatico 2018: Stage 1

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Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage of the opening stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. Proceedings have just got underway with Movistar rolling down the start ramp in Lido di Camaiore. 

Don't forget, it's a double day of time trialling with the individual time trial underway at Paris-Nice. If you want to feel like you're in the Matrix with all those numbers flying at you, you can follow it here with Patrick Fletcher.

 

Here is Movistar from a few moments ago.

 

There is five minutes before each team starting and the next team up is Team Sky. They arrived for their final bike check with just four minutes to spare. They're obviously feeling quite relaxed. 

 

Team Sky will be hoping for a much better performance today compared with their ride 12 months ago. If you remember, they suffered two wheel failures during the team time trial.

 

Sky has settled into their rhythm and are looking slick for now. Here they are a short while ago on the start ramp.

 

AG2R La Mondiale are next up to start their effort. They have Romain Bardet as their general classification hope. The Frenchman finished second at Strade Bianche at the weekend. 

 

11 Romain Bardet (Fra)
12 Julien Duval (Fra)
13 Mathias Frank (Swi)
14 Alexandre Geniez (Fra)
15 Alexis Gougeard (Fra)
16 Matteo Montaguti (Ita)
17 Clément Venturini (Fra)

 

Team Sky are seven minutes into their effort. They've got their hopes pinned on Chris Froome for the overall classification, although they have Geraint Thomas in the line-up too. Froome was in much demand at yesterday's pre-race press conference. Not long after his team manager came out in support of him during his salbutamol case, Froome was asked if he supported his team manager following the DCMS report earlier this week. Read his full comments here.

 

A big cheer for Damiano Cunego as Nippo Vini Fantini line up on the start ramp. Cunego will retire at the end of next month. 

 

Mitchelton-Scott will be off at 14:50 local time. They are one of the favourites today and will be looking to set up Adam Yates for a good start in the GC battle.

 

Movistar closing in on the finish line, just four kilometres remaining for the Spanish team. They've still got a full line-up aboard the train as it stands. 

101 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa)
102 Andrey Amador Bikkazakova (Crc)
103 Jorge Arcas (Spa)
104 Daniele Bennati (Ita)
105 Nelson Oliveira (Por)
106 Jaime Roson Garcia (Spa)
107 Jasha Sütterlin (Ger)

 

Katusha-Alpecin are now onto the road with Tony Martin and Alex Dowsett to guide them. They've got Marcel Kittel in the line-up after he made a late call to swap Paris-Nice for Tirreno-Adriatico. 

 

151 Simon Špilak (Slo)
152 Alex Dowsett (GBr)
153 José Gonçalves (Por)
154 Nathan Haas (Aus)
155 Marcel Kittel (Ger)
156 Tony Martin (Ger)
157 Rick Zabel (Ger)

 

Times just in from the intermediate check with Team Sky the fastest at the halfway mark, posting a time of 11:19 compared to Movistar's 11:37. 

 

Meanwhile, Movistar are just under the flamme rouge.

 

Amador leads the team over the line with a time of 23:09. That is the benchmark for now. 

 

Dimension Data have started their ride. Mark Cavendish is back to racing after recovering from concussion

 

131 Mark Cavendish (GBr)
132 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor)
133 Bernhard Eisel (Aut)
134 Louis Meintjes (RSA)
135 Mark Renshaw (Aus)
136 Scott Thwaites (GBr)
137 Julien Vermote (Bel)

 

Team Sky, with six riders remaining, sweeps through the final section with relative ease and beats Movistar's time, stopping the clock at 22:28.

 

Not sure who it was that hit the line first for Team Sky. It was either Salvatore Puccio or Geraint Thomas.

Katusha-Alpecin is closing in on the intermediate check as Bahrain-Merida, with Vincenzo Nibali, get ready on the start ramp. There is a big cheer as the former Giro d'Italia champion is introduced. 

 

Team Sky averaged a speed of 57.4kph during their run. 

 

Meanwhile, AG2R La Mondiale cross the line 54 seconds slower than the British squad. They're not known for their time trialling but that is a disappointing effort. 

 

Katusha-Alpecin is going well. They are just six seconds back on Sky at the first check. Back at the start, EF Education First have got underway. 

 

Team Sunweb will be the last to start in just over an hour. The are favourites for the stage but team leader Tom Dumoulin admitted yesterday that he is suffering with a cold. Let's see how they can do a little later on.

 

Attempting to count the bobbing heads, but it looks like Bahrain-Merida is already down to six riders before the first check point. Not great for Nibali's team. 

 

The roads are mainly dry in Lido di Camaiore but the teams will need to be wary of some big patches of standing water at the side of the road. 

 

Quick-Step Floors warming up ahead of their effort. They're off at 15:20 local time. 

 

Katusha getting a bit ragged in the final few kilometres. They're down to five riders and Simon Spilak is struggling to keep in touch. 

 

They had a full compliment at the halfway point so they've obviously put the hammer down in this section. Some shouts of "what are you doing" as they try to keep it together. 

 

They are slower than Team Sky on the line with a time of 22:47. That is enough for second place for now. 

 

With five teams finished, this are how the standings look at the moment.

 

1 Team Sky 00:22:28
2 Katusha-Alpecin 00:00:19
3 Movistar Team 00:00:41
4 AG2R La Mondiale 00:00:55
5 Nippo-Vini-Fantini-Europa Ovini 00:01:48
 

 

We are at the halfway point in terms of teams starting, with UAE Team Emirates out on the road.

 

201 Fabio Aru (Ita)
202 Simone Consonni (Ita)
203 Alexandr Riabushenko (Blr)
204 Filippo Ganna (Ita)
205 Marco Marcato (Ita)
206 Jan Polanc (Slo)
207 Diego Ulissi (Ita)

 

Dimension Data cross the line and slot into fifth place with a time of 23:25. They had just four riders remaining. One of those was not Mark Cavendish.

 

News in from our reporters on the ground is that Dimension Data suffered a crash, which is why they only had four at the finish. Cavendish appears to have been caught up in the incident. 

 

Bahrain-Merida pass Mark Cavendish out on the road just as they enter the final kilometre.

 

Four riders finish for Bahrain with another trailing a few metres back. They stop the clock at 23:08, losing 40 seconds to Team Sky. 

 

Cavendish finishes now and he looks in a bad way. His shorts are very ripped up, he's got blood on his face and his helmet is askew. Let's hope that's mostly superficial damage. 

 

Here is Cavendish shortly after crossing the line

 

We'll let you know as soon as we hear anything about his condition. 

 

EF Education First-Drapac go third with a time of 23:04, giving away 36 seconds to Team Sky.

 

An update on how things look for now

 

1 Team Sky 00:22:28
2 Katusha-Alpecin 00:00:19
3 EF Education First-Drapac 00:00:36
4 Bahrain-Merida 00:00:40
5 Movistar Team 00:00:41
6 AG2R La Mondiale 00:00:55
7 Dimension Data 00:01:07
8 Nippo-Vini-Fantini-Europa Ovini 00:01:48
 

 

Mitchelton Scott go third fastest at the intermediate check just eight seconds down on Sky. Can they hold onto this pace?

 

Israel Cycling Academy slot in just ahead of Nippo-Vini Fantini to take the penultimate slot in the standings at 1:38 back. Astana have just started their effort. 

 

A small moment of panic for UAE as two of their riders almost touch wheels. They didn't, thankfully. They have six riders still there with just over a kilometre remaining. 

 

UAE Team Emirates finish in a time of 23:04, exactly the same time as EF Education First. 

 

Mitchelton-Scott has just lost a rider and they're down to five.

 

BMC Racing have just gone down the start ramp. They have a very strong team and won this stage last year. What can they do today?

 

Stephen Farrand spoke to Dimension Data DS Rolf Aldag at the finish. He said that Cavendish most likely hit a pothole. He crashed heavily but the rest of the team managed to avoid him. 

 

"It was very likely a pothole that hit his back wheel. There’s a lot of holes in the riding line, he probably hit one of those and at 60kph, it never ends really good," he said.

 

"On the TT bike, you’re down low with the load on the front, so if you go down, you go on your head so of course that’s not too cool.

 


"He wasn’t last but he was near the end of the line. The other riders got around. It went so quick. We have it on camera so we will see it and analyse it and see what happened. It does not really matter right now. The fact is that he went down really, really hard and it’s up to the doctors to see what that caused and how we go from here."

 

Just four riders remaining for Mitchelton-Scott as they set the new fastest time. They're five seconds quicker than Team Sky.

 

Mitchelton-Scott really had to give it everything to set that time and it's going to be hard to beat. They've given Yates a very good start to the week too.

 

This is your new top 10 after that ride

 

1 Mitchelton-Scott 00:22:23
2 Team Sky 00:00:05
3 Katusha-Alpecin 00:00:24
4 UAE Team Emirates 00:00:41
5 EF Education First-Drapac 00:00:41
6 Bahrain-Merida 00:00:45
7 Movistar Team 00:00:46
8 AG2R La Mondiale 00:01:00
9 Dimension Data 00:01:12
10 Israel Cycling Academy 00:01:43
 

 

BMC looking very smooth at the moment as they tick along nicely at 60kph. Still seven riders for now, but they may burn off a few before the finish. 

 

Wilier finish their ride 1:30 back on the time set by Mitchelton-Scott, who are making their way to the hot seat. At the start, Quick-Step Floors have begun their run. 

 

Start for Quick-Step Floors! Come on, guys! Ride like the wind! #TirrenoAdriatico https://t.co/Wt12IADeIU

@quickstepteam Wed, 7th Mar 2018 14:20:15

BMC are just two seconds down on Team Sky at the intermediate check point. 

 

Gazprom-Rusvelo come home 1:21 back on Mitchelton-Scott as Trek-Segafredo get going. Interestingly, Mathias Brandle is riding without a visor on his helmet while the rest of the team is. 

 

The sweat is literally pouring off the BMC riders as Bettiol loses touch briefly. They have just five kilometres left of their time trial. 

 

They've just lost Michael Schar, who gives them a shout of allez as he disappears stage right. 

 

Astana are the next to finish with a time of 23:12 at 49 seconds back. A solid if uninspiring ride.

 

Lotto Soudal roll down the start ramp. They have Strade Bianche winner Tiesj Benoot in their line-up. 

 

81 Tiesj Benoot (Bel)
82 Victor Campenaerts (Bel)
83 Jens Debusschere (Bel)
84 Jens Keukeleire (Bel)
85 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol)
86 Nikolas Maes (Bel)
87 Tosh Van der Sande (Bel)

 

Bang goes another BMC rider. They have just four left to finish the final kilometre. This is a massive effort from them. 

 

It used to be the first five riders across the line that would count, but with teams being reduced to seven it is now the first four. 

 

Marco Pinotti shouts his team across the line and they go fastest with a time of 22:19. That's four seconds quicker than Mitchelton-Scott. 

 

After some quick mental maths, this is what your new top 10 looks like

 

1 BMC Racing 00:22:19
2 Mitchelton-Scott 00:00:04
3 Team Sky 00:00:09
4 Katusha-Alpecin 00:00:29
5 UAE Team Emirates 00:00:45
6 EF Education First-Drapac 00:00:45
7 Bahrain-Merida 00:00:49
8 Movistar Team 00:00:50
9 Astana Pro Team 00:00:53
10 AG2R La Mondiale 00:01:04
 

 

FDJ get started and we have just two more teams to come. What can they do? They've really improved in their team time trialling in recent years. 

 

A new fastest time for @BMCProTeam! Our first four riders stop the clock at 22’19” to move into the hot seat at… https://t.co/8vjnM5eb9A

@BMCProTeam Wed, 7th Mar 2018 14:35:02

A great shot here of BMC Racing early in their ride. That was some effort from them and, like Mitchelton-Scott, they had to burn out a few riders along the way. 

 

 

LottoNL-Jumbo slot into ninth place and we wait for Quick-Step Floors who are the next to finish their effort. 

 

Bora-Hansgrohe are underway with Peter Sagan sitting on the back for now. Just Sunweb left to start.

 

1 Peter Sagan (Svk)
2 Maciej Bodnar (Pol)
3 Marcus Burghardt (Ger)
4 Davide Formolo (Ita)
5 Leopold König (Cze)
6 Rafał Majka (Pol)
7 Daniel Oss (Ita)

 

Mark Cavendish crashed earlier on. This is his first race since getting a concussion following a crash on stage 1 of the Anu Dhabi Tour. Read the full story here.

 

Quick-Step Floors drop Philippe Gilbert just before the line. With four riders, they stop the clock at 22:34, which is good enough for fourth place. 

 

Rohan Dennis warms down following BMC's time trial. They are the current fastest team.

 

In the meantime, Team Sunweb has started. They are the last to leave the start ramp today so it won't be long before we know the winners of today's stage. 

 

Trek-Segafredo finish 39 seconds back with a time of 22:58. That puts them into sixth place for now. 

 

Remember, you can also follow the individual time trial at Paris-Nice. Click here to open up another window and get double the cycling pleasure.

 

Lotto Soudal finish and it's not a pretty sight. They are 58 seconds back on BMC Racing.

 

Just FDJ, Bora-Hansgrohe and Sunweb to finish now. 

 

I have been reliably informed that it was Damiano Caruso who crossed the line first for BMC Racing so he will wear the blue jersey if BMC win the stage. 

 

FDJ are now down to four riders as they approach the finish line. 

 

They stop the clock at 23:13, which is 54 seconds back. That's not what they would have wanted out of this. 

 

Peter Sagan still among the riders remaining in the Bora-Hansgrohe line. They are just five riders now.

 

Just six kilometres to go for Team Sunweb. Unfortunately we don't have a time on them at the moment so not sure how they're comparing to BMC. 

Bora-Hansgrohe finishes. Another team with just four riders remaining. They slot into sixth place with a time of 22:49.

 

This is the top 10 while we wait for Team Sunweb to finish.

 

1 BMC Racing 00:22:19
2 Mitchelton-Scott 00:00:04
3 Team Sky 00:00:09
4 Quick-Step Floors 00:00:15
5 Katusha-Alpecin 00:00:29
6 Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:30
7 Trek-Segafredo 00:00:39
8 UAE Team Emirates 00:00:45
9 EF Education First-Drapac 00:00:45
10 Bahrain-Merida 00:00:49
 

 

Team Sunweb have three kilometres remaining and are at 19 minutes at the moment. It will be close but it looks like BMC Racing has it. We'll have to wait and see. 

 

Tom Dumoulin hanging in there for now but he has to check his line as he almost touches wheels with a teammate. Remember, his a bit under the weather at the moment. 

 

Five riders go under the flamme rouge for Sunweb.

 

BMC have it as Sunweb stops the clock at 22:44. That is only good enough for fifth spot. 

 

Damiano Caruso is congratulated by his team as Sunweb cross the line. He is the first wearer of the leader's jersey here at Tirreno-Adriatico. 

 

And this is today's top 10

1 BMC Racing 00:22:19
2 Mitchelton-Scott 00:00:04
3 Team Sky 00:00:09
4 Quick-Step Floors 00:00:15
5 Team Sunweb 00:00:25
6 Katusha-Alpecin 00:00:29
7 Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:30
8 Trek-Segafredo 00:00:39
9 UAE Team Emirates 00:00:45
10 EF Education First-Drapac 00:00:45
 

 

BMC Racing was supposed to have Richie Porte here but he had to pull out through illness. Caruso said that he would look to fight for the GC, but the team has other objectives too. 

 

"It’s one of my favourite races because we are in Italy, it’s always a pleasure to race here.


"Without Richie it is more difficult for us. We take it easy day by day and we see what will happen. I think it was hard for every team and we kept pushing. I don’t know if there was less wind for the final but we are happy."

Are you the leader?


"Maybe yes, but I don’t know. We have Greg Van Avermaet with us for the stages. I want to try and fight for the GC, but [we will take it] day by day."
 

 

Fernando Gaviria takes the young riders' classification after Quick-Step Floors finished in fourth today. He is learning English at the moment and he managed a few words in the language about today's stage and his prospects tomorrow. 

 

"Yes, I am really happy with my team. They were really strong but there were other teams that were stronger. Now, I am happy with the young rider’s jersey but I will try for the win tomorrow. Now, we are in a good position for Bob Jungels. I will try to work for him in this race.

 

"This is a good race for the sprinters. There are a lot of sprinters, there is Kittel, Cav, who crashed today, there is Sagan and Ewan. There is a really god race for the sprinters and I will wait for tomorrow."
 

 

BMC Racing spray the champagne on the podium

 

Results, photos and a report are available here as they come in.

 

This is the third year in a row that BMC has taken the team time trial on the opening day of Tirreno-Adriatico and the second time that Damiano Caruso has been honoured with leading them across the line. 

 

Here is Caruso in the leader's blue jersey.

 

A reminder that Mark Cavendish hit the deck pretty hard during Dimension Data's run. He has been taken to hospital and we await news on his condition. Read the full story here.

 

Over in Saint-Etienne, the Paris-Nice time trial has finished. I won't spoil it for you but if you want to know the results then you can head over here.

 

Tomorrow should be a stage for the sprinters. It starts with a small hill but is predominantly flat after that.

 

That is it for our coverage of stage 1 of Tirreno-Adriatico. Tune in tomorrow for stage 2 and we will also have live coverage of stage 5 of Paris-Nice. 

 

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