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Tirreno-Adriatico stage 1 - Live coverage

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"Ready for seven hot days," wrote Vincenzo Nibali on the eve of Tirreno-Adriatico, and with good reason. The weeklong race has a field of remarkable depth, with the star names on show including (but by no means limited to) Tadej Pogacar, Egan Bernal, Julian Alaphilippe, Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel, Simon Yates, Filippo Ganna, Mikel Landa, Michal Kwiatkowski, Peter Sagan, Thibaut Pinot, Nario Quintana, Geraint Thomas and João Almeida. The seven stages, meanwhile, offer something for everyone as the race makes its way through the Apennines on its way across central Italy. The most demanding fare, as ever, comes at the weekend, while this afternoon's opener, starting and finishing in Lido di Camaiore, should see the fast men to the fore.  

The gruppo is due to roll out at 12.30 CET and should hit kilometre zero around 12.35. For years, Tirreno-Adriatico used to start with a team time trial in and around Camaiore, but that convention was broken last season and RCS continues in that vein in 2021. The 156km stage is essentially one of two parts. The day begins with three laps of a 24km circuit that takes in the climb of Monte Pitoro. The latter part of the stage features three laps of a flat 29km circuit around Lido di Camaiore.

Tirreno-Adriatico stage 1

(Image credit: RCS Sport)

The sky is clear, the wind is light and the temperature is 14°C as the peloton lines up for the start in Lido di Camaiore.  

-156km

The gruppo has navigated the neutralised zone and reached kilometre zero. Stage 1 of Tirreno-Adriatico is formally underway.  

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) makes his belated seasonal debut after his COVID-19 diagnosis delayed his planned part start to the season at Opening Weekend. Indeed, Sagan had originally intended to begin his year at the Vuelta a San Juan in January, but that race was among many to fall by the wayside in the early weeks of 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Slovakian - perhaps sensibly, given the explosive nature of the race - also opted out of Strade Bianche at the weekend, preferring a marginally less frenetic re-introduction this afternoon on the Adriatic coast. 

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-150km

After a rapid start, six riders have managed to forge clear in the opening kilometres: Guy Niv (Israel Start-Up Nation), Mattia Bais (Androni-Sidermec), Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa), Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa), Simone Velasco (Gazprom-RusVelo) and Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert). They have a lead of 30 seconds over the peloton.

Caleb Ewan is the outstanding favourite for today's stage and his Lotto Soudal squad should be among the teams dictating the terms at the head of the peloton throughout the afternoon. Deceuninck-QuickStep have the on-form Davide Ballerini in their ranks, while Elia Viviani is here, still searching for his first win for Cofidis but buoyed by an encouraging return from recent heart surgery. Other fast men include Sagan, Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) - and, of course, it's not beyond the realms of possibility that Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) will end up fighting out the latest instalment of their never-ending duel on Via Bernardini this afternoon.

-146km

Guy Niv (Israel Start-Up Nation), Mattia Bais (Androni-Sidermec), Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa), Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa), Simone Velasco (Gazprom-RusVelo) and Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) have extended their lead beyond a minute and that advantage is still growing.

Wout van Aert began his 2021 season with fourth place at Strade Bianche, which was – remarkably – his first time finishing off the podium in four participations in the race. The Belgian continues his Classics preparation at Tirreno-Adriatico, but the race also doubles as a testing site for future ambitions as a stage race rider. “He wants to explore his limits and see where his limits are. That always benefits you. We are curious,” Jumbo-Visma directeur sportif Merijn Zeeman told Sporza. “You don't become a classification rider overnight. We want to develop that. He is now trying it for the first time at WorldTour level and he must be given time to develop. The result is not important to us, but the experience is.”

Wout van Aert rides to the start

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It will be fascinating to see how Van Aert approaches this tilt at GC. Will he look to spare himself for set-piece stages like the summit finish at Prati di Tivo or will he follow the Sean Kelly template from Paris-Nice in the 1980s and contest every stage, sprints included? We should have some indication this afternoon.

-142km

Jan Bakelants led the escapees over the summit on the first time up the Pitoro. Their lead over the peloton is 2:20.

Our man in Tuscany Stephen Farrand has previewed the whole week's action. You can read his view here on a race filled with storylines. Egan Bernal and Tadej Pogacar meet for the first time since last year's Tour de France. Giro contenders like Bernal, Thibaut Pinot, Simon Yates, Mikel Landa, Vincenzo Nibali and Joao Almeida run through their paces less than two months from the Grande Partenza. And, of course, men like Van der Poel, Van Aert, Sagan and Alaphilippe move up and down the scales ahead of the day of days at Milan-San Remo.

-138km

Break:

Guy Niv (Israel Start-Up Nation), Mattia Bais (Androni-Sidermec), Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa), Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa), Simone Velasco (Gazprom-RusVelo) and Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert)

Peloton at 3:20

The speed rises in the peloton as Lotto Soudal and Deceuninck-QuickStep take up the reins and the break's lead begins to drop accordingly.

-129km

The six escapees are head towards their second ascent of the Pitoro, and their lead over the bunch has been pared back to 1:30.

Guy Niv is in the six-man break for Israel Start-Up Nation, who line up for Tirreno-Adriatico with a changed selection after Dan Martin and Michael Woods were both ruled out through illness. Today also marks Cherie Pridham's debut as directeur sportif. “I want to be judged as a DS. Not a female one,” Pridham said in a statement from the team. “It will be a hard race. Let’s concentrate on that, shall we?”

-120km

The leaders are climbing Monte Pitoro for the second time, still with a lead of 1:30 over the bunch.

-118km

Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa) leads the break over the second ascent of Pitoro. The lead is out to almost two minutes once again. 

-113km

Break:

Guy Niv (Israel Start-Up Nation), Mattia Bais (Androni-Sidermec), Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa), Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa), Simone Velasco (Gazprom-RusVelo) and Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert)

Peloton at 2:00

At the start in Camaiore, Peter Sagan acknowledged that his Tirreno-Adriatico would be primarily an exercise in trying to get up to speed ahead of the Classics. "Every year is different. This year I was a little but unlucky but now I am here after a month and a half in Gran Canaria. We’ll see how it’s going. For sure I’m here to take some race rhythm and then we’ll see how my condition is." Sagan is also on the cover of this month's edition of Procycling magazine, where he discussed the fine margins that separate victory from defeat in an exclusive interview. 2021 is a big year for Sagan, whose contract with Bora-Hansgrohe expires at the end of the season. His displays this Spring will have a major bearing on his future and - for once - he will go in almost under the radar, given the expectations heaped upon Van der Poel, Alaphilippe and Van Aert.  

Procycling March 2021

(Image credit: Future)

-104km

Alpecin-Fenix, Cofidis and Lotto Soudal all have riders posted at the head of the peloton to keep tabs on the break's lead, which currently stands at 1:30.

Pascal Ackermann won last year's sprint in Camaiore but the German is in action at Paris-Nice this week. His Bora-Hansgrohe teammate Sagan, however, is a past winner in Camaiore, as he claimed the much missed GP Camaiore in 2013. His victory came in February but the race was most associated with its traditional early August date, which marked the start of Italian cycling's long, late summer builld-up to the Worlds. A notable edition came in 1992, when amateur riders in Italy were blocked from turning professional at the beginning of the year in order to ensure their eligibility for the Barcelona Olympics, the final edition reserved exclusively for amateur riders. It meant that Marco Pantani and Davide Rebellin were among the riders whose first pro race came in August at the GP Camaiore, in an edition won by current Italian national coach Davide Cassani.

Davide Rebellin at the GP Camaiore in 1992.

A young Davide Rebellin at the GP Camaiore in 1992. He is still in the pro peloton almost three decades later at the age of 49, placing 21st in Larciano at the weekend.  (Image credit: Sirotti)

Marco Pantani lines up for his professional debut in Camaiore in 1992.

Marco Pantani lines up for his professional debut in Camaiore in 1992.  (Image credit: Sirotti)

-98km

The six escapes are on Monte Pitoro for the third time, with Guy Niv pushing on the pace. They have 1:24 in hand on the peloton.

The pace is steady in the peloton on this climb, where the escapees are stretching out their advantage once again. 

-96km

Guy Niv kicks again at the front of the break. The Israeli is keen to pick up the king of the mountains points at the summit but he hasn't managed to escape his companions. Niv only has 1 point from the first two ascents, while Albanese and Bakelants have 8 apiece. 

Bakelants and Albanese now take up the fight on the front. The Belgian leads out the sprint but Albanese takes maximum points at the top, and he will visit the podium this afternoon to pick up the king of the mountains jersey. 

-94km

Break:

Guy Niv (Israel Start-Up Nation), Mattia Bais (Androni-Sidermec), Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa), Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa), Simone Velasco (Gazprom-RusVelo) and Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert)

Peloton at 2:45

After negotiating the Pitoro at a relatively gentle tempo, the pace has picked up in the peloton and the gap has dropped to 1:45. Jan Bakelants, meanwhile, appears to have sat up from the break after contesting the mountains points in the opening part of this stage.  

-88km

Break:

Guy Niv (Israel Start-Up Nation), Mattia Bais (Androni-Sidermec), Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa), Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa), Simone Velasco (Gazprom-RusVelo).

Peloton at 1:45

Bakelants is swept up by the Alpecin-Fenix-led bunch. Alpecin have two fast finishers enjoying remarkable spells of form in Strade Bianche winner Van der Poel and Tim Merlier, who won Le Samyn and the GP Monsere last week. One imagines that Merlier will be their option for this afternoon's finale but just about anything is possible with Van der Poel. 

Mathieu van der Poel

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Filippo Ganna (Ineos) suffered a puncture a short time ago but the Italian is making his way calmly back on through the convoy of cars. 

-83km

-82km

The break's advantage drops to just over a minute after they pass through Camaiore and proceed with the second phase of this stage, namely three laps of a 29km circuit around Lido di Camaiore.

Vincenzo Nibali makes his way back up to the rear of the peloton after a mechanical issue. The Italian was aggressive at the GP Industria & Artigianato on Sunday, though his offensive probably came a lap too soon. He has vowed to race alla giornata in 2021 - day by day - rather than building steadily towards the Giro d'Italia. He will ride the Giro alongside Giulio Ciccone and Bauke Mollema, but one senses his overriding ambition for the season might be the Tokyo Olympics, given how close he was to gold in Rio five years ago.

-77km

The five escapees extend their lead again to 1:48, while Cofidis and Lotto Soudal discuss their chase effort behind. It's hard to imagine the sprinters allowing the opportunity to pass them by this afternoon. 

It wouldn't be an Italian race without Androni-Sidermec in the break and Mattia Bais is their representative today. It's a familiar sight but not one we'll see at this year's Giro d'Italia after RCS Sport overlooked Gianni Savio's squad for a wildcard. "Objectively, it’s a great injustice. And – please write this – it’s a sporting shame, sporting infamy," Savio told Cyclingnews when the news was confirmed. The spirit of adventure of riders like Simon Pellaud will be missed at the Giro, but the 'Swiss-Colombian' is in action this week along with Androni's new arrival Eduardo Sepulveda. 

MILANO ITALY OCTOBER 25 Podium Mattia Bais of Italy and Team Androni Giocattoli Sidermec Best Italian Rider Celebration during the 103rd Giro dItalia 2020 Stage 21 a 157km Individual time trial from Cernusco sul Naviglio to Milano ITT girodiitalia Giro on October 25 2020 in Milano Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

-68km

All calm in the peloton, 1:34 behind the five leaders. Wout van Aert takes advantage of the reigning tranquillity to chat with Geraint Thomas, while Alpecin-Fenix and Cofidis set the tempo at the head of the bunch.

-66km

Break:

Guy Niv (Israel Start-Up Nation), Mattia Bais (Androni-Sidermec), Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa), Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa), Simone Velasco (Gazprom-RusVelo)

Peloton at 1:22

The race is on the long, long seafront that links Forte dei Marmi, Marina di Pietrasanta and the finish line in Lido di Camaiore. This is the peloton's first look at the stage's closing kilometres, which they'll cover two more times before the finish.

A delegation from Bahrain Victorious is placed near the head of the bunch, eager to keep their trio of GC men Mikel Landa, Pello Bilbao and Damiano Caruso out of harm's way. Cofidis and Alpecin-Fenix swap turns at the front, and the break's lead is 1:12.

-58km

Guy Niv (Israel Start-Up Nation), Mattia Bais (Androni-Sidermec), Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa), Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa), Simone Velasco (Gazprom-RusVelo) pass through the finish line for the first time with a lead of 1:05 over a peloton led by Cofidis, Alpecin-Fenix and Lotto Soudal. There are two laps of this flat finishing circuit to go.

Those closing kilometres are on wide and exposed roads, but there is precious little by way of wind this afternoon. 

Elia Viviani had a trying debut season at Cofidis and his 2021 looked set to be even more complicated when a cardiac arrhythmia was detected in January. He underwent surgery in Ancona shortly afterwards, however, and he made an encouraging return to racing at the UAE Tour, where he placed second on the penultimate stage and in the top five on two others. Today is another test for the Italian, who said he was treating the opening stage "like a one-day race."

Elia Viviani (Cofidis)

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Julian Alaphilippe sits comfortably in the peloton and shares a joke with his former teammate Max Richeze, who will be in the service of Fernando Gaviria this afternoon. Gaviria, who was twice diagnosed with COVID-19 last year, made little impact at the UAE Tour but he will hope for better here.

-49km

Break:

Guy Niv (Israel Start-Up Nation), Mattia Bais (Androni-Sidermec), Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa), Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa), Simone Velasco (Gazprom-RusVelo)

Peloton at 0:57

Out in front, Simone Velasco out-kicks Mattia Bais to win the intermediate sprint in Pietrasanta. 

-44km

It's still Alpecin-Fenix, Cofidis and Lotto Soudal who lead the peloton for Merlier (or Van der Poel?), Viviani and Ewan. The pace isn't so exacting in the peloton just yet, and Egan Bernal can ham it up playfully for the cameras when the television motorbike draws up alongside him. The Colombian has enjoyed a fine start to 2021, despite his back injury, and Tirreno-Adriatico is the next step on his road to the Giro.

-43km

Velasco has sat up from the break. The four remaining leaders have 45 seconds in hand on the peloton. They know they won't hold off the peloton - they knew this before they set out - but they remain committed to their effort in any case and they'll try to hold on for as long as they can.

The four riders remaining in front are Guy Niv (Israel Start-Up Nation), Mattia Bais (Androni-Sidermec) and the Eolo-Kometa duo of Vincenzo Albanese and Samuele Rivi. 

Tirreno-Adriatico has changed in tenor over the years and has become something closer in feel to a miniature Grand Tour, but its original raison d'être was as a preparation race for Milan-San Remo, and that founding ideal remains. Today's finish is a test for men with designs on delivering a winning sprint on the Via Roma on March 20. This year's route, incidentally, returns to tradition with all five capi on the agenda after the mayors of coastal towns around Savona blocked the event's passage last August. The Turchino is absent, however, but replaced by the Colle di Giovo, from which the race will descend towards the Riviera, re-joining the traditional coastal route along the Via Aurelia at Albisola with 112km still to race.

Milano Sanremo 2020 - 111th Edition - Milano - Sanremo 305 km - 08/08/2020 - - photo POOL Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2020

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

-38km

The intensity has yet to ratchet up in the peloton, and so Guy Niv (Israel Start-Up Nation), Mattia Bais (Androni-Sidermec), Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa) and Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa) have managed to extend their lead again to 1:12.

-35km

The escapees have come through Forte dei Marmi and they are on the long seafront that leads towards the finish line. They'll take the bell with just over 29km to go.

-34km

Break:

Guy Niv (Israel Start-Up Nation), Mattia Bais (Androni-Sidermec), Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa), Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa)

Peloton at 1:04

Xandro Meurisse (Alpecin-Fenix) and Tom Bohli (Cofidis) are the men holding the reins in the peloton, 57 seconds down on the remaining four escapees.

-29km

Guy Niv (Israel Start-Up Nation), Mattia Bais (Androni-Sidermec), Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa) and Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa) take the bell in Lido di Camaiore with a lead of 55 seconds over the peloton.

-25km

The pace is gradually rising in the peloton but not excessively so. Kasper Asgreen has time to drop back and hand off an empty bidon rather than fling it to the roadside. 

Vincenzo Albanese sits up from the break. His Eolo-Kometa teammate Rivi accelerates in a bid to breathe some life into the move, but they are on broowerd time at this point. 

Niv is distanced by that dig and there are two riders left in front: Bais and Rivi. They have 44 seconds on the peloton. Niv is giving chase alone in between the two leaders and the bunch.

-23km

Break:

Mattia Bais (Androni-Sidermec) and Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa)

Peloton at 0:46

Cofidis and Alpecin-Fenix continue to lead the peloton but there's no great urgency as yet as they pin back the dropped Albanese and Niv. The two leaders Bais and Rivi still have 55 seconds in hand.

Raúl Alarcón has been handed a four-year doping ban by the UCI for 'Use of Prohibited Methods and/or Prohibited Substances.' He had already been provisionally suspended since October 2019 but today's announcement means the W52/FC Porto rider formally loses his two Volta a Portugal titles and his 2017 Vuelta a Asturias victory. Read more here.

-18km

The peloton begins to line out a little bit more and a couple of seconds come off the break's lead. 48 seconds the gap.

-16km

Rivi and Bais' lead contracts a little further, to 38 seconds. 

Deceuninck-QuickStep have left the pace-making in the bunch to Cofidis, Alpecin0-Fenix and Lotto Soudal, but they have two possible options in today's finale, with Alvaro Hodeg and the on-form Davide Ballerini, winner of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Situation

Break:

Mattia Bais (Androni-Sidermec) and Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa)

Peloton at 0:19

The pace and the sense of urgency are steadily rising in the peloton. Delegations from Jumbo-Visma, Bora-Hansgrohe and Deceuninck-QuickStep move up in the bunch, though it's still Cofidis and Alpecin-Fenix who perform the pace-making duties. 

-13km

The peloton are almost upon Rivi and Bais, who have just 10 seconds in hand. 

-12km

The road widens and the peloton spreads across its full breadth as they continue just a handful of seconds behind Rivi and Bais.

-10.5km

The end of the adventure for Mattia Bais (Androni-Sidermec) and Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa), who are swept up by the bunch. Gruppo compatto.

-10km

Interesting to see Eolo-Kometa take up the reins at the head of the bunch as soon as Rivi is brought back. They have Manuel Belletti in their line-up here, but it's going to be difficult to make an impact against a sprint field like this one.

-8.5km

A group from Ineos moves Geraint Thomas and Bernal up before the sharp left-hand turn onto the seafront and the long, straight run through Forte dei Marmi and Marina di Pietrasanta en route to Lido di Camaiore.

-7km

The wide straight road is allowing teams ample space to move up and that creates its own difficulty. It can be hard to hold position at the front on a finale like this. 

-5km

Lotto Soudal and Movistar hit the front of the peloton but there are plenty of other delegations moving up alongside them.

What little wind there is will be coming off the sea to the riders' right. Ewan and Lotto Soudal are carefully sheltered on the left-hand side of the road, as are Van Aert and Jumbo-Visma.

-3km

Deceuninck-QuickStep and Trek-Segafredo are moving up on the right-hand side. Filippo Ganna sits in the centre of the road leading things for Ineos...

-2.5km

Jumbo-Visma take over for Van Aert with 2500m to go. 

-2km

Now it's Kasper Asgreen who hits the front for Deceuninck-QuickStep with Alaphilippe and Stybar on his wheel. But Jumbo-Visma have a competing train on the other side of the road.

-1km

It's Jumbo-Visma's train that leads into the final kilometre, but Bora, Deceuninck and Alpecin-Fenix are moving up... 

Max Richeze leads out the sprint for Fernando Gaviria, but Van Aert is on the Colombian's wheel...

Wout van Aert opens his sprint from distance. Caleb Ewan is trying to get on terms...

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) wins stage 1 of Tirreno-Adriatico.

UAE Team Emirates led that sprint out from distance for Gaviria. Van Aert was tucked on the Colombian's wheel and he kicked even before Richeze had finished his lead-out. A remarkable effort. Ewan came from a long way back but he ran out of road against Van Aert. Gaviria held on for third.

Result

1          Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma   3:36:17

2          Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal

3          Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates

4          Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroen

5          Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team BikeExchange

6          Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix

7          Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Deceuninck-QuickStep

8          Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep

9          Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team

10        Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation

Wout van Aert wins stage 1 of Tirreno-Adriatico in Lido di Camaiore.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

We wondered earlier if Van Aert would might sit out the bunch sprint with an eye to sparing himself for the more rugged terrain later in the week. Not a chance. He takes the race lead on day 1 and 10 bonus seconds to boot. He won't lose that jersey easily. 

Third place after a well-judged lead-out from Richeze is an encouraging sign for Gaviria after a difficult start at the UAE Tour, but he simply couldn't compete with the power of Van Aert and the speed of the fast-finishing Ewan this afternoon. 

Another man still finding his way is Peter Sagan. He came home in 11th place with his hands already on the hoods. He probably couldn't have expected any better in his first race of 2021 and his first race since his bout of COVID-19. The burning question is whether he can improve enough over the next week to be a factor at Milan-San Remo.  

For Deceuninck-QuickStep, meanwhile, the results sheet reads like an accusation. Hodeg and Ballerini were 7th and 8th, and it's not entirely clear what the team's sprint hierarchy was today. 

No doubt about the overall hierarchy, with Wout van Aert assuming the lead thanks to his stage win, which came just moments after his Jumbo-Visma teammate Primoz Roglic soloed to victory at Chiroubles to move into the overall lead at Paris-Nice.

General classification

1          Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma   3:36:07

2          Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal         00:00:04

3          Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates            00:00:06

4          Simone Velasco (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo       00:00:07

5          Mattia Bais (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec         00:00:08

6          Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroen          00:00:10

7          Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team BikeExchange

8          Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix

9          Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Deceuninck-QuickStep

10        Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep

Wout van Aert on his victory: "The final straight was really long, so today it was all about the right timing. I had high speed and so when I saw the 200m sign and maybe a bit before, I thought not to wait and I launched my sprint. I had the speed to maintain it to the finish. I’m really happy."

Pressed on his GC aspirations, he says: "For sure I think today and at Strade Bianche we saw a strong [Jumbo-Visma] team. We’re in high spirits and big motivation for this week; starting with a win is perfect for the GC. We’ll see what the next stages bring but we’ve already achieved one goal today."

Wout van Aert warms down after stage 1 of Tirreno-Adriatico.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wout van Aert wins stage 1 of the 2021 Tirreno-Adriatico.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos) was forced to abandon Paris-Nice this afternoon after crashing on the descent of Mount Brouilly. "On the descent there his front wheel slipped in a corner, he was fourth position, so really bad luck really. I don't know if there was some gravel or why exactly he slipped," said Ineos directeur sportif Gabriel Rasch. "Then he landed on his face and his head, and his knee pretty bad, so he felt a bit dizzy and we thought it was the right decision to stop him and not take any risks." Read more here.

Peter Sagan returned to racing at Tirreno-Adriatico

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Result

1          Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma   3:36:17

2          Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal

3          Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates

4          Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroen

5          Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team BikeExchange

6          Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix

7          Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Deceuninck-QuickStep

8          Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep

9          Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team

10        Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation

General classification

1          Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma   3:36:07

2          Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal         00:00:04

3          Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates            00:00:06

4          Simone Velasco (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo       00:00:07

5          Mattia Bais (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec         00:00:08

6          Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroen          00:00:10

7          Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team BikeExchange

8          Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix

9          Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Deceuninck-QuickStep

10        Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep

A full report, results and photos from today's stage are available here.

Tirreno Adriatico 2021 56th Edition 1st stage Lido di Camaiore Lido di Camaiore 156 km 10032021 Wout Van Aert BEL Jumbo Visma photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Peter Sagan had this to say after his first race day of 2021: “First stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico and, as expected, it came down to a fast bunch sprint. For me, it was also the first race of the 2021 season, so it was important to get back to race rhythm after a long break. The team, once again, did a very good job and I was kept safe in the long, final straight line to the finish. The last kilometre was quite hectic and, unfortunately, I wasn't in an ideal position to contest the sprint."

Peter Sagan returned to racing at Tirreno-Adriatico

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

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