Boungiorno and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 7 of Tirreno-Adriatico.
As the Cyclingnews blimp takes height, the first riders have the TT.
Like Bora-Hansgrohe, every team is ready for the 10.1km out and bike time trial.
🇮🇹 #TirrenoAdriatico TT-Bikes are ready as @petosagan will be our first rider to take on the last stage ⏱Starting times:13:29 @petosagan 13:46 @maciejbodnar 14:13 @MBurghardt83 14:35 @Daniel87Oss 14:58 @AleottiGiovanni 15:17 @PatricKonrad15:50 @M_Fabbro95 pic.twitter.com/GlLrVGEwznMarch 16, 2021
This morning, before the first rider rolled down the start ramp, the overall contenders and big-name TT contenders were out to ride the course along the San Benedetto del Trento seafront.
So far 4 riders have completed the TT, with Samuele Rivi of Eolo fastest in 12:21.
Britain's John Archibald of Eolo sets a new fastest time of 12:01 but hew is soon beaten by Tom Scully of EF, who sets a time of 11:58, the first below 12 minutes.
Some of the better TT experts are out racing now and Eduardo Affini of Jumbo-Visma sets the new fastest time of 11:38.
That's a way off Ganna's record of 10:42 but that was set last September when he was in superb form.
New best time! Affini has been beaten quickly.
Sebastian Langeveld of EF sets 11:36!
To see the full start times and the big names to watch out for, click below.
This is the map of the TT. As you can see, it is really is a out and back course along the sea front.
While some riders have finished, others are warming up.
💠 @TirrenAdriatico Listen to the right beat 🎵 during your warm up like @BoaroManuele does. 🎸 https://t.co/VHi4K2CzRq#TirrenoAdriatico #Spotify #Playlist pic.twitter.com/ZkNy62sqGmMarch 16, 2021
There is some wind today. It is blowing at 20km/h from the north, making it a cross headwind on the return leg.
The wind could change and be more from the northwest, making it easier for the final riders because the seafront hotels and building will protect the riders.
Peter Sagan is off early today after a quiet ands modest Tirreno. He sets a time of 12:32.
Sagan has added the Volta a Catalunya to his race programme, meaning he will miss the early Classics on Belgium in the week after Milan-San Remo.
Sagan tested positive for COVID-19 during a private training camp in early February and spent time in quarantine, unable to train outdoors.
We can see some huge grey clouds to the south of San Benedetto del Tronto. There is rain in the nearby hills but the northern wind seems set to blow the rain away from the race rather than across it.
New best time!
Michael Hepburn of Bike Exchange shows his TT talents by setting 11:33.
A warm-up is vital for such a short and intense TT.
𝐈𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐳𝐨𝐧𝐞🧘🏼♂️@NikiasArndt fully focused ahead of today's #TirrenoAdriatico TT pic.twitter.com/5sCItG1I6OMarch 16, 2021
Maciej Bodnar of Bora finishes strongly to set 11:43, 10 seconds slower than Hepburn.
Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama-FDJ) is underway. He was fifth last year and is a good time trialist
This is the view from the Qhubeka team car.
🇮🇹 #TirrenoAdriatico @BertjanLindeman & @dimitriclaeys are in... currently Claeys as our best placed in 9th with a 12'11".Hepburn leads with an 11'33". pic.twitter.com/2VAebCQJPPMarch 16, 2021
After losing time during the race, the pure time trialists and today'd contenders are off early.
Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) will be off in a few minutes, while Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) is off at 2:30 local time.
Before the start, every rider's bike is given a final check for compliance.
🇮🇹 #TirrenoAdriatico Bike check for @NVHooydonck ✅ He will leave the start ramp in a few minutes. pic.twitter.com/W9c40eBYBGMarch 16, 2021
Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama-FDJ) sets 11:34 . One second slower than Hepburn.
Close but no cigar.
- Michael Hepburn (Bike Exchange) 11:33
- Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama-FDJ) 11:34
- Sebastian Langevled (EF) 11:36
- Eduardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) 11:38
- Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious) 11:39
With some major construction work underway on the seafront, the riders are forced to share the road for part of the TT.
That means the outward leg is on a narrow road for an opening 2km.
Italy's Alberto Bettiol is out on the course. He won the Tour of Flanders but is a god time trialist too.
Kung is off now. He is a real contender and a threat to Ganna's hopes. Kung is the European TT champion.
Michael Hepburn spoke from the hot seat:
"I’m happy with how I went today. I think I paced it well out there," the Australian said.
"The wind is much the same as previous years, with a tailwind out and a head wind back. I think the back sector is the most important point to try to make up time."
Bettiol is fast. He sets a time of 4:44 at the 4.4km intermediate point.
Kung is six seconds faster than Bettiol!
Here comes Bettiol....
He sets 11:24.
However Kung will finish soon and Ganna is out on the road.
Ganna, of course, is the world time trial champion and is racing in the rainbow jersey.
Ganna is chasing his ninth consecutive TT win.
Ganna is pushing close to 500 watts as he gets up to speed.
You can see Ganna is a superb team and individual pursuiter.
Ganna has played down hopes of him beating his record timer of 10:42. Then he was fitter and 3kg lighter as he prepared for the Giro d'Italia.
Here is Stefan Kung. He sets a time of 11:12.
That's fast but is it fast enough to beat Ganna?
At the intermediate split, Ganna is actually 5 seconds down on Kung. The Swiss rider set 4:38.
Can Ganna pull that back into the head wind? We'll soon find out.
Ganna is going deep as he heads back towards the finish, pushing a huge gear.
Ganna is pushing a 58x13 gear. Ouch!
Ganna dives through a chicane, careful to go out of his aero tuck position.
Ganna's power is up to 580 watts now.
He needs at least 20 watts or so to make up his 5-second deficit to Kung.
Ganna has to beat Kung's time of 11:12.
It will be close.
Ganna sets 11: 17
He's slower than Kung.
Ganna was slower by 4.99 seconds.
Ganna has worked hard during Tirreno-Adriatico but his performance and defeat is a huge surprise.
Kung watched carefully as Ganna failed to beat him.
"I think Filippo was the No 1 favourite. I'm very happy with my ride today," he said.
The ride back is important today. It's a head wind and so I went harder to make the difference. He was behind me at the intermediate add then at the finish."
"I gave it all, to beat Ganna, now we'll see how Wout Van Aert goes on, he was strong in the TT at the Tour de France."
- Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ) 11: 12
- Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) 11: 17
- Alberto Bettiol (EF-Nippo) 11:24
- Michael Hepburn (Bike Exchange) 11:33
- Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama-FDJ) 11:34
Next to come in is Benjamin Thomas of FDJ. He is also on a ride.
Thomas sets 11: 22.
That's slower than Kung and Ganna but he's fast.
Here is Kung during his ride.
Kasper Asgreen sets 11: 32.
Not bad but only fifth so far.
This is Ganna in his rainbow jersey.
Thibaut Pinot sets off. He's had a modest, quiet Tirreno, as he continues to suffer with some back problems.
FDJ have said he will soon undergo further tests and treatment and has time to find his form for the Giro d'Italia.
Julian Alaphilippe is also out on the course. He's riding in the blue Deceuninck colours and not the rainbow jersey because he's the road race world champion, not the TT world champion.
This is the current top 5:
Here comes Pinot. He sets 11:41.
Mathieu van der Poel starts his TT as Alaphilippe finishes and sets 12: 09.
He's off the pace and not an overall contender this year.
Geraint Thomas is out and at speed.
The TT will be a test of his form.
Thomas is 9 seconds slower after 4.4km.
Sadly a police motorbike gets in his way and forces him change line.
Mathieu van der Poel sets 12:07.
He clearly opted to save something today and begin to rest-up for Saturday's Milan-San Remo.
As we predicted, the wind has changed and eased slightly for the final riders.
Geraint Thomas fights his gear in the final kilometre and sets 11:34.
This is a great shot of Kung.
Here's Ganna. His winning streak of eight TT wins ended today.
Can Wout Van Aert beat Kung? Today he will race in the cyclamen points jersey.
🇮🇹 #TirrenoAdriatico @WoutvanAert warming up for his time trial 👀 In the 💜 jersey, on a 🇧🇪-tinted @cervelo pic.twitter.com/6T36GwDQpdMarch 16, 2021
Joao Almeida is out racing. We're entering the final GC battle now.
Tadej Pogacar leads by a big margin but there is a fight for the final top ten places.
Marc Soler (Movistar) had a quiet race and finished with a time of 12:04.
📸 @SimonYatess 🇬🇧 & @vincenzonibali 🇮🇹#TirrenoAdriatico pic.twitter.com/YgYcMKEekzMarch 16, 2021
Vincenzo Nibali sets 11:54. He's 32nd fastest, summerising the Italian's Tirreno.
Joao Almeida sets 11:30. That will help him in the GC.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the course, Wout Van Aert and race leader Tadej Pogacar are off!
Van Aert is fast and sets 4:37 at the 4.4km time split.
That was 1 second faster than Kung!
Van Aert flies over a speed bump going out of the saddle.
Egan Bernal sets 12:01.
Next in is Mikel Landa but the Basque rider is, as usual, losing time.
Kung seems worried by Van Aert's speed. The Belgian is 3 seconds faster at the moment.
Mikel Landa sets 12:15 and so keeps his third place on the final podium.
Here comes Van Aert.
He sets 11: 06!
Van Aert beats Kung by 6 seconds to win the final stage!
Kung is not happy and shakes his head as he gets up and leaves the hot seat.
Here comes Pogacar. He's fast and defends his race lead to win the 2021 Tirreno-Adriatico.
He sets a time of 11:18.
Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) wins the 2021 Tirreno-Adriatico.
He punches the air as the crosses the line.
Pogacar finished 4th in the final time trial, only 12 seconds slower than Van Aert.
This is the top three for the TT.
🔱 Tirreno Adriatico @eolo_it 2021📅 Tappa 7⃣ | Stage 7⃣🥇 @WoutvanAert 🇧🇪🥈 @stefankueng 🇨🇭🥉 @GannaFilippo 🇮🇹 #TirrenoAdriatico pic.twitter.com/DQs3D3OxcDMarch 16, 2021
Pogacar seems fresh and has already recovered from his short but intense TT effort.
Here's Van Aert at speed.
Pogacar's lead was reduced to 1:03 by Van Aert but the Slovenian will collect the winner's blue jersey and the trident trophy.
Pogacar confirmed what he said on Monday, that he will not ride Milan-San Remo. His next race will be the Tour of the Basque Country before targetting the Ardennes Classics.
Van Aert climbs on the podium in his Belgian national TT colours.
The Tirreno TT podium is the same as the Imola world championship podium but with Van Aert beating Ganna.
|1||Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma||0:11:06|
|2||Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ||0:0:06|
|3||Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers||0:0:11|
|4||Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates||0:0:12|
|5||Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||0:0:16|
|6||Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo||0:0:18|
|7||João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep||0:0:24|
|8||Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep||0:0:26|
|9||Michael Hepburn (Aus) Team BikeExchange||0:0:27|
|10||Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ||0:0:28|
|1||Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates||26:36:17|
|2||Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma||0:01:03|
|3||Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious||0:03:57|
|4||Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers||0:04:13|
|5||Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:04:37|
|6||João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep||0:04:54|
|7||Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal||0:05:00|
|8||Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM||0:05:50|
|9||Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo||0:06:30|
|10||Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange||0:07:45|
The final podium confirms Mikel Landa third overall at 3:57.
Wout Van Aert is second at 1:03.
Tadej Pogacar is the winner.
Pogacar is 2 for 2. He also won the UAE Tour before this victory at Tirreno-Adriatico.
Pogacar opens the spumante and touches bottles with Van Aert and Landa.
The three pose for a quick podium photo.
🇸🇮 @TamauPogi è il Re dei due Mari!🇸🇮 @TamauPogi is the King of the two Seas!#TirrenoAdriatico pic.twitter.com/EVuoVYCne9March 16, 2021
Wout Van Aert was pleased to win the final TT.
"It was a really hard one, even if short," he said.
"I always hurt myself to maximum in time trials and I’m happy with this. I’ve been improving in my time trials in the last years.
"In this field there are almost all the best time trialists are on their start line, so it’s a really good start to the season for time trials."
- Empty list
Did the wind drop for the final riders?
"Maybe," Van Aert admitted. "I was in the bus until 10 minutes before the start..."
"It’s always difficult with time trials to have the same circumstances for everyone. I always hope everyone has the same conditions but it also plays a role of course."
Van Aert was targeting victory but was happy with second.
"This is first time I aimed for the GC in a WorldTour stage race. I only got beaten by the Tour de France winner, so I guess that’s a pretty good start. I’ll definitely try more of these in the future. But for now I have my eye and my minds on the Classics," he said.
He intends to target stage races, Classics and other races.
"Last year I showed I’m very versatile. I like to focus on a lot of things. Until now it’s working out really good, so we can be hay with that," Van Aert said.
We have some stunning time trial photos.
Pogacar rode a good time trial despite having a lead of over a minute.
Here's Vincenzo Nibali close up!
Here's Van Aert on the podium.
Overall winner Pogacar heads to the podium after his time trial.
To see our growing photo gallery, our full stage report and full results, click below.
These are Van Aert's 'numbers' via Velon.
Is there anything this man can't do? What a win, what a rider.________🇮🇹 #TirrenoAdriatico pic.twitter.com/tkP3qB7W8pMarch 16, 2021
With Tirreno-Adriatico done, the next major men's race is Milan-San Remo on Saturday.
There are some other races in Belgium this week but the likes of Van Aert, van der Poel and many others will now try to recover and prepare for the longest race of the season.
However Pogacar confirmed he will not ride after a busy early season at the UAE Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico.
Thanks for joining us for our full live coverage of Tirreno-Adriatico.
We'll be back at the weekend for full coverage of Milan-San Remo on Saturday and then coverage of the women's Trofeo Binda on Sunday.
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