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Alberto Contador earned his first overall race win...

Malori wins Tirreno-Adriatico time trial as Contador claims GC title

Andriano Malori beats the world's top time trialists to claim victory in the final stage around San Benedetto del Tronto

Andriano Malori (Movistar) won the time trial finale at Tirreno-Adriatico on Tuesday as Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) claimed the overall victory at the seven-day race.

Malori was the 76th rider (of 163) to leave the start ramp, but he registered a sizzling time of 10:13 in the 9.1-kilometer route around San Benedetto del Tronto. The top time trialists in the field — Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Bradley Wiggins (Sky), and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) — could not touch his result.

“For the other riders that were behind me, I think this is the greatest victory of my life with Wiggo, Fabian, and Tony,” Malori said. “I used a power meter but with the time trial so short, it is not so important. You have to go full gas for the 9 kilometers.”

Cancellara, who turned 33 Tuesday, finished second with a time of 10:19. Wiggins placed third in 10:24. Martin (10:28) and Giant-Shimano’s Tom Dumoulin (10:32) rounded out the top 5.

Contador began the day with a 2:08 lead in the GC over Nairo Quintana (Movistar). Roman Kreuziger was a further seven seconds behind. The Spaniard is a strong time trialist and clocked in at 10:54.

Quintana finished the race 2:05 behind Contador in second; Kreuziger was third at 2:14 adrift.

Martin won the stage 7 time trial at last year’s Tirreno-Adriatico, crossing the finish line in 10:25. Malori finished six seconds back and was the runner-up. Organizers used the same route for this year’s race.

Significant victory

The win is an important one for Contador, who spent the winter training with a new coach. He registered just one victory last year — the sixth stage at the Tour de San Luis — and won the points classification at Tirreno-Adriatico. Contador won two races in 2012: the Vuelta a Espana and Milano-Torino.

The Spaniard started 2014 on a positive note by winning the fourth stage at the Volta ao Algarve en route to taking second overall. And at Tirreno-Adriatico, he won stages 4 and 5, both mountain stages, before earning the maglia azzurra.

The two-time Tour de France champion’s goal is to win the Tour again this summer.

Different (pedal) strokes

Malori sped through the course at a slow cadence while pushing a big gear — something Martin does as well, although Martin has an even slower cadence.

Cancellara, who passed Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) as he rode under the red kite signifying 1km left, spun a bit faster in a lighter gear. Same went for Wiggins. And Contador, who is known to ride at a high cadence, did not deviate from that in San Benedetto del Tronto.

Movistar’s Jonathan Castroviejo, on the other hand, turned some heads by riding in a unique position. He was very low — his back was parallel to the ground — and his saddle was slammed all the way to the front of the rails. He looked more like a triathlete than a road cyclist.