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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.
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.