Cancellara wins Tirreno TT; Nibali tops Horner in final overall

American Horner falls 15 seconds short in bid to become first American to win Italian stage race

SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO, Italy (VN) — Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) made it two-in-a-row in San Benedetto del Tronto Tuesday, winning the closing time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico for the second consecutive year. Cancellara finished the 9.3km, pancake-flat stage in 10:36.

“It’s great to win the time trial because it confirms that my form is good for the classics,” said Cancellara. “We had a great week; it was a hard, good, important week. I had a good, strong, important week here. It’s nice to win because it shows I am ready. Now I will rest a few days and then see how we go to the Milan-San Remo.”

Coming off two consecutive days on the attack, in which he earned 16 bonus seconds, Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) erased a six-second deficit to overnight leader Chris Horner (RadioShack) to win the “Race of the Two Seas.”

Nibali won the race’s queen stage, at the Prati di Tivo ski station, on Sunday and narrowly missed a second stage Monday in Offida. The former Vuelta a España winner powered down the finish straight along the Adriatic coast for a time of 10:56, enough to vault over Horner and previous second-place Roman Kreuziger (Astana).

“I had to wait until the end, the right training with [the Tour of] Oman and at home,” said Nibali, who fended off questions about a row with teammate Peter Sagan. “My team rode perfectly; forget all the polemics.”

Horner finished in 11:16, 15 seconds off the pace he needed to become the first American to win the Italian stage race. Kreuziger logged 11:23 in the final stage and fell to third, behind Horner.

“Nibali showed to be the favorite,” said Kreuziger. “We let him gain too much that day he attacked on Prati di Tivo. Upset? Normal, as soon as you finish a race. I think that tonight night, it will pass. Upset because I made a few errors that hurt. Compliments to Nibali, the best won.”

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