March 09, 2013 (Prati di Tivo, Italy) – Peter Sagan brought home the fifth win of the season for Cannondale Pro Cycling on Stage 3 at Tirreno-Adriatico. Under pouring rain in Narni Scalo, the finish of the third stage of Tirreno-Adriatico (with the start in Indicatore, 190km) the Slovak champion jumped out in the sprint by beating Cavendish, Greipel, Ciolek and Goss.
“I’m really happy for this first World Tour win,” confirmed Sagan. “Which allows the team to relax in the coming stages. We made the stage hard to wear out the sprinters. My teammates were great on the final climb and the contenders paid for their efforts on the final straight. I beat the best sprinters of the peloton and this is a great satisfaction. My goal for the ‘Tirreno’ is reached, now we’ll see day by day. Tomorrow is a good day for Moser and Caruso, while I hope to have a little bit of rest. If they are able to stay with the leaders, I’m ready to help them for the GC battle in next days.”
In response to questions about the first Classic of 2013, Milan-Sanremo, Sagan states: “There’s more than a week to go and now my goal is to finish the ‘Tirreno’ in the best way. I feel good, but the ‘Sanremo’ is a strange race.”
Today’s win is the fourth for Sagan in 2013 after two stages at the Tour of Oman and the GP of Camaiore, and is the 40th in his career. This is Sagan’s second win at the Tirreno-Adriatico: the first was taken last year in stage four which finished in Chieti.
Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 4 – Kwiatkowski Takes Maglia Azzurra on Prati Di Tivo
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Michal Kwiatkowski keeps the Maglia Azzurra by 4s, after finishing with a very elite group in the crucial 4th stage of Tirreno-Adriatico on Saturday.
Chris Froome (Team Sky ProCycling) won the stage solo, attacking in the final kilometer and a half as he, and Chris Horner (Radioshack-Leopard) caught attackers Alberto Contador (Team SaxoBank), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) up the road on Prati Di Tivo. Santambrogio was 2nd, and Nibali finished 3rd. Kwiatkowski was 4th, 13″ back from Froome. His terrific effort kept the blue jersey with OPQS, as Mark Cavendish wore the jersey up to this important stage. Kwatkowski is ahead of Froome and Contador, two of the top GC riders in the WorldTour peloton.
HC climb Prati Di Tivo — 14.6km, and a 7.1% average gradient with a max ramp of 12% — is often where the GC is sorted out at Tirreno-Adriatico. Therefore, unsurprisingly, all the top GC contenders attacked, splintering the peloton and dwindling the elite group down to a few riders. Team Sky led the elite group with several teammates. Even as Contador, Nibali, Froome, and others were testing the group in the final kilometers, Kwiatkowski stayed with the group, visible with his White jersey for Best Young Rider.
Kwiatkowski and OPQS look next to another crucial mountain stage, 224km Stage 5, on Sunday. OPQS currently holds 3 of the 4 race jerseys: White and Blue are with Kwiatkowski, and Cavendish wears the Red.
“Tirreno-Adriatico was one of my main goals for the beginning of the season, but I couldn’t have expected before that I could take the leader’s jersey today,” Kwiatkowski said. “There a lot of big champions here like Contador, Froome, and Nibali. I didn’t believe that I could maybe stay with them before today. But my team did such a great job from the first stages into today, so that I could believe in myself and do my best on the final climb to keep the leader’s jersey in our team.”
“We have a really hard stage tomorrow and until now everything went good,” Kwiatkowski continued. “I don’t know what I can expect from the others, but I will do my best to try and keep the jersey. I think I can get a lot of help from my teammates and I will focus on not losing too much time tomorrow, or the day after. My goal here is to go for the White Jersey for best young rider. My speciality is with the time trial. I will try to gain some seconds in the final stage. There are a lot of strong riders, but we will all do our best as we have until now to achieve our goals.”
Stage 3 – Indicatore to Narni Scalo – 190km
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 5:15:12
2. Mark Cavendish (Gbr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
3. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol
4. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
5. Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEDGE
6. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
7. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
8. Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team
9. Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
10. Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
139. Svein Tuft (Can) Orica GreenEDGE 5:00
Stage 4 – Narni to Prati di Tivo – 173km
1. Christopher Froome (Gbr) Sky Procycling 4:41:31
2. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 0:00:06
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:11
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:00:13
5. Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard 0:00:15
6. Alberto Contador Velasco (Esp) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
7. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:00:20
8. Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:43
9. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Esp) Katusha
10. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:00:58
132. Svein Tuft (Can) Orica GreenEDGE 17:16
GC after stage 4
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 16:04:59
2. Christopher Froome (Gbr) Sky Procycling 0:04
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:16
4. Alberto Contador Velasco (Esp) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:30
5. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:33
6. Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard 0:40
7. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 0:55
8. Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Esp) Movistar Team 1:04
9. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 1:16
10. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Esp) Katusha
132. Svein Tuft (Can) Orica GreenEDGE 22:29