Nibali crowned king of Tirreno-Adriatico 2013
The 7th and final stage was won by Time Trial World Champion Tony Martin of Team Omega Pharma-QuickStep and Germany. In admirable fashion Martin once again showed spectators why he deserves to hold the world champion title. Martin beat RadioShack-Leopard's former world champion Fabian Cancellara by 12 seconds, Team Sky Pro Cycling's Christopher Froome by 15 seconds and Saxo-Tinkoff's Alberto Contador by half a minute.
Team Astana's Vincenzo Nibali finished 26 seconds behind Martin and thereby secured the overall Tirreno-Adriatico title for the second year in a row, while Froome and Contador finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Nibali laid the foundation for his overall win in yesterday's tough stage 6 where he took over the leader's jersey from Froome, who disappointingly and surprisingly faltered in the battle, which took place on the 30% incline of Muro di Sant'Elpidio - a climb which had to be contested no less than three times.
When asked to comment on the time trial and his success Martin told Roadcycling.com "It was more like a prologue than really a time trial. I prefer the longer time trials, from twenty to fifty kilometers. But, I really liked it here. It was not too technical. It was really nice, and we were lucky with the weather as there was no rain. So, everything was really fine. I expected a really big fight with Cancellara at the end, and the big contender was Malori. But OK, I won and I'm really happy. It shows me that my time trial condition is really good, and it gives me a lot of morale for the season."
"I was really looking forward to this day," Martin continued and added "I'm really happy I could win here. This is my first time at Tirreno-Adriatico. I really liked this race, and a week of challenging climbs was very important for my conditioning. As for my performance during the stages that weren't time trials, it went better day to day. I still need some time to improve in the mountains, but it is very early in the season."
Commenting on today's time trial, overall race winner Nibali said "After yesterday, today’s stage was a big one. There were one or two difficult corners in the rain, and I preferred to take no risks."
Nibali told Roadcycling.com he is very proud of his victory "It was a great Tirreno-Adriatico and it gives me great personal satisfaction to win against riders of the quality of Contador and Froome - like in the great three week races. After this Tirreno–Adriatico, I know I’m in good shape. I’ll be there to play my cards at Milan - San Remo. I’ll try to ride a good race. It’s hard to make predictions and it doesn’t really suit my characteristics because I don’t have a good sprint finish, so I’ll have to invent something."
Team BMC Racing's former Tour de France champion Cadel Evans finished today's Tirreno-Adriatico time trial in 43rd position, 47 seconds behind Martin. Andy Schleck abandoned the race.