Conclusions after Tirreno-Adriatico
Nairo Quintana was the strongest rider in the race and he took a well-deserved win, becoming the first Colombian to emerge victorious in the “Race of the Two Seas”. Despite coming at the start after a whole month without any kind of race in his legs, just the usual training he did in his home country, the Giro champion powered away on Monte Terminillo and established himself as one of the top favorites for the Tour de France, although the Utrecht Grand Depart is due in more than three months. Considering the fact that Quintana looked at his dominant best, despite the fact that he was at 75% of his potential, this should put Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali and Alberto Contador on guard for July, when Movistar’s cyclist will try to write history for his country and continue building himself an impressive palmares
The 50th edition of Tirreno-Adriatico will go down as one which was dominated by Colombian riders: besides Quintana’s emphatic triumph – who also took the white jersey that rewards the best young cyclist – the race saw Rigoberto Uran finish in third place, a result that underlined his credentials for the upcoming Giro d’Italia, where he’ll try to follow in the footsteps of his countryman and win the pink jersey. Finally, another Colombian rider who made sure of getting on the podium was Carlos Julian Quintero, who went home with the green jersey, for the best rider in the mountains classification, his biggest result up-to-date.
There was a lot of hype surrounding Alberto Contador at the start of the race, but the Spaniard failed to make an impact on the GC and missed on another goal of the season, after the Ruta del Sol. It remains some kind of an enigma if Contador was bothered by the consequences of the crash in which he was involved before Tirreno-Adriatico, but the truth is he looked like a shadow of his former self from the 2014 season. More troublesome for the Tinkoff-Saxo leader is that in both Vuelta a Andalucia and Tirreno-Adriatico he lost to riders he’ll meet later in the season, at the Tour de France. But until then, the Giro’s on Contador schedule and he has to make sure that he’ll find the legs to win it.
Adam Yates came in 9th in the overall standings and underlined again his huge potential, while mixing it up with the big boys. To see him there wasn’t impressive, because the Brit had a whole 2014 season to show what he’s capable of (which he did in more than one occasion), but to see him riding the way he did in his first stage race of the year, that was really impressive. Just 22-years-old, Adam Yates continues to improve and can take a huge amount of confidence from his ride in Tirreno-Adriatico, before the next important races of the season that are looming on the horizon, one of which will be the Tour de France.
Four of the main favorites for Milan-Sanremo showed they are hitting their top form for “La Primavera”: Fabian Cancellara laid his mark on the San Benedetto del Tronto individual time trial, Peter Sagan scored his first victory in the Tinkoff-Saxo kit, winning the bunch sprint in stage six, Greg Van Avermaet got a victory on the uphill finish to Arezzo, while Zdenek Stybar came in the top three in the same stage. As always, it’s hard to predict who will take Milan-Sanremo, but based on the results of these four in Italy, the winner has a big chance of coming from the group above.