Michal Kwiatkowski secures Tirreno-Adriatico  over victory in final time trial

BMC Racing's Rohan Dennis fastest, as Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) finished 12th fastest and secured overall victory

At the start of the day, the GC race was still open, with just a few seconds separating the top spot and second, and less than a minute separated the whole top ten.

While the stage was a short individual time trial, there were seconds available for the fastest riders, and the parcours encouraged fast riding.

The San Benedetto del Tronto street course featured only a few turns over its whole 10.05km length – just the two 90 degree turns to bring riders onto the return run, and some gentle chicanes – and these would barely dent the riders’ speeds on the straightforward out and back course.

The pan-flat roads would bring with them quick times, meaning the overall contenders would be pushing hard, while the time trial specialists would be looking for the stage win.

Setting off in reverse GC order, riders would have to wait until the last rider had finished to confirm who had won this year’s edition of the race. The short course also meant riders wouldn’t have the luxury of checking their rivals’ times before they left the start gate and would have to push hard from beginning to end.

Having started the day in good weather, black clouds crowded the horizon, threatening not just showers, but the possibility of torrential rain. UCI World Champion, Peter Sagan, started his run, the roads were starting to get wet. While this didn’t trouble the Slovak rider, this would reduce speeds as the weather worsened, and saw riders slow down to a crawl on the corners, not wanting to take any chances and risk crashing.

Peter Sagan said afterwards "I'm happy that I finished the Tirreno-Adriatico safely, without any crashes. I came very close to victory in three stages but you can't win every day. I'd like to thank the whole team for their support and it's now time to focus on one of the big one-day races of the season, the Milano-Sanremo, on Saturday." – Peter Sagan

Michal Kwiatkowski clocked a competitive time across the 10-kilometre course in San Benedetto del Tronto, staying out of trouble despite a late downpour creating tricky conditions.
Kwiatkowski comfortably extended his lead out to 24 seconds over nearest rival Damiano Caruso (BMC Racing), and was happy to be joined on the podium by Geraint Thomas following a committed ride from the Welshman.
Thomas jumped up a place to third overall, 32 seconds back on his teammate, to cap off a superb day which saw a first ever victory for Team Sky at the ‘Race of Two Seas’.
Dry conditions greeted the early runners and helped Team Sky placed three riders in the top 10 on the stage. Jonathan Castroviejo registered the third quickest time, just eight seconds back on stage victor Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing). Gianni Moscon (5th) and Vasil Kiryienka (10th) demonstrated the team’s strength in depth after a hard week of racing.
Kwiatkowski said "It's been wonderful racing together with the boys from Team Sky. I'm happy me and G could finish on the podium. I know he had some back luck but at the end of the day we played it tactically really well. It was a really good race, straight from the start in the team time trial. I had really good feelings on the final time trial which was important. It was nervy from my point of view and when I was warming up on the KICKR it started raining. It was scary as anything could happen. In the end it was a good day."

"I'm getting older so let's hope I can keep on progressing. I'm working a lot on my time trialling and climbing and that allows me to make better results at stage races. I signed for Team Sky which is built around riders who can go for overall GC victories. I'm managing to keep up and that's great."

Attention now quickly turns to Saturday's Milan-San Remo, which will see Kwiatkowski line up as defending champion.

He added: "My motivation will be even bigger as I had some great feelings here. I just need to recover. I will spend three days at home and I will be ready to ride on from Milano to San Remo for 300 kilometres."

VIDEO 2018 Tirrreno-Adriatico Stage 7 highlights

2018 Tirrreno-Adriatico Stage 7 Top 10

1 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:11:15 
2 Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:00:03 
3 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Sky 0:00:07 
4 Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:08 
5 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky 0:00:12 
6 Michael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:13 
7 Jack Bauer (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:13 
8 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:16 
9 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:00:18 
10 Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky 0:00:18  

2018 Tirrreno-Adriatico Final GC Top 20

1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 25:32:56 
2 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:24 
3 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:32 
4 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:06 
5 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:01:10 
6 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:13 
7 Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:15 
8 Jaime Roson (Spa) Movistar Team   
9 George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:01:16 
10 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:01:22 
11 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:59 
12 Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:02 
13 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:31 
14 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:02:34 
15 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:03:07 
16 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:03:27 
17 Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension Data 0:03:51 
18 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:03:56 
19 Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:04:23 
20 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:04:41


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