Tirreno-Adriatico: Chris Froome takes the leader’s jersey

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Chris Froome battled hard on the final ascent to move into the race lead after stage five of Tirreno-Adriatico.

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Stage five: Ortoni to Chieti, 230km

The general classification contenders once again went toe to toe on the brutally steep Italian streets and it was Froome who pushed up the pace as overnight leader Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) began to suffer. Sixth on the stage among a group of elite favourites was enough to propel Froome into the Maglia Azzurra after Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) took a solo stage victory.

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The Spaniard kicked on the steep ramps of the Via Salomone to win by eight seconds over Bauke Mollema (Blanco Cycling) and Alberto Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff).Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) attacked on the hardest point of the last climb with one of his usual, overwhelming attacks that nobody could match and ‘Purito’ went on to win solo. Thanks to his win, Rodriguez moved up to 7th position in general classification, 55” behind the new leader Chris Froome (Sky).

The stage was characterized by an early breakaway made by eight riders: Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida), Valerio Agnoli (Astana), Oscar Gatto (Fantini Selle Italia), Michal Schar (BMC), Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil), Stijn Devolder (RadioShack-Leopard), Sebastian Langeveld (Orica-GreenEdge) and Maxim Belkov (Katusha).

The eight men managed to open up a gap of eight minutes at the first King of Mountain sprint at Forchetta di Palena: but on the second categorized uphill, Passo Lanciano, with the chasing group 2’30” behind, Cunego decided to try his luck and go by himself. The Italian rider kept the lead of the race until the last climbing, 6.5 kilometres from Chieti’s finishing line.

Back in the chasing group containing the GC contenders, Sky set a very hard tempo that created a selection of favourites and from that, with 1,3 kilometres to go, ‘Purito’ Rodriguez made the crucial move and opening up a gap that allowed him to have time to raise his arms to celebrate his second victory of this season.

Video of the final few kilometres

“I’m very happy with this performance” said ‘Purito.’”It was very important both for me and for the team, since it’s the first win in a World Tour race in 2013. I remember very well the final part of this stage and its incredibly tough stretch. We were very careful from the beginning to the end, because we knew it was very difficult to win here in Chieti”.

“Everybody was expecting something from me, they know these finals are my speciality. Tomorrow there will be another long, demanding stage: We’re not fighting anymore to win the final classification but we will try to take a good result anyways, also because my teammates are in a great shape. We should put one of us in the breakaway, then we will attempt something, we have nothing to lose”.

Chris Froome meanwhile said ““Every day we come in with a pretty solid plan and it seems to keep coming off. That’s not a position you find yourself in too often so it’s a really cool feeling to be part of a team like this who can go out and not only stick to the plan but get a result out of it too. I had heard [Kwiatkowski] was slipping back which did motivate me a little bit more, but to be honest I was already going full gas.”

“The team took it up with about 45-50km to go on the last couple of climbs and really ripped it apart. We put a lot of pressure on the leader’s jersey and I think it paid off at the end of the stage as he eventually cracked on that final climb and I was able to get a gap over him.”

“It’s a great position to be in – defending. I’d rather be doing that than trying to gain time over someone. But tomorrow I’m expecting them to throw everything at us. I think the weather is going to take a turn for the worst too. The course is up and down all day so it’s not going to be easy for us.”

RESULTS
1. RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 06:06:43
2. MOLLEMA Bauke Blanco Pro Cycling Team 00:08
3. CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ same time
4. SANTAMBROGIO Mauro Vini Fantini @ same time
5. HORNER Chris RadioShack – Leopard @ same time
6. FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling @ same time
7. NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team 00:17
8. NIEMIEC Przemyslaw Lampre – Merida 00:22
9. KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ same time
10. MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp 00:28

15. KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ same time
21. VOSS Paul Team NetApp – Endura 01:20
32. SAGAN Peter Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 03:46
51. EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team @ 7.44
60. VAN AVERMAET Greg BMC Racing Team @ 10.10
87. DOWSETT Alex Movistar Team @ 14.05
88. SCHLECK Andy RadioShack – Leopard @ same time
91. CANCELLARA Fabian RadioShack – Leopard 15:21
92. KENNAUGH Peter Sky Procycling 16:07
95. BOOM Lars Blanco Pro Cycling Team @ 22.18
110. HUSHOVD Thor BMC Racing Team @ same time
129. GOSS Matthew Orica GreenEDGE @ same time
142. CAVENDISH Mark Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ same time
154. DEMPSTER Zakkari Team NetApp – Endura @ same time
158. CUMMINGS Stephen BMC Racing Team @ same time

OVERALL
1. FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling 22:11:53
2. CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:20
3. NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team ,,
4. KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 0:24
5. HORNER Chris RadioShack – Leopard 0:37
6. SANTAMBROGIO Mauro Vini Fantini 0:52
7. RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 0:55
8. URAN Rigoberto Sky Procycling 0:57
9. KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff 1:27
10. HENAO MONTOYA Sergio Luis Sky Procycling 1:51

16. MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp 2:48
24. VOSS Paul Team NetApp – Endura 5:15

 

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