Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 6

Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep) triumphs on Tirreno-Adriatico penultimate stage, Quintana continues to lead ahead of time trial

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Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 6

The Colombian’s first World Tour victory of the season came after a thrilling finale in Civitanova Marche

© Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team/ Tim De Waele 

Fernando Gaviria returned to winning ways, four weeks after nabbing a stage at Volta ao Algarve. This time, the 22-year-old South American came out on top at Tirreno-Adriatico, same race which last year witnessed his first World Tour success, on a day made exciting by the countless attacks launched by several riders on a small lump with stiff gradients coming nine kilometers from the finish.

Until that point, Julien Vermote put in a mountain of work at the head of the bunch, setting a strong pace behind the eight escapees and controlling their advantage, before clawing them back – with the help of Dimension Data and Team Sky – in the final part of the stage to Civitanova Marche. On the unclassified climb, some riders threw caution to the wind, but Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels covered these attacks, before Niki Terpstra joined a four-man move which opened a 10-second gap over the top of the hill.

© Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team/ Tim De Waele 

Behind, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) accelerated, trying to split the field, but Fernando Gaviria responded immediately and jumped on the world champion’s wheel. On the flat section towards the line, the bunch reabsorbed the group of Niki Terpstra and the sprinters began moving to the front, despite the messy finish which splintered the peloton before the flamme rouge. Gaviria made the most out of his incredible turn of speed, going in a head-to-head contest with Sagan and defeating him for his fourth victory of the year.

“I’m happy to take this victory, it’s a well-deserved success for our squad after a week during which we worked and fought hard. I knew it was the last opportunity for the sprinters and to get another win at Tirreno-Adriatico makes me very happy. This victory gives me confidence for the upcoming races”, said Fernando Gaviria, one of the two Colombian riders to nab a win in the “Race of the Two Seas” since its inception, in 1966.

The data provided by his Velon tracker – a maximum power peak of 1277W during the 260m-long sprint which saw him hit a 69.8km/h top speed on the seafront of Civitanova Marche – come as testimony of how strong the Quick-Step Floors rider was on that crucial part of the stage.

“When Sagan attacked, I followed him and thanks to the fact Niki was in the front I could stay relaxed on his wheel. In the final 200 meters, I kept my eyes on him and when I noticed he wanted to open his sprint, I decided to move first. I had good legs and enough power to keep a small gap, even if he was coming back really strongly. He is one of the best riders in the peloton and to beat him it’s an honor”, concluded Fernando, who brought Quick-Step Floors’ 16th victory of the year.

Peter Sagan: “It was a very nervous stage and it’s good we managed to finish without any incidents. Quick-Step Floors attacked a lot and as for myself, I think I’m happy with the result. Gaviria proved a bit stronger and got the win. Given the huge effort I put in yesterday, I’m satisfied with my performance and the result today.”

Jasper Stuyven (Trek Segfredo) “It was really good, and we knew we had to be in the front when we passed the finish line for the first time,” explained Stuyven. “Markel (Irizar) and (Marco) Coledan were the perfect guys to do this. Markel was there at first, but he had a mechanical, so then we only had Marco; we knew these guys would have a hard time to make it over the climb so we used them there and it was perfect”.

“Koen (de Kort) kept me again in the front for the climb, and I followed Sagan and Gaviria when they went over the top. But then the peloton came back, but I was able to keep good position; I had the good wheels, but I just couldn’t come around them at the end.”

Quintana (race leader) “We didn’t want to concede any seconds before Tuesday’s TT, and that’s why we always kept the group together at the front,” briefly explained Nairo on the day’s endeavours. “We just wanted to avoid any danger, and we crossed the finish line OK, so we can say that the team was great again today”, praised on the work by team-mates Moreno, Dowsett, Sütterlin, Bennati, Amador, Oliveira and also Jonathan Castroviejo, who will seek for a stage win tomorrow and an improvement on his current, eighth-place GC result. “Regarding myself “, wrapped up Quintana,

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