15 March 2016

VAN AVERMAET TAKES THE SEA MASTER TROPHY

Fabian Cancellara claimed his 56th victory in a time trial as he rode the fastest time in San Benedetto del Tronto for the fourth and last time in his long lasting career. He clocked the 10.1km course in 11′ 08″ with an impressive average speed of 54.431km/h, resulting in an advantage of 13″ over French surprise Johan Le Bon who came second and Tony Martin in third and 15″ off Cancellara’s blistering time.

The fight for the trident was extremely tight. The prestigious trophy for the overall winner went to Greg Van Avermaet who maintained less than a one second (72 cents, rounded up as per the rules) advantage over runner up Peter Sagan; Sagan had started the final stage with the aim of making up his deficit of eight-seconds. Third place was just as tight as best young rider Bob Jungels fended off the FDJ climbing duo, formed of Sébastien Reichenbach and Thibaut Pinot, with a similar advantage of  just one second.
QUOTES

Greg van Avermaet: “Beating Sagan often means that I’m winning a lot. He has been close to winning on many occasions, so I imagine it’s a lot of frustration for him. I know how it feels… I’ve come second myself too many times. I’m sure a big victory in the World Champion’s jersey will come to him soon. Yesterday I decided to not pull in the breakaway but that’s not my usual way of racing, it was a decision due to the circumstances with my team-mates Tejay van Garderen and Damiano Caruso at the back. I’m very happy now. I never thought I’d win this race. It was once in a lifetime chance that I had could win Tirreno. It means a lot to me to have my name on the record book after Roger de Vlaeminck and all the great champions who have done it before me. Only one second is enough for me! Today, I knew it would be a hard circuit for me. I was informed of the split time that went up to 5 seconds. I tried to go as fast as I could. It was about pushing as hard as possible and I gave it all. I think I did a good time trial. It was not my best but also not my worst. I like courses with more corners. Straight roads aren’t my forte for racing alone. A lot of small things didn’t come right in the past. Now luck is on my side this year. I have the engine to be up there. I’m in for a big win in the classics also”.

 

Fabian Cancellara: “For sure there have been other time trials in my career that I’ll remember but besides the World Championships and the Olympic Games, this one is special. It’s my fourth and last one in San Bendetto del Tronto. I’ll keep good memories from all my time trials here. Every year it’s been a challenge, I’ve lost some of them and it helped me win others. Today’s victory brings me a positive feeling because I didn’t start the week of racing at my best. I wasn’t 100% healthy at the beginning. Stage 5 was cancelled. It was a good thing for me and in general. We didn’t have any rain, which helped me to recover. Now I can rest ahead of my last Milan-Sanremo. That will be another special one”.

 

Points classification winner Peter Sagan: “I’ve got mixed feelings. I should be disappointed to lose the overall classification by such a small margin but hadn’t the mountain stage been cancelled, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to race for GC. I’m more bitter about yesterday’s stage. The way Greg van Avermaet rode it is certainly not my style of racing. He says he had team-mates at the back but I also had team-mates at the back and so did Etixx – Quick Step. Moreover, I’m happy with my form. This race puts me on the right track for my coming goals”.

 

Best young rider Bob Jungels: “Team wise we can be satisfied with our week of racing. We would have signed for such a result: two stage wins, second in the team time trial and my first podium in a World Tour race. It’s great for myself and the team. It helps me looking forward to the next target”.

 

King of the Mountains Cesare Benedetti: “It’s really good for my team Bora – Argon 18 to get this price. It’s our first in a World Tour race. We’re only a Pro Continental squad. As for myself, I’m delighted with this distinctive jersey. I was a reserve on the entry form. Eventually I started and showed that my form was good, which means I’ve worked well at home. I’m glad I took the opportunity to conquer this prize”.

 

Most combative rider Federico Zurlo: “It’s a great pleasure to be nominated as the most combative rider, especially at a World Tour race in Italy. It comes at a time of my career I’m trying to develop as a pro racer so I want to thank the people who recognized my efforts this week”.