A strong attack by Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) launched just 4km out from the spectacular finale at Pomarance prevented Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) from winning the stage he had targeted.
But the defending Tirreno-Adriatico champion still moved into the overall lead, the Belgian taking over from his team-mate Damiano Caruso due to his better placing – fourth – on the finishing line.
1 – Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 229km in 5h51’44”, average speed 39.063kph
2 – Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at 9″
3 – Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 9″
1 – Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team)
2 – Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) s.t.
3 – Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) s.t.
The stage winner Geraint Thomas, said: “The team time trial was a massive disappointment for us as we came here for GC with myself and Mikel Landa. It shows that anything can happen in sport. We wanted to be aggressive today. I didn’t expect to win this way but I had my chance and I took it. I’ve been lucky enough to finish it off. I’m happy with the win. We’ve got Elia [Viviani] for a sprint finish tomorrow. We have a few guys for the mountain stage after tomorrow. We still have good chances for stages.”
The Maglia Azzurra, Greg Van Avermaet, said: “I was targeting the stage win today over the leader’s jersey. I’m a bit disappointed because my legs enabled me to do better but I found myself blocked in a difficult situation and it was hard to catch Geraint Thomas. I’m not hoping for a mountain stage to be cancelled because of the snow this year. I want to win a stage and the most important thing is to stay healthy ahead of the classics. I’m yet to win a monument and I’m determined to do it this year. I’m on good form and the team has been strong since the beginning of the season too.”
This is the first win on Italian soil for Geraint Thomas who is in his eleventh pro season. The last victory by Team Sky at Tirreno-Adriatico was in 2015 by Wout Poels on stage 4 finishing in Castelraimondo.
It’s the seventh stage win for a British rider at Tirreno-Adriatico.
This is Greg Van Avermaet’s fourth blue jersey at Tirreno-Adriatico. He led the race for one day in 2015 and in the last two stages last year.