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Wout van Aert wakes up on the right foot

10/03/2021

The Belgian ace beats Caleb Ewan in a sprint finish to the opening stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) claimed his first win of the season in what was only his second race this year after Strade Bianche (4th place finish) as he outsprinted Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) in a bunch finish at Lido di Camaiore. Speaking after the race, the Belgian ace made it no secret that his ambition is to win the Tirreno-Adriatico overall.

 

STAGE RESULT

1 – Wout Van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma), 156km in 3h36’17”, average speed 43.277kph

2 – Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) s.t.

3 – Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) s.t.

 

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

1 – Wout Van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma)

2 – Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) at 4″

3 – Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) at 6″

Jersey and statistics

JERSEYS

Maglia Azzurra (blue), General Classification Leader, sponsored by Sara Assicurazioni – Wout Van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma)

Maglia Ciclamino (cyclamen), General Individual Classification by Points Leader, sponsored by Segafredo Zanetti – Wout Van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma), to be worn by Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal).

Maglia Verde (green), King of the Mountains Classification Leader, sponsored by Enel – Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team)

Maglia Bianca (white), Young Rider General Classification Leader, sponsored by Sportful – Mattia Bais (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec)

 

STATISTICS

Today’s victory is Wout van Aert’s first at the Tirreno-Adriatico.

It’s also the 44th stage win at the Tirreno-Adriatico for Belgian riders. The 43rd was taken by Tim Merlier last year. The last Belgian to lead the race overall was Greg Van Avermaet after stage 2 in 2017. Among other previous Belgian leaders were Roger De Vlaeminck, Antoon Houbrechts, Walter Planckaert and Eddy Merckx.

For Caleb Ewan, it’s his second near-miss at victory at the Tirreno-Adriatico after he also finished second at Montalto di Castro in 2016. The Australian is yet to win a stage at The Race of the Two Seas.

Quotes

Speaking in the press conference, the stage winner and first Maglia Azzurra Wout Van Aert, said: “I’m surprised to win but it was the plan this morning to go for the sprint. I specifically trained for it yesterday, and also in Tenerife. Cyclo-cross is good practice for the explosive finishes but I was a bit worried about a lack of speed in the legs. I will focus on the overall classification of the Tirreno-Adriatico, then I’ll have a few days to recover afterwards and of course, after last year’s win, I’m looking forward to trying to win Milano-Sanremo again. Coming here I was convinced that my shape was good. This win is good for the head and for the spirit of the team.”

 

Today’s stage had opened with a breakaway of 6 riders including Mattia Albanese (first Maglia Verde of the race, thanks to the points earned on the three GPMs of Monte Pitoro) and Mattia Bais. The latter wears the Maglia Bianca (Best Young Rider) thanks to the time bonus earned in the first intermediate sprint.

 

TOMORROW’S STAGE

Stage 2, Camaiore – Chiusdino (202km)

Route

An undulating stage, especially in its second half. After the start from Camaiore, the route follows along the plains of Pisa, passing by Volterra, Pisa, Ponsacco and Lajatico. It then passes near Siena with a series of ups and downs between Rosia, Casciano di Murlo and Monticiano (GPM in Poggio alla Croce). After passing the plain of the Abbey of San Galgano, the road heads uphill to Chiusdino for the finish.

 

Last km

The last kilometers are mainly uphill, following roads characterized by numerous bends. Arrival on asphalt, along a 7m wide carriageway.

 

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