Tirreno-Adriatico: Team Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski seals title, Geraint Thomas third
Team Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski sealed the 2018 Tirreno-Adriatico title after the final stage time trial as Britain’s Geraint Thomas finished third.
Poland’s Kwiatkowski extended his lead on the 10km circuit in San Benedetto del Tronto to beat Italy’s Damiano Caruso by 24 seconds overall.
Team-mate Thomas moved up on to the podium with a solid ride, while compatriot Adam Yates finished fifth.
Australia’s Rohan Dennis took the stage win in a time of 11 minutes 14 seconds.
Dutch rider Jos van Emden finished four seconds down on Dennis, with Team Sky’s Jonathan Castroviejo four seconds further back in third on Tuesday’s stage seven.
Team Sky leader Chris Froome was 11th on stage, 19 seconds behind Dennis, to finish 34th overall – over 13 minutes down on Kwiatkowski after the four-time Tour de France champion was affected by a mechanical issue on Sunday.
Thomas, 31, started the stage in fourth overall, 29 seconds down on Kwiatkowski, but could not overhaul his team-mate or Caruso, with all of the main contenders going out in heavy rain.
But the Welshman’s mark of 11:37 was enough to overtake former team-mate Mikel Landa. The Spaniard struggled and dropped to sixth overall, below Belgium’s Tiesj Benoot, who rose from eighth to fourth, and Mitchelton-Scott rider Yates.
“After the back luck on the mountain stage it’s nice to get back on the podium,” he said. “It’s still bittersweet in a way, as when you’re in the position I was in you want to win.
“A lot of people have said ‘don’t worry, your hard work will pay off and your luck will change’ – but I still want to win this race.”
Starting last with a three-second margin over Caruso, Kwiatkowski, who took the overall lead on stage five, calmly secured his first Tirreno-Adriatico title with a time of 11:34.
It is the second stage race victory of the season for Kwiatkowski, 27, after he also beat Thomas to the Volta ao Algarve title last month.
The Pole will seek to defend his title at Milan San Remo on Saturday – the first of cycling’s five prestigious one-day monument races this season.
Stage seven result
- Rohan Dennis (Aus/BMC) 11mins 14secs
- Jos van Emden (Ned/LottoNL-Jumbo) +4secs
- Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa/Team Sky) +8secs
- Mads Pedersen (Den/Trek-Segafredo) same time
- Gianni Moscon (Ita/Team Sky) +12 secs
- Michael Hepburn (Aus/Mitchelton-Scott) +13secs
- Jack Bauer (NZ/Mitchelton-Scott) +13secs
- Luke Durbridge (Aus/Mitchelton-Scott) +17secs
- Primoz Roglic (Slo/LottoNL-Jumbo) +18secs
- Vasil Kiryienka (Blr/Team Sky) +18secs
Final general classification
- Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) 25hrs 32mins 56secs
- Damiano Caruso (Ita/BMC) +24secs
- Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky) +32secs
- Tiesj Benoot (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) 1min 06secs
- Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +1min 10secs
- Mikel Landa (Spa/Movistar) +1min 13secs
- Davide Formolo (Ita/Bora-Hansgrohe) +1min 15secs
- Jaime Roson (Spa/Movistar) same time
- George Bennett (NZ/LottoNL-Jumbo) +1min 16secs
- Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Education First-Drapac) +1min 22secs