The 5th stage of Tirreno Adriatico saw Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) blow the race apart when he attacked with 33km of racing still to go. None of the other GC favourites would see Contador again as he went on to take an impressive stage win and also the race leaders jersey.
8 riders would make it into the main break of the day and were able to push out their lead to 12 minutes at one point. Going up the 12km Passo Lanciano climb, which would summit 29km from the finish, the 8 riders would become three by the top of the climb. Ben King (Garmin-Sharp), Simon Gesckhe (Giant-Shimano) and David De La Cruz (Team NetApp-Endura) would lead the race going into the descent.
In the GC battle behind, Contador would leave the other favourites behind as he climbed away from them on his own. The Spaniard would pick up Adam Hanson (Lotto-Belisol) and) just before the top of the climb and the two riders would eventually join the 3 leaders before the final 3km “The Wall” climb to the finish. Contador’s strength was too much for the early breakaway riders in 30% gradient sections as Gesckhe would finish 2nd and King took 3rd.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had a quiet day in the peloton after they missed out on getting into the days break. The team will now focus on the sprinters stage tomorrow where they will be riding for Gerald Ciolek, and Jaco Venter will also be keen to test his legs during the final stages individual time trial on Tuesday.
“We missed the break today which was disappointing but it also allowed us to save some energy for tomorrow. It is our last real chance to get a big result here at the Tirreno and I’m really hoping we can do something,” said Venter. “Personally I am also looking forward to the final TT. It’s only 9km so I hope I have good legs and I’ll definitely give it my best shot. The level here is very high so I’m not sure what to expect but we will see on Tuesday,” concluded Venter.
Tomorrows 6th stage will be a flat 189km’s from Bucchianico to Porto Sant’Elpidio. Be sure to follow the action as Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung aim to set the stage up for Gerald Ciolek.
Tirreno-Adriatico (Italy) – (March 12-18/WT)
Sergio Pardilla (ESP)
Gerald Ciolek (GER)
Andreas Stauff (GER)
Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU)
Jay Thomson (RSA)
Jaco Venter (RSA)
Daniel Teklehaimanot (ERI)
Kristian Sbaragli (ITA)
Staff: Jens Zemke (Sports Director), Manel Lacambra (Sports Director), Dr Jarrad van Zuydam (Doctor), Dr Rob Child (Doctor-Nutritionist), Bastian Buffel (Soigneur), Hagen Bernutz (Soigneur), Paolo Baldi (Soigneur) Jim Bryan (Mechanic), Daniele Nieri (Mechanic), Andreas Beck-Watt (Mechanic), Stevie Christaens (Mechanic)