Former Australian time trial champion Michael Hepburn time trialled into the top-ten on today’s final stage in Tirreno-Adriatico, crossing the line just 27 seconds down on the eventual stage winner Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma).
The 29-year-old was familiar with the race’s traditional closing stage time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto, haven ridden himself into the top-10 on multiple occasions, today stopping the clock with a respectable time of 11 minutes 33 seconds over the course of the predominantly flat 10.1km route.
Briton Simon Yates, on of the later riders off down the ramp, finished the day in 64th position and maintained 10th position in the overall standings. Yates concluded the seven-day race as the highest place rider overall for Team BikeExchange, having shown promising signs ahead of his important upcoming goals, in what was was just his second race of the 2021 season.
Michael Hepburn – 9th on stage 7 ITT
“I had a decent ride I think. I have done this TT quite a few times, so I think I have a good understanding of how it is and usually it is a fast run out and then a head wind back, which is one of the most important parts.
“I’ve finished in the top-10 a few times, it is always a hard one here to judge but in general I am happy with how it went today.”
Matt White – Head Sport Director
“I think overall this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico was a solid start for our Giro d’Italia preparations. A big chunk of this team were starting their preparations for the Giro and Simon showed some really good signs, especially on the Queen stage. I think that was a great ride there behind Pogacar.
“The rest of the team have been getting ready for the classics and due to the big block of racing cancelled in February, it has been the first week of competition this year for a lot of guys here. I think they have gained a lot from the big load and can move onto bigger and better things starting on Saturday, with the first monument of the season, Milan San – Remo.
“For Rob Stannard, this is his first time a Tirreno and we have seen some really good signs. He is developing very well and was close to some wins on a couple of stages there and I think the experience of this week will keep him in good stead for a very busy month of one-day races coming up.”
2021 Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 7 Results:
1. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) 11:06
2. Stefan Kung (Groupama FDJ) +0:06
3. Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:11
9. Michael Hepburn (Team BikeExchange) +0:27
2021 Tirreno-Adriatico – Final General Classification:
1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) 26:37:17
2. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) +1:03
3. Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) +3:57
10. Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) +7:45
Photo courtesy of Getty Images