Chaotic and crash marked final on stage two of Tirreno-AdriaticoThu 8 Mar 2018
The action arrived late on the second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico today after a pedestrian run down the coast culminated in three fast and frantic finishing circuits in Follonica with Caleb Ewan just off the top ten after a late crash disrupted the field.
After a great result on the opening stage team time trial, day two proved to be a set-back for Mitchelton-SCOTT with GC hopeful Adam Yates caught up in a late crash with seven kilometres to go and losing time on his rivals.
Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) won the sprint on the seafront with Ewan outside of the top ten and the focus for Mitchelton-SCOTT now shifting to stage results rather than the general classification.
Stage two got underway in mild and blustery conditions in the hills around Camaiore close to the Tuscan coastline and it wasn’t long before the first attempts to form the breakaway started to appear.
Up and over the only climb of the day, Montemagno, four-riders jumped and quickly started to gain time, reaching seven-minutes after 70kilometres of racing.
Luke Durbridge moved up to the front alongside Nicki Terpstra (Quick-Step-Floors) with 65kilometres to go and began to reel in the leaders, immediately halving the defecit ahead of the three finishing circuits of Follonica.
Frantic Finale in Follonica:
With the break caught inside the last 12kilometres a chaotic finale ensued over sketchy road surfaces dotted with speed bumps and tight corners. A huge crash totally split the field with seven kilometres remaining and the front half of the bunch powering on towards the finish.
Turning onto the seafront a cross-headwind hit the sprinters with Kittel kicking early to take the win and Ewan a little behind and just outside the top ten.
Caleb Ewan – Sprinter:
“It was a pretty straightforward day until we got to the finishing circuits and from then it was full on and really hectic. Everyone is fighting to be at the front and it makes it that little bit more sketchy and more importantly, it makes it harder to stay together as a team.”
“It was windy on the finishing straight and we got a little bit lost going into the final. Luka Mezgec and I were a little too far back and we fought to get back up there, but we used a lot of energy and by the time I started my sprint I didn’t have anything left in my legs to break through.”
Head Sport director Matt White:
“Quick-Step-Floors and ourselves took control of the breakaway situation and everything was fine until the last circuit. Adam got held up by the crash and was actually hit from behind which then caused him to crash.”
“He remounted and then subsequently had a problem with his back wheel, so he changed wheels with Luke, but couldn’t make it back on to the front group and we lost time. It changes our focus now, after yesterday’s great start we were set up in a good position on GC and now we will be looking for stage results instead.”
Tirreno-Adriatico stage two results:
1. Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) 04:12:24
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) ST
11. Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
General classification stage two:
1. Patrick Bevin (BMC-Rcaing-Team) 04:34:43
2. Damiano Caruso (BMC-Racing-Team) ST
3. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC-Rcaing-Team) ST
5. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:04
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.