Luke Durbridge Rounds Out Top Ten in Tirreno-Adriatico Time TrialTue 18 Mar 2014
Luke Durbridge rounded out the top ten on the final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, stopping the clock 26” adrift of stage winner Adriano Malori (Movistar). The Italian posted a winning time of 10’13 over the 9.1 kilometre course in San Benedetto del Tront, beating out four-time Time Trial World Champion Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), 2012 Olympic Time Trial Champion Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and reigning Time Trial World Champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) en route to his stage victory. Michael Hepburn was second-quickest for ORICA-GreenEDGE in 15th place at 33".
“We were up against the best time trialists in the world here,” said Sport Director Matt White. “All the best guys against the clock raced Tirreno over Paris-Nice. Durbo and Heppy targeted this event, and they both had solid rides.”
“This is Heppy’s first WorldTour race in Europe,” White noted. “It’s all been a new experience for him this week. He did a solid time trial at the end of a really challenging week.”
“I know Durbo had hoped for a bit better in terms of results,” White added. “This course was probably a little too short for him. He doesn’t necessarily need a harder course, just something a bit longer.”
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) started the day with a healthy 2’08 lead over Nairo Quintano (Movistar) and handily defended the leader’s jersey. The Spaniard clocked in at 10’54 to slot into 29th place and win the Italian Tour by over two minutes.
“Today was a good wrap up to a great week,” said White. “We came here with three goals – and we ticked several boxes. It would have been ideal if we would have won the team time trial but instead we were second against our old arch-rivals in Quick-Step. Our boys did a strong ride technically, they got it all right, and we have to be happy about that.”
“We pulled a few riders that were borderline with sickness, but I think we got them out in time,” White added. “We’ve built some great momentum coming into our big goals over the new few weeks.”