Tirreno-Adriatico review: Quintana rules the icy waves

Nairo Quintana got his 2015 season up and running with overall victory at Tirreno-Adriatico. It was a particularly icy edition version of the Race of the Two Seas, with rain and snow offering an unexpected challenge for the peloton throughout the week.

Rider of the race

Quintana wins the queen stage (Image: Tirreno-Adriatico/Gazzetta.it)

Quintana wins the queen stage (Image: Tirreno-Adriatico/Gazzetta.it)

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was a deserved winner of the overall prize, and an equally meritorious rider of the race. Remarkably, he is the first ever Colombian winner at Tirreno-Adriatico, and he pulled off the feat in the best way possible: a solo victory on the queen stage. He attacked on the final climb of stage five up to Terminillo in central Italy, dropping his rivals and coming across the line almost a minute before everyone else. It was a win made to appear all the more heroic by the blizzard conditions, with the lights of the vehicles turning Quintana into an icy silhouette on the customary finish line photograph. It was a win that neither Quintana nor we will forget in a hurry.

Four things we liked

1. The weather. We’re certain that the riders won’t agree that the miserable weather was a star feature, but this race is unquestionably one we’ll remember for its remarkable conditions. The riders looked as uncomfortable as a Basque on the Belgian cobbles, and it made for gripping viewing. Certainly, Quintana raised a good point after his dramatic win at Terminillo, noting that had the snow fallen on a downhill finish, there would have had to be serious safety questions asked, but as it was, it was it made for great viewing.

2. The parcours (or nearly all of it …)The great thing about short stage races is how they manage to pack all of the variation of a grand tour into a single week of punchy, pedal-to-the-metal action. This Tirreno-Adriatico was no different, with sufficient courses for all of the horses. The only thing we’re questioning is the wisdom of having the race finish on a short individual time trial, and the queen stage quite so early on in the week. Had they reversed the order, the race would have had a more fitting climax.
3. The GC boys are back in actionIt was great to see so many of the important grand tourists in action, and it served as a delightful apéritif for the run-up to May’s Giro d’Italia. It would have been nice to see the likes of Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-Quick Step), who finished third, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), who finished fifth, and Chris Froome (Sky), who was ruled out with a chest infection give Quintana more of a run for his money, but it nevertheless was a tantalising taste of the long, exciting season to follow. And we’re not even at the Ardennes classics yet …
Sagan stage 6 Tirreno

Sagan wins stage six


4. Sagz is backDespite sporting what is quite possibly the worst national champion’s jersey in the entire peloton, we’ve missed seeing Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) winning races. Prior to stage six of this Tirreno-Adriatico, the Velvet Samurai had remarkably not recorded a single victory since earning the right to wear the Slovakian national champion’s colours last June (and if the kit’s anything to go by, he needn’t have bothered). Hopefully this is the start of a good run for Sagan: we’ve yet to really see the best of him in the classics.

The race in numbers

50 – This year marked Tirreno-Adriatico’s golden anniversary: it was first won by Dino Zandegù back in 1966.

1,006.4 – The total length, in kilometres, of this year’s race; the shortest since the six-stage 1988 edition.

1 – Nairo Quintana became the first ever Colombian to win Tirreno-Adriatico.

260 – The time, in days, between Peter Sagan‘s last two victories.

General classification

1. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 25:11:16

2. Bauke Mollema (Trek) +0:18

3. Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-Quick Step) +0:31

4. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +0:35

5. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) +0:39

6. Stephen Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka) +0:40

7. Wout Poels (Sky) +0:56

8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale) +0:59

9. Adam Yates (Orica GreenEDGE) +1:09

10. Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo) +1:11

Link: Official race website

Header image: Tirreno-Adriatico/Gazzetta.it

2 thoughts on “Tirreno-Adriatico review: Quintana rules the icy waves

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