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Etixx-QuickStep duo aware of importance of time bonuses and final time trial.

Photo: RCS Sport








14.03.2016 @ 09:17 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

The somewhat controversial abolition of stage 5 of Tirreno-Adriatico has provided Zdenek Stybar and his teammate Bob Jungels with a golden opportunity of overall glory. But the Etixx-QuickStep riders realize that their rivals will fight for every time bonus during Monday’s stage to Cepagatti and that the 10.1 km time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto will prove pivotal.


Stybar took time to comment on the cancellation of the fifth stage, saying that he fully understands and agrees with the decision which might not be too surprising as his chances of the overall win improved considerably as a result of the abolition of that stage.


“It's the right decision. That's all I can say really. It finally happened. Everyone is calling about the extreme weather protocol, and it finally happened," Stybar told Cyclingnews.


Stybar holds a slim nine seconds lead over BMC trio Damiano Caruso, Greg Van Avermaet and Tejay van Garderen, while Jungels is fifth at 11seconds.


Stybar, now under pressure to hold onto his lead, said he would focus on the time trial after Monday’s stage.


“We'll see. Tomorrow we’ll race, now we train, there is still the time trial too,’ he said. “Really, I'm thinking about tomorrow's stage first. After that, we'll see. There's a time trial, so there's still two chances.”


Jungels aiming for a top five overall


Jungels pointed out that Etixx-QuickStep might even win Monday’s stage with in-form Fernando Gaviria. If the Colombian could snatch the ten-second time bonus awarded to the stage winner, the overall classification would hinge on the outcome of that final time trial on Tuesday.


A former junior world time trial champion, Jungels was cautious not exaggerate his chances.


“First, we have to think about the stage tomorrow where we have Gaviria for the sprint. We have good cards to play on Tuesday, and of course, we'll try. I'm fifth now, and if someone had told me that I'd finish top five in Tirreno, I would've signed up for it straight away. Even more than that would be a nice bonus. For us it's quite a good situation to be in but of course, it's still 10km and there're guys like Van Averment, Van Garderen, and even Kwiatkowski's not far. It's still going to be a fight.”



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