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Malori is 2nd in final time trial, Niemiec finish 9th in GC and Cunego wins the mountains jersey

Photo: Sirotti










12.03.2013 @ 18:55 Posted by Jesper Johannesen

Lampre had every reason for satisfaction as the Tirreno-Adriatico wound up with a 9,2 km time trial. Adriano Malori beat Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack) to end up second on the stage, Przemyslaw Niemiec defended his overall top 10 position, and Damiano Cunego was crowned king of the mountains and the race's most aggressive rider.


As a former U23 world champion, Adriano Malori was expected to perform in today's race against the clock, but it was a pleasant surprise in the Lampre camp that the former Italian champion in the discipline was able to distance multiple world champion Fabian Cancellara. To add to the Swiss' woes, Malori was even faster than Cancellara had been in his 2011 and 2012 victories on the same course along the seafront in San Benedetto del Tronto.


Malori was only beaten by reigning world champion Tony Martin, and the young Italian was delighted to finally enter the world elite of time triallists after a number of years knocking on the door.


"I hoped it would be a great day for me," Malori rexplained. "This is my second time trial this season after my 5th place in Argentina. I'm sorry we did not win, but it is no shame be beaten by the world champion. I started well, my ride was smooth and I handled the few turns well. I posted the best time, but was then beaten by Martin. This test gives me the feeling of being among the best specialists: the combination of excellent material, a good condition and the desire to constantly improve is providing excellent results."


WorldTour points important for NIemiec

Przemyslaw Niemiec took over the role as GC captain when team leader Damiano Cunego failed to follow the best in Saturday's mountaintop finish. He entered the final stage 8th overall, and with time trialling being his weakness his hope was to defend his position in the top 10.


A 49th place in the stage was enough to end up 9th, and Niemiec was pleased to secure important points for his team.


"It was important to be in the top ten," the Pole explained. "I rode well and worked hard in all stages, so it is a reward for my efforts. In addition, it is a valuable result for the team in the WorldTour classification, and this was a further incentive for me to be good in this time trial. "


Cunego on the offensive

As Cunego realized that his GC ambitions were not to be fulfilled, he decided to change his strategy and go on the attack in search of a stage victory. On Sunday, he dropped his breakaway companions on the Passo Larciano and continued on his own, only to be picked up by the favourites with 7 km to go after a valiant solo effort. On Monday he took off again and was one of the last standing members of an original 16-man break to be caught inside the final 20 km.


His attacking spirit was rewarded with the green mountains jersey and the prize as the race's most aggressive rider. More importantly, his exploits may have served as valuable training towards his major goals in the Ardennes classics.


With Pietropolli in Tour Down Under, Ulissi in Paris-Nice and Niemiec in Tirreno-Adriatico, Lampre has entered the top 10 in the first 3 WorldTour races. Alessandro Petacchi and Filippo Pozzato have the task of continuing this trend in Milan-Sanremo on Sunday.



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