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"Actually, we were planning to set up the sprint for Sam, but unfortunately he had a mechanical about 20 kilometers from the finish line, just when the race was picking up pace. The team car couldn't get directly to the spot becaus...

Photo: TNE/Roth








18.03.2014 @ 11:01 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After sprinting to fourth in the first sprint stage of the race, Sam Bennett (NetApp-Endura) had hoped to continue his good start to his professional career with another top result in yesterday's Tirreno-Adriatico stage. However, a late puncture ruined his race and instead his teammate Bartosz Huzarski sprinted to 8th in the crash-marred finale.


The sixth stage of the Italian tour Tirreno-Adriatico today covered 189 kilometers along the Adriatic coast from Bucchiancio to Porto Sant'Elpidio. Again today, it was the sprinters who were expected to be in action after the last two mountain stages. This time, Bartosz Huzarski managed to draw some attention to himself, sprinting into eighth place during the final push.   NetApp-Endura's Cesare Benedetti was also a dominant force during the stage, riding as part of a four-man breakaway group. British rider Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) claimed victory, finishing ahead of teammate Alessandro Petacchi and top sprinter Peter Sagan (Cannondale).


"Actually, we were planning to set up the sprint for Sam, but unfortunately he had a mechanical about 20 kilometers from the finish line, just when the race was picking up pace. The team car couldn't get directly to the spot because we were held up by the race officials behind a chase group [with Marcel Kittel]. But then, once again, we summoned all our energy, caught up with everyone and tried to bring Sam up, but in the end we didn't have a chance. We made it with five seconds to go, but then it was just too close to attack during the sprint," explains Sport Director Enrico Poitschke.


"On the other hand, we had left Bartosz out front because he was in a position to claim a top 15 position of the overall classification and shouldn't lose any time. With his eighth-place finish, Bartosz once again demonstrated that he's in very good condition. And the fact that he didn't just roll across the finish line but rode to win, that sets him apart as a real racer. But he's been riding like that all week. Regardless of whether he's riding for a teammate or if he's the one being supported: Since the beginning of the season he's been riding at a high level," says Poitschke, praising Huzarski's performance.


Shortly after the start, three riders managed to break away from the field. Team NetApp-Endura's Cesare Benedetti was also able to join that group. The quartet quickly built up a lead of five minutes and dominated the race until shortly before the finish line. The peloton kept them constantly in check and was able to catch up with them just before the final part of the race, which meant it came down to a mass sprint to the finish. 


Today's final stage of the "Race of the Two Seas" will be a 9.2-kilometer individual time trial. The stage will impact the outcome of the overall classification only slightly because it is short and not particularly demanding from a technical point of view.


You can read our preview of the final stage here and follow our love coverage at 14.15 CET on



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