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by Shane Stokes
March 14, 2018
Dennis wins Tirreno time trial, Kwiatkowski takes overall; Avila wins stage 3 of Tour of Taiwan, Clarke takes race lead; Benoot celebrating strong GC ride; Bouhanni speaks of frustration after Cofidis team doesn’t select him for Milan-San Remo; Vinokourov/Kolobnev trial delayed until June; Sale of Niner Bikes closes, Huffy’s parent company is the buyer; Video: Graeme Obree, Athlete or Genius?; Video: Phil Gaimon’s 12.5-pound Cannondale Hi MOD Strava Bike
The BMC Racing Team was hoping for overall success in Tirreno-Adriatico but, even though that didn’t work out for the American squad, it was still celebrating at the end of the race. Rohan Dennis proved quickest in the concluding time trial, covering the flat 10 kilometre course four seconds faster than Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) and seven quicker than Jonathan Castroviejo (Team Sky).
“I wasn’t coming to Tirreno-Adriatico for GC,” said Dennis. “I was supposed to ride in support of Richie Porte and, once Richie was out, Damiano [Caruso] got called out. Today, I was hopeful that I could repeat last year or go a bit better. I went faster – it’s a good sign. My coach said it’s normal that I struggled in longer days like the Scarponi memorial stage (stage 5). I’ve had some heavy racing for two and half months.”
Overnight leader Michael Kwiatkowski had started the day three seconds clear of Dennis’ teammate Damiano Caruso in the overall standings. The Team Sky rider rose to the challenge, finishing one place behind teammate Chris Froome in 12th and giving up just 20 seconds to Dennis. Crucially, Caruso was only 37th, yielding another 21 seconds to his rival and thus missing out on GC victory.
Kwiatkowski ended up 24 seconds ahead of the Italian, while Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) was third, 32 seconds back. The overall winner said he was nervous because of the rain falling prior to his start, but felt well during the TT.
“Tirreno-Adriatico is the most important stage win in my career so far. This is a beautiful race with a beautiful trophy. It’s also one of the hardest stage races to win. The trident trophy gives me a wonderful feeling. I’m confident in Team Sky to support me to try and win Milan-Sanremo again on Saturday.”