A great team effort helped our squad get off the "Race of the Two Seas" on the right foot.
An out-and-back course on the coast of the Thyrrenian Sea opened the 52nd edition of Tirreno-Adriatico, the third World Tour stage race of the season, in the same Lido di Camaiore town which hosted the opening stage one year ago. Tom Boonen, Fernando Gaviria, Iljo Keisse, Bob Jungels, Zdenek Stybar, Niki Terpstra, Matteo Trentin and Julien Vermote rolled down the ramp early, long before the other contenders hit the 22.7km course, but that didn't stop them from putting in a strong collective display and recording the fastest provisional time at the finish.
Clocked in 23:37 after averaging 57.671 km/h, Quick-Step Floors – the World TTT Champion – remained in the hot seat until BMC, the last team to start the stage, arrived and bested the time by 17 seconds. FDJ rounded out the podium on a day which already witnessed some important gaps between the blue jersey favourites.
"We can be satisfied, because we did a good race and got beaten by a strong team. The boys can be proud with their performance, it's a good way to start Tirreno-Adriatico. At the end of the day we don't have any regrets, because we know we gave everything on the course, rode a really smart race and proved once again we are always up there in a stage against the clock. This gives us confidence for the next stages", said sport director Davide Bramati of the team's second place, which saw four Quick-Step Floors riders make their way into the top 10 overall.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele