Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’s rider Simon Špilak finished fifth on the mountain summit finish in Terminillo of the queen stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. The winner atop in the Abruzzi Apennine mountains was Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
Unfortunately a solo attack in the final climb from Simon was not rewarded with a happy end. A group led by KATUSHA ALPECIN's Simon Špilak and Maurits Lammertink, Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky), Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) and Roman Kreuziger (Orica-Scott) opened the battle with 13 km to go to the top. Lammertink was next to drop back, and then his teammate Špilak attacked with 11 kilometres to go, pulling Castroviejo and Kwiatkowski with him. With 5 km to go, Špilak had dropped Kwiatkowski and Castroviejo. With 2.2 kilometres to go, Quintana put the final acceleration in, and brought Špilak into view. Under the two kilometer banner, Špilak's lead fell to Quintana's amazing pace, and the Colombian powered away to the stage win and overall lead.
„I am happy with my performance. Maybe I attacked too early in the final climb to Terminillo. Usually I prefer steeper climbs. It was headwind the full climb, of course then it is more tough to move away from the bunch. Also it was difficult with Kwiatkowski and Castroviejo. I always had to work alone in the front. In the final kilometers I tried my best, but Quintana was too strong. But the 5th place is not bad. My shape gives me more self-confidence for the next races,“ said Simon Špilak.
„Simon did a great job today. For the win he attacked also from my point of view too early. But it is easy to say from inside the car. You have to try and in the end he was really close to secure the victory. He had a constantly good speed in the climb, that shows he performed really well. But if you have strong competitors as guys like Quintana or Thomas, well, that’s not easy to win in a solo finish,“ added team director Claudio Cozzi.
The queen stage of Tirreno-Adriatico to the top of the Terminillo went off in much more pleasant weather conditions than two years ago. It was short sleeves and sunshine for the bunch as they headed out from Montalto di Castro, with 187 kilometres ahead.
A breakaway of six riders, including Matvey Mamykin, got away shortly after the start and quickly built up a large gap of 10 minutes. Mamykin crashed out of the group on a turn 25 km to the finish. „I underestimated the rider in front of me. He became extremely slow in the curve. Then the rear wheel slipped away when braking. Apart from abrasions, nothing happened,“ commented Matvey Mamykin.
Tomorrow’s fifth stage in Tirreno-Adriatico goes through the Apennine mountains over 210 km from Rieti to Fermo. The final kilometres run almost entirely uphill. The Reputolo climb (max gradient 22%) leads to urban Fermo.
Photo credit © Tim De Waele