Jack Bauer of Mitchelton-Scott has become the third stand out Kiwi at the sharp end of the results table at Tirreno-Adriatico. Bauer finished 7th against the clock, 13 seconds behind stage winner Rohan Dennis of BMC Racing Team, while George Bennett of LottoNL-Jumbo completed a brilliant Tirreno-Adriatico finishing 9th overall.
Wrapping up this year’s edition of Tirreno-Adriatico was a short 10.05km flat dash around San Benedetto Del Tronto. The course was far from favourable for the GC contenders who might well have liked a more arduous course to make their presence felt at the sharp end of the stage classification. It was much more the stage for the pure power time trial specialists, and there were no shortage of candidates lining up for the honours.
Former world time trial champion Vasil Kiryienka of Team Sky was in the mix, but he could only manage to just slot into the top ten; a top ten who were separated by a maximum of 18 seconds. Impressively from Mitchelton-Scott, they had a day to remember and showed that they could well be one of the danger teams of team time trials as the season unfolds. They managed to fill positions 6-8 with Michael Hepburn, Luke Durbridge and Jack Bauer all sitting in the top ten.
Jack Bauer’s time trial was a quality one, with the former national champion in the discipline stopping the clock in 11.27mins; an average speed of 52.664kph.
But no one could stop reigning Australian national time trial champion Rohan Dennis from taking the plaudits. The Aussie blasted around the course with an average speed of 53.86kph to stop the clock in 11.14mins. Dennis finished 4 seconds up on Jos van Emden of LottoNL-Jumbo with Jonathan Castroviejo of Team Sky just getting the better of Trek-Segafredo’s Mads Pedersen for third place.
George Bennett started the final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico in 9th place, 41 seconds behind race leader Michal Kwiatkowski of Team Sky. Jaime Roson of Movistar was his closest challenger 6 seconds behind him, with Fabio Aru, Vincenzo Nibali, Domenico Pozzovivo and Romain Bardet all between the 1.19-1.42mins time gap. His chances of securing a top ten finish were good but he needed to pull out a solid race against the clock to make sure.
Bennett’s time of 12.09mins was enough for 58th on the stage, which was also good enough to retain his 9th place overall; 1.16mins behind Kwiatkowski who secured the win ahead of Damiano Caruso and Team Sky teammate Geraint Thomas.
Patrick Bevin of BMC Racing completed a Tirreno-Adriatico to remember by finishing 14th in the TT.