London - World
champion Peter Sagan underlined his form a week before the Milan-San
Remo classic by winning the fifth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico on Sunday,
his second of the Italian stage race this week.
Colombia's Nairo Quintana, of the Movistar team, retained the race
leader's blue jersey following his summit-finish win on Saturday's
fourth stage which forced ailing Italian rival Fabio Aru (Astana) to
pull out with bronchitis on Sunday morning.
Bora team rider Sagan, a powerful one-day rider who can sprint with
the best in the bunch, had dominated the field to win Friday's third
And the flamboyant Slovakian, known for his garish outfits and
performing one-handed 'wheelies' when riding up the climbs of some of
Europe's top races, took his second win of the 2017 edition of the race
with a defiant, uphill sprint in Fermo.
Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) finished in second place with Slovenian
Promoz Roglic (Lotto-NL) claiming third from a drastically reduced
bunch after 201km of racing from Rieti.
Milan-San Remo, known affectionately as 'La Primavera' (The Spring),
is the opening one-day classic of the season and is held on March 18 and
Sagan will line up looking for his maiden win.
Quintana, meanwhile, looks set to claim overall victory if he can survive until Tuesday's seventh and final stage.
The diminutive Colombian climbing specialist holds a 50sec lead on
Pinot. The sixth stage on Monday is expected to finish in a bunch sprint
that could see Sagan bag his hat-trick, while Tuesday's final stage is
an individual time trial.
Results from the fifth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, held over 210 km between Rieti and Fermo on Sunday:
1. Peter Sagan (SVK) Bora 5hr 00min 05sec, 2. Thibaut Pinot (FRA)
same time, 3. Primoz Roglic (SLO) s.t., 4. Geraint Thomas (GBR) s.t., 5.
Bauke Mollema (NED) s.t., 6. Rigoberto Uran (COL) s.t., 7. Tom Dumoulin
(NED) s.t., 8. Nairo Quintana (COL) s.t., 9. Rohan Dennis (AUS) s.t.,
10. Simon Spilak (SLO) s.t.
1. Nairo Quintana (COL) 21hr 34min 51sec, 2. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) at
50secs, 3. Rohan Dennis (AUS) 1min 06sec,, 4. Primoz Roglic (SLO) 1:15,
5. Tom Dumoulin (NED) 1:19, 6. Geraint Thomas (GBR) 1:23, 7. Rigoberto
Uran (COL) 1:30, 8. Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP) 1:32, 9. Bauke Mollema
(NED) 1:37, 10. 10. Simon Spilak (SLO) 1:59