STAGE 8 – TIRRENO-ADRIATICO
Following seven days of racing between Italy’s two seas, the riders set off one by one to tackle a relatively technical ten kilometre individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto to culminate a slightly longer than usual rendition of the Tirreno Adriatico.
With a clustered general classification, including five riders within a minute of the leader, there was bound to be lots of movement at the top of the standings. Team Sunweb’s first rider to challenge the leader’s extraordinary time was Michael Matthews. A fierce effort from the Aussie saw him climb into the provisional top ten before the main contenders started exchanging blows on the time sheets.
It was to be a very busy last half-an-hour for Team Sunweb with three riders inside the top 15. Solid performances from Jai Hindley and Sam Oomen saw them consolidate their positions in the general classification, 13th and 11th, respectively. The team’s last rider off the ramp was Wilco , looking to climb the overall standings in search of a podium place. The Dutchman’s proficiency against the clock saw him feature briefly among the best times at the intermediate time check, threatening to surpass his rivals in the final general classification.
Wilco ultimately crossed the line 47 seconds off the fastest time taking 4th overall and leapfrogging Aleksandr Vlasov and Fausto Masnada in the process. Despite missing out on the podium by a handful of seconds, Wilco and the rest of the team did visit the podium after claiming the overall team classification, rounding off a productive week in Italy.
“How long can you keep that up?”, he wonders. “I’ve never been a fan of it. Cycling really is an outdoor sport for me. On the road. Cycling inside is a fallback solution.”
“I’m super happy to move up in the GC,” explained Wilco after claiming fourth overall. “I think it was a decent TT and a good week in general. We managed to secure the team classification too! We’ve shown that we have a really strong team which is really motivating for the Giro. I’m really looking forward to the next step in my preparation.”