Davide Formolo finishes Tirreno-Adriatico 7th overall after wet final time trial
On the last day of the 2018 Tirreno-Adriatico, the final result was still not certain, meaning there would be two races taking place today on the individual time trial – the race for the overall victory and the final stage win. For BORA-hansgrohe, a similar race was taking place, with Maciej Bodnar putting in the team’s best time on the day, while Davide Formolo rode well in wet and slippery conditions to protect his 7th spot in the GC race. Throughout the week, the whole team had impressed with bold attacking moves from Rafał Majka and German National Champion, Marcus Burghardt, exciting sprint efforts from Peter Sagan, and Davide Formolo’s GC ride. The whole team had worked together well in varied terrain and conditions to bring the race to life on multiple occasions.
At the start of the day, the GC race was still open, with just a few seconds separating the top spot and second, and less than a minute separated the whole top ten. While the stage was a short individual time trial, there were seconds available for the more powerful riders, and the parcours encouraged fast riding. The San Benedetto del Tronto street course featured only a few turns over its whole 10.05km length – just the two 90 degree turns to bring riders onto the return run, and some gentle chicanes – and these would barely dent the riders’ speeds on the straightforward out and back course. The pan-flat roads would bring with them quick times, meaning the overall contenders would be pushing hard, while the time trial specialists would be looking for the stage win.
The Team Tactics
After a hard week, the team would be showing the strain of strong attacks, daring breakaway moves and difficult sprints, the whole of the BORA-hansgrohe squad having pulled together to support each other on a race that had highlighted the team’s strengths. While there was only the one day left to race, this wouldn’t be a day to take it easy, with the team’s time trial specialist, Maciej Bodnar, looking to stretch his legs, while Davide Formolo would be aiming to achieve the best possible result for the GC race.
Setting off in reverse GC order, riders would have to wait until the last rider had finished to confirm who had won this year’s edition of the race. The short course also meant riders wouldn’t have the luxury of checking their rivals’ times before they left the start gate and would have to push hard from beginning to end. Having started the day in good weather, black clouds crowded the horizon, threatening not just showers, but the possibility of torrential rain, and while much of the team was unaffected – including Maciej Bodnar, who put in a good time of 11:44 – the going was about to get more treacherous. As UCI World Champion, Peter Sagan, started his run, the roads were starting to get wet. While this didn’t trouble the Slovak rider, this would reduce speeds as the weather worsened, and saw riders slow down to a crawl on the corners, not wanting to take any chances and risk crashing. In a brave ride in difficult conditions, the Italian, Davide Formolo finished in a time of 12:12 to keep hold of his 7th spot in the overall standings and confirmed his top ten in the GC.
01 R. Dennis 11:14
02 J. Van Emden +0:04
03 J. Castroviejo +0:08
25 M. Bodnar +0:30
62 D. Formolo +0:58
From the Finish Line
"I think that today simply wasn't my day. I didn't have a bad time-trial but it wasn't brilliant either. You can't be at the top of your game every day." – Maciej Bodnar
"I'm happy that I finished the Tirreno-Adriatico safely, without any crashes. I came very close to victory in three stages but you can't win every day. I'd like to thank the whole team for their support and it's now time to focus on one of the big one-day races of the season, the Milano-Sanremo, on Saturday." – Peter Sagan
"We had two objectives today, to try to at least maintain Davide Formolo's overall position and score a good result with Maciej Bodnar. We achieved our first goal, as Davide had a very good time-trial. Not only that, he finishes the Tirreno-Adriatico just 9 seconds from 4th in the GC which is also encouraging. Maciej didn't have his best day but that's also part of the race. All in all, I think we had a good week and, obviously, it would have been nice to go back home with one of the four second places replaced by a victory... Everybody in the team gave his best and we now focus on the upcoming races." – Patxi Vila