Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) tore the Tirreno-Adriatico apart last night with a dominant performance to win stage 5 atop the Muro di Guardiagrele. The Spaniard attacked on the penultimate climb of the stage, blowing the race wide open and securing a healthy overall lead by the finish.
Overnight leader Michal Kwiatkowski saw his 16 second lead over Contador wiped out and was dropped out of the top ten by the time he crawled over the line. Nairo Quintana now sits in second place overall, 2:08 down on Contador, with Roman Kreuziger third at 2:15.
[quote_box_center] “Without a doubt this win will remain one the best of my career and one that I’ll always remember. It flashed by in a second but it’ll be a special memory,” Contador said at the finish. “I knew it was risky to try and attack so far out, but I really wanted this victory and I like to do things like that.”[/quote_box_center]
The day’s main break contained Simon Geschke and Ben King, both of whom hung on for second and third respectively. However it was Contador that would steal the show and time on his rivals with a spirited performance. Contador, who struggled for form in 2013 seems to have resurrected his career and his title winning aspirations with this weeks performances.
It was classic Contador: first he dragged himself to the back of the group, sizing up his tiring competition, and when Mikel Nieve ratcheted up the pace Contador used it as a spring board to tear the race apart.
Even Quintana, one of the riders who had made Contador look so ordinary during last year’s Tour de France, failed to latch on as the Tinkoff leader set about completing one of his most dominant career performances. They had been few and far between since his return from a drugs ban, but this was Contador at something like his best as he cut through tree lines and quickly established a lead over his former GC rivals.
Stage 5: 192km, Amatrice to Guardiagrele
1 Alberto Contador (ESP) Tinkoff-Saxo 4hr 54min 42sec
2 Simon Geschke (GER) Giant-Shimano 0:00:06
3 Benjamin King (USA) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:45
4 Adam Hansen (AUS) Lotto-Belisol 0:01:01
5 Jean-Christophe Peraud (FRA) AG2R 0:01:26
6 Giampaolo Caruso (ITA) Katusha 0:01:39
7 Roman Kreuziger (CZE) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:42
8 Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) AG2R
9 Julian Arredondo (COL) Trek Factory Racing
10 Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA) AG2R
1 Alberto Contador (ESP) Tinkoff-Saxo 21hr 01min 30sec
2 Nairo Quintana (COL) Movistar 0:02:08
3 Roman Kreuziger (CZE) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:02:15
4 Julian Arredondo (COL) Trek Factory Racing 0:02:39
5 Jean-Christophe Peraud (FRA) AG2R 0:02:40
6 Mikel Nieve (ESP) Sky 0:02:50
7 Daniel Moreno (ESP) Katusha 0:02:51
8 Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) AG2R 0:02:56
9 Giampaolo Caruso (ITA) Katusha 0:02:58
10 Robert Kiserlovski (CRO) Trek Factory Racing 0:03:06