Mikel Landa celebrates in Tirreno-Adriatico, Damiano Caruso retakes GC lead
Mar 10 2018 11:56 pm CET

Mikel Landa celebrates in Tirreno-Adriatico, Damiano Caruso retakes GC lead
Mikel Landa celebrates in Tirreno-Adriatico, Damiano Caruso retakes GC lead
Photo of Mikel Landa

Movistar's Mikel Landa has won the Queen Stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. The Spaniard was the strongest at the last climb, crossing the finish line ahead of Rafal Majka and George Bennett.

The hard stage of the Italian race was 219 kilometres long and featured four categorised climbs, including the last one of the Sassotetto, which has an inclination reaching 10%.

The race day started with the escape of Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Vlasov, Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ), Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy), Nicola Bagioli (Nippo Vini Fantini) and Jacopo Mosca (Wilier Selle Italia). This group got an advantage of more than six minutes over the pack.

One of the key stories of the day was the withdrawal of Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) who suffered a crash that left him with several abrasions but no fractures were detected.

During the last climb, the front group lost members as the kilometres passed and the last ones were caught with seven kilometres to go. At around five kilometres from the final, Astana's Miguel Angel Lopez launched an attack and nobody in the reduced peloton reacted.

A little while later, Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) jumped from the pack and was followed by Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe). Soon Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy) went on to join these two men and the three of them rode together to join Lopez at the front.

Just past the four-kilometre mark, Majka rode at a higher pace and paced away from the others. Behind them, Movistar's Mikel Landa launched an attack from the pack and soon overtook a struggling Lopez.

Back in the reduced favourites group, Chris Froome (Team Sky) battled to keep the pace of the others and was left behind along with Lopez. In front, Landa set a high pace and the others had difficulties staying at his wheel.

Behind them, Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) attempted an attack but couldn't hold it, something LottoNL-Jumbo's George Bennett did manage to do. The rider got away and soon caught the front group.

Meanwhile, race leader Geraint Thomas of Team Sky suffered a mechanical problem and had to change bikes, being helped for some meters by Froome. The fight in the front was won by a strong Landa, who crossed the finish line just ahead of Majka and Bennett.

This is the first victory for the Spaniard with his new team, and his first win in the Italian race.

Italian Damiano Caruso (BMC) re-takes the lead in the General Classification.