Quintana wins Tirreno, Dennis takes final stage
Colombian Nairo Quintana secured his second Tirreno-Adriatico title on Tuesday after defending his overnight lead – and then targeted Tour de France glory.
The Movistar team rider, who last won Italy's "Race of the Two Seas" 2015, is also expected to challenge for his second Giro d'Italia in May and underlined his credentials by racing to victory on Saturday's hilly fourth stage to take command of the race.
"It was more difficult to win two years ago when I had more rivals who were more experienced than I was. Now I’m stronger and smarter and I had a better team this time around," said Quintana, the diminutive climbing specialist.
"I expected to finish the week of racing in better shape than I had at the start and that's the case. I can pursue my preparation for my goals -– the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France –- as I’m happy with my condition."
The seventh and final stage was won by the Australian Rohan Dennis, who in the end came closest to upsetting Quintana's victory plans.
Dennis, of the BMC team, hit an average speed of just over 53 kph to complete a flat 10km time-trial around San Benedetto del Tronto in a winning time of 11min 18sec.
Dutchman Jan Van Emden (Team Lotto) was second at 3sec while Michael Hepburn (Orica), also from Australia, completed the stage podium after finishing with the same deficit.
After two stages in which he defended his lead, Quintana took a 50sec lead over Frenchman Thibaut Pinot into the race decider on Tuesday.
Pinot, however, suffered on the time-trial bike to finish out of contention.
Dennis finished 25sec behind in second place. Pinot was third overall at 0:36.
Slovakia's Peter Sagan, who won two stages on the race, came close to disaster after swerving into a bike lane to avoid a woman and her dog casually walking across a zebra crossing.
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STAGE 7 RESULTS
1. Rohan Dennis (Australia / BMC Racing) 11:18"
2. Jos van Emden (Netherlands / LottoNL) +3"
3. Michael Hepburn (Australia / Orica)
4. Steve Cummings (Britain / Dimension Data) +8"
5. Primoz Roglic (Slovenia / LottoNL) +11"
6. Maciej Bodnar (Poland / BORA) +15"
7. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway / Dimension Data)
8. Geraint Thomas (Britain / Team Sky) +16"
9. Ryan Mullen (Ireland / Cannondale) +17"
10. Alex Dowsett (Britain / Movistar)
11. Matthias Braendle (Austria / Trek) +21"
12. Tobias Ludvigsson (Sweden / FDJ)
13. Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands / Sunweb) +23"
14. Andrey Amador (Costa Rica / Movistar) +24"
15. Jasha Suetterlin (Germany / Movistar) +26"
16. Gediminas Bagdonas (Lithuania / AG2R) +27"
17. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain / Movistar)
18. Thibaut Pinot (France / FDJ)
19. Manuel Quinziato (Italy / BMC Racing) +28"
20. Lars Boom (Netherlands / LottoNL) +29"
1. Nairo Quintana (Colombia / Movistar) 25:56:27"
2. Rohan Dennis (Australia / BMC Racing) +25"
3. Thibaut Pinot (France / FDJ) +36"
4. Primoz Roglic (Slovenia / LottoNL) +45"
5. Geraint Thomas (Britain / Team Sky) +58"
6. Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands / Sunweb) +1:01"
7. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain / Movistar) +1:18"
8. Rigoberto Uran (Colombia / Cannondale) +1:36"
9. Bauke Mollema (Netherlands / Trek) +1:38"
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy / AG2R) +1:59"
11. Simon Spilak (Slovenia / Katusha) +2:04"
12. Damiano Caruso (Italy / BMC Racing) +2:10"
13. Daniel Moreno (Spain / Movistar) +2:43"
14. Bob Jungels (Luxembourg / Quick-Step) +2:53"
15. Michele Scarponi (Italy / Astana) +3:07"
16. Egan Bernal (Colombia / Androni Giocattoli) +3:20"
17. Sebastien Reichenbach (Switzerland / FDJ) +3:23"
18. Rui Costa (Portugal / UAE Team Emirates) +3:28"
19. Robert Gesink (Netherlands / LottoNL) +3:31"
20. Andrey Amador (Costa Rica / Movistar) +3:35"
30. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway / Dimension Data) +11:39"