Andreas Klöden Wins 2009 Tirreno-Adriatico Time Trial and takes Overall Lead
Team Astana’s Andreas Klöden took the overall lead in the 2009 edition of the Italian stage race Tirreno-Adriatico (March 11th-17th) after winning the 5th stage, an individual time trial from Loreto to Macerata. Klöden finished the 30 kilometer course in 00:41:32 and was more than 20 seconds faster than Stijn Devolder (QuickStep). Swedish rider Thomas Lökvist (Team Columbia-Highroad) finished third at 21 seconds behind. Michele Scarponi and Mikhail Ignatiev finished fourth and fifth, 21 and 32 seconds respectively. In the General Classification Klöden leads now by six seconds to Thomas Lövkvist.
Klöden was exhausted but happy after his strong performance. “I liked the course,” said the overall winner of the 2007 Tirreno-Adriatico. “On purpose I started very fast. I had the best time at the first time split which was good for my confidence. At the second time split I was second, but had a better time than my competitors for the general classification. It gave me a boost and extra forces to tackle the difficult climb at 4 kilometers from the finish. I am very happy. I was a bit uncertain because of three crashes in the last two days, but my condition is so good that it didn’t prevent me from performing very well. I really worked hard to be good in this race. I succeeded.”
The 2009 Tirreno-Adriatico finishes on Tuesday. Tomorrow is a tough and long stage, 235 kilometer between Civitanove Marche and Camerino. “A few days ago we lost Jani Brajkovic after a crash, but I have big confidence in my other teammates. It will be hard but we will defend this leader’s jersey”, concluded Andreas Klöden.
In the 2009 Paris-Nice, Alberto Contador finished 2nd in the 8th and last stage. He was determined to gain back the time he lost the day before and broke out of the peloton early. In the end he took back 17 seconds on overall winner Luis León Sánchez. The stage win went to Spaniard Toni Colom. Alberto Contador finished 4th overall, 1:24 behind Sánchez.
“I promised my teammates that I would try to take back what I lost yesterday,” said Alberto Contador. “I had nothing to lose. I knew the chances were small but I prefer to try something than to stay hidden in the peloton. I could not win the stage, and I didn’t come closer in the overall GC, but I am satisfied about this Paris-Nice. I won two key stages and this race proved that my preparation and training were good.”
The next race for Alberto Contador will be the Vuelta a Castilla y León (March 23th-27th).