After seven days of action – including some apocalyptic weather and that hill which proved too steep for many – Astana rider Vincenzo Nibali has won the Tirreno-Adriatico. Nibali took only 12th place on the final 9.2km Individual Time Trrial stage in San Benedetto del Tronto (won, almost inevitably by Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Tony Martin in 10’25”) but it was more than enough to hold off Sky’s contender for CG Chris Froome who took sixth on the stage, on +15, forcing him to settle for second on the overall podium. Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador filled out the third place, 52 seconds adrift of Nibali’s total time of 28h, 8minutes and 17seconds.
Organisers of the event had been strongly criticised for the tear-inducing climb of the Muro di Sant’Elpidio that dominated Monday’s stage; the 27% incline caused the retirement of a huge proportion of the field including Andy Schleck and Mark Cavendish and reshaped the field to such an extent it effectively lost Froome his chances of victory. Race Director Michele Acquarone took to twitter to say, ‘If riders are not happy, fans are not happy and I’m not happy too. Sometimes it’s not easy to find the right balance.’