Bob Jungels nails first World Tour podium
The Luxembourg rider finished third in Tirreno-Adriatico and took home the white jersey, while the squad won the best team classification.
It was the decisive day of this season's "Race of the Two Seas", and Bob Jungels didn't disappoint. Fourth in the overall ranking ahead of the 10.1-km long, the 23-year-old – who was lying 13 seconds off the podium before the start of stage seven – knew he had to put in a strong ride on the flat course in San Benedetto del Tronto, and this was exactly what he did. Bob, who's in his third year as a professional, gave his all in the short stage which concluded the 51st edition, and in the end this helped him jump a place in the general classification and finish third, behind Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), thus recording his first ever World Tour podium.
"Although today I didn't have the legs I was hoping for, I fought until the very end to get in the top 3. We knew it would come down to just a couple of seconds and I'm satisfied that I managed to pull it off even on a bad day", said Bob Jungels, one of the brightest talents on the pro scene. The Luxembourg rider, who rode Tirreno-Adriatico for the first time in his career, clinching not just third in the rankings, but also the white jersey for the best young rider, continued: "We can be really satisfied with the race: we got two stage wins, a second place in the opening team time trial and we were always there at the front. The last two days were a bit hard for us, but in the end we have to be happy with the race we had. I am satisfied with my maiden World Tour podium, which gives me a lot of confidence for the next appointments of the season. I am looking to a great future together with Etixx – Quick-Step. Even in the difficult moments we stick together, we are a real team and I just love it here."
Another Etixx – Quick-Step rider to finish on the podium, but on the stage, was Tony Martin, who came third, behind Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) and Johan Le Bon (FDJ), a strong result for the 30-year-old German, considering he came close to crashing on the first corner of the San Benedetto del Tronto individual time trial after what was a fast and furious start. Also, the last stage of Tirreno-Adriatico saw Zdenek Stybar conclude seventh in the GC, while Gianluca Brambilla came 12th, only 4 seconds outside the top 10, despite not having the possibility to show his strong legs on the big ascents, giving that the race's sole high altitude finish was cancelled due to bad weather. On top of all, the entire squad got to climb on the podium to take the honours for the best team in a race which saw no less than 23 outfits line up at the start, one week ago in Lido di Camaiore.
Gianluca Brambilla, Fernando Gaviria, Bob Jungels, Yves Lampaert, Tony Martin, Zdenek Stybar, Matteo Trentin and Julien Vermote were the team's riders for "The Race of the Two Seas", and all eight completed the event, while giving their all day by day, an attitude which made sport director Davide Bramati proud and confident that the team can go only up from this point on: "It was a great Tirreno-Adriatico for us, starting with the second place on the first day and continuing with the two stage victories, the one of Styby and that of Fernando, who confirmed again his huge potential. There's also the team classification win, which rewards the riders who worked relentlessly during the whole race and the staff who was always there, helping and supporting the guys at all times. Anyway, it wasn't only about the victories or the podiums or the strong results we recorded. Another very important aspect was to see that the team is working hard and is staying close regardless of what's happening, and what we did during this race made us happy."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele