Quick-Step Floors start Adriatica Ionica in style
Our squad won the team time trial in Lido di Jesolo and Elia Viviani took command of the general classification.
Stage 1 of the newly-created Adriatica Ionica consisted of a 23.3km-long flat team time trial between Ciclabile del Piave and Lido di Jesolo, a former economic center on the roads between Ravenna and Aquileia during Roman times, now an important seaside resort, which since 1955 has featured several times on the course of the Giro d'Italia.
World Tour leader Quick-Step Floors came at the start with a strong and versatile squad comprising Kasper Asgreen, Alvaro Hodeg, James Knox, Davide Martinelli, Jhonatan Narvaez, Niki Terpstra and Elia Viviani, riders who between them have won 16 races this season, all motivated to leave their mark on the five-day event. Our squad was among the early starters on the opening stage, setting the fastest time at the intermediate checkpoint – 11:36 – before turning on the gas on the second part of the course which featured tailwind in the last five kilometers.
The Quick-Step Floors riders blasted over the finish line, stopping the clock in 25:28, after averaging a blistering 54.895 km/h, a time more than ten seconds clear of the ones of UAE Team Emirates and Trek-Segafredo, the two teams to round out the podium. Following our outfit's 39th UCI victory of the year, Elia Viviani donned the leader's jersey, while talented neo-pro James Knox took the lead in the best young rider classification.
"We came here with a strong team, blending youth and experience, all riders in good shape who put in a big and impressive effort. The TTT was super fast, so we kept ourselves for the second part, where we went full gas, helped also by some tailwind", Elia said after the finish.
The 29-year-old Italian, who leads a stage race for the third time this season, continued: "It's a beautiful way to open Adriatica Ionica, one which gives us confidence for what's to come this week. Tomorrow's stage to Maser isn't exactly one for sprinters, so it remains to be seen what we can get out of it, but we are here to enjoy this beautiful race and get some more solid results. As always, we are motivayed and we'll try to be in the mix and do something nice every time it will be possible."
Photo credit: ©BettiniPhoto