Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) added to his season haul today with a perfectly-timed sprint on the penultimate stage of Adriatica Ionica. The 29-year-old beat Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek – Segafredo) and his Quick-Step Floors team-mate Álvaro José Hodeg at the finish of the fourth stage in Grado. Colombian rider Ivan Ramiro Sosa (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) held on to the leader’s jersey.
“Having scored another victory makes me very happy, and to return at the top of the most wins individual classification gives me great pride,” said Viviani after the stage. “The team was again brilliant, my form is good and I think we can be more than content with how the race has panned out so far for us.”
Saturday’s stage was the longest of the race, a 229.2km trek from the San Vito di Cadore to Grado – former ancient port and fishing centre, nowadays an important tourist destination – also known as L’Isola del Sole, where the peloton arrived after tackling a classified climb and several gravel dirt road sectors.
Animated by six men who got green light from the peloton to feature in the breakaway, the stage was controlled by several teams, including Quick-Step Floors, who made sure the gap didn’t go north of six minutes, before upping the pace and reducing the deficit inside the final 50 kilometres. With 10 kilometres left, on the last gravel roads of the stage, Niki Terpstra attacked and opened a 12-second gap over the peloton, who shut down this move before bringing back to heel the remnants of the breakaway.
Quick-Step Floors expertly brought Elia Viviani to the fore, who after being launched by neo-pro Alvaro Hodeg, got the better of countryman Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) and earned the his 12th victory of the season.
“It was a very long stage, with a 20km-climb and around six kilometres of gravel, which spiced up things,” said Viviani. “Jhonatan was amazing, pulling the entire day until we hit the sterrate, where we tried to split the race, only for the others to react. Then, in the final, Alvaro opened his sprint with 200 metres to go and I jumped inside the last 150 metres, going all the way and getting this nice win, with Alvaro in third, for another great day at the office.”