Patrick Bevin Moves into the Leader's Jersey Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 2
The Tirreno-Adriatico blue leader's jersey swapped from one BMC Racing Team rider to another today with Patrick Bevin sprinting to fifth place to move into the overall lead at a UCI WorldTour race for the first time in his career.
Apart from a short opening climb, it was an almost entirely pan flat day of racing on stage 2 with a four-rider breakaway going clear early and building up an advantage that was nudging towards 4'30" after 15km of racing.
With BMC Racing Team setting the tempo at the front of the peloton, the gap peaked at over seven minutes before, heading into the second half of the race, the chase heated up and the three remaining leaders began to be pulled back.
With a bunch sprint up for grabs, the gap began to tumble approaching the 60km to go mark and, with the sprinters' teams controlling the pace going onto the first of three laps of an 8.3km finishing circuit, less than one minute stood between the front group and the rest of the field.
The catch was finally made just in time for the final 10km of racing, however, only a couple of kilometers later, as the battle for position began a crash, which involved Stefan Küng, saw riders caught out before the run into the line.
Going under the flamme rouge, the peloton was at full speed, and Bevin was able to make his way up through the field with ease before launching his sprint and powering to fifth on the line behind the day's winner Marcel Kittel (Team Katusha - Alpecin) to inherit the blue leader's jersey.
BMC Racing Team remains in control of the General Classification heading into stage 3 with Bevin leading the way ahead of Damiano Caruso, Greg Van Avermaet, and Rohan Dennis.
A medical update will be provided when more information is available.
Race leader, Patrick Bevin:
"It wasn't the plan coming into the stage for me to go for the leader's jersey, it came about as the stage went on. We didn't have to do too much work, and my teammates geared me up to have a go at the sprint. We didn't have a guy to sprint, and they were keen to let me have a go in the final. I actually got caught behind the crash and I only just got back on and was able to have a good run through the bunch because it was pretty spread out. It's a weird feeling to take a jersey from a teammate but the plan for the week doesn't change."
"I have had moments in the past when I have had a good sprint, and as an amateur, I sprinted, but in the last couple of years, it hasn't really been a priority. Today, was probably the first time in my whole career that I have had a teammate come to me and say that I should have a go and that they knew I could sprint. It's a special feeling coming into a new team when you have some well-established riders trying to motivate you and letting you show what you've got."
"It's really nice to be leading the race. Like I said before, it's weird to take the jersey from a teammate and especially one who is here to lead the team. Of course, I don't mind babysitting it for a day, but as we head into tomorrow, nothing changes in terms of our plan."
Sports Director, Valerio Piva:
"It was an almost entirely flat stage, and it was one for the sprinters. We were controlling the race at the beginning and then we had the help of the sprinters' teams. It was a fight for position at the end, and unfortunately, Stefan was involved in that crash. We hope it is nothing serious."
"Patrick Bevin was able to sprint to fifth, and he took the jersey. The main objective of the team today was to try to keep the jersey with one of the four guys that finished together yesterday. We had no problems at all throughout the day until of course the crash. "
"Tomorrow is a long stage, and the final should be one that suits the strengths of our team so we will be looking to try to defend the jersey once again. We will see what happens."
Stage 2: Camaiore > Follonica, 172km
Top 3: 1. Marcel Kittel (Team Katusha-Alpecin) 2. Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) 3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 5. Patrick Bevin 15. Damiano Caruso 33. Greg Van Avermaet