Ackermann edges Gaviria to win opening stage of Tirreno


LIDO DI CAMAIORE, Italy (AP)German rider Pascal Ackermann used a perfectly timed sprint to win the first stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico on Monday, edging Fernando Gaviria by less than half a wheel.

Gaviria appeared to be on course to win the bunch sprint but Ackermann, who rides for Bora-Hansgrohe, managed to squeeze between his rivals and the advertising hoardings on the right side of the road.

”I was sick last weekend and I was just one time on the bike so we said we have to see what the shape is,” Ackermann said. ”It was a really hard and long sprint for me because I really came from the back, came a long way. I found the gap and I’m just happy I won.”

Magnus Cort was third at the end of the 133-kilometer (83-mile) route which started and finished in Lido di Camaiore.

There was a crash in the final two kilometers but none of the favorites appeared to be affected.

Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Vincenzo Nibali lead a strong field at the race, which was rearranged from March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday’s second stage is a 201-kilometer (125-mile) leg from Camaiore to Follonica and is also mainly flat.

The race ends next Monday with an individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.

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