Matthias Brändle flew around the flat, fast time trial course, the final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico Tuesday, to finish in 11th place, while Bauke Mollema came within two seconds of moving up in the overall classification, and will end the weeklong race in 9th GC.
Brändle was an early starter and set a fast time, crossing the line in 11:38 for the 10-kilometer out and back course. Brändle was content with his finish, a personal best time in the Tirreno-Adriatico race against the clock.
"I gave everything today,' said Brändle. "I think this is my fourth time doing this TT and I have never done well here, so I think today it was an improvement to the last years. I had great support from the team today, but it's the last day of a hard stage race.
"I think the work I am doing together with Josu Larrazabal, team trainer) and Luca (Guercilena, general manager) I can see improvements in my performance, and I am really looking forward to the next races and getting closer and closer to the win. Normally this is never a race where I see my best shape, and in the next months I am always good, so I am looking forward to it."
Sitting in 9th coming into the final stage, Mollema had one goal: to move up one spot in the overall classification. Mollema needed to finish seven seconds faster than Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale) and stopped the clock at 12:00 minutes even, but when Uran came flying into the finish in 12:05, the goal was dashed.
"I have to say that this is not really my favorite TT with bad roads and lots of speed bumps," laughed Mollema after he was asked how the race went for him today. "But you just have to give everything, and I was two seconds short of moving up one spot in the GC, which was my goal today. I had hoped to pass Uran, but I didn't make it, and yeah, that was the story of the day. It was not a great TT I think, that's just how it is sometimes.
"In general I feel good, I recovered well and felt good the last days. It's just a pity that I didn't do better than 9th place, it's not a great result, and that's not what I came here for this week. But overall I think my level is okay for now, and I am on schedule for the Giro."