Kwiatkowski wins Tirreno-Adriatico ahead of Milan-San Remo


Britain's Adam Yates won stage five of the week-long Tirreno-Adriatico race as Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski moved into the overall lead.

Not only did his team-mates manage to help him avoid a crash with just over seven kilometres to go, but Rick Zabel and José Gonçalves were then able to keep Kittel at the very front of the bunch through the final kilometre, dropping him off in the flawless position at the front of the pack with 200m to go from where it was nearly impossible for the German to lose.

Kwiatkowski will aim to hold off specialist Caruso in the final stage 10km time-trial in San Benedetto del Tronto, a resort on the Adriatic coast.

Kittel edged Peter Sagan, who had been held up by a crash with about seven kilometers left of the 153-kilometer (95-mile) sixth stage from Numana to Fano.

One of the favorites, Fernando Gaviria, touched the wheel of another cyclist and went down, taking others with him. Seconds later I heard it was Gaviria.

Going into Tirreno-Adriatico as a big-name sprinter with no wins to his name and there was talk that Marcel Kittel's season was in crisis.

Yates, however, said he had "been feeling good for a few days".

"I'm sorry for Gaviria's fall but we remained focused, I am proud of this team".

Kwiatkowski started the stage with a three-second advantage over Damiano Caruso (BMC Racing) but pushed his overall winning margin to 24 seconds with an impressive display.

"I don't actually know the final result, just that I won, and that's all that matters", Kwiatkowski said.

The 2014 road race world champion was the fastest of the general classification contenders in the 10-kilometre race against the clock in San Benedetto Del Tronto.