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Team Sky's Kwiatkowski seals victory in Tirreno-Adriatico

Credit: PA

Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski secured overall victory at Tirreno-Adriatico following the final stage time trial.

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

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.

The leading riders all had to deal with a damp course, with early finisher Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) taking stage victory in a time of 11 minutes and 14 seconds - 20 seconds quicker than Kwiatkowski.

Caruso held on to second overall ahead of Team Sky's Geraint Thomas, whose time of 11mins 37 secs earned him a podium place, 32 seconds adrift of his team-mate.

Thomas' fellow Briton Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) moved up a place from sixth to fifth with a time of 12.08, while Lotto Soudal's Tiesj Benoot recorded 12.01 to jump from eighth to fourth.

Mikel Landa (Movistar) started the day in a podium place, 23 seconds off the race lead, but his time of 12.24 dropped him to sixth overall and one minute 13 seconds behind the GC winner.

Chris Froome, who was out of the running in the GC standings after a number of mechanical issues during the week, finished in the same time as team-mate Kwiatkowski.

LottoNL-Jumbo's Jos van Emden was second on the stage, four seconds behind Dennis, with Team Sky's Jonathan Castroviejo a further four seconds back in third.


Thomas leads as Froome stays in Tirreno-Adriatico contention

This was Thomas' first ride after suffering injury at last year's Tour de France. Credit: PA

Geraint Thomas moved into the overall lead of Tirreno-Adriatico after Primoz Roglic took victory on stage three to Trevi on Friday.

Team Sky's Thomas finished fourth to inherit the race lead from BMC Racing's Patrick Bevin, though Thomas is on the same time as Bevin's team-mate Greg van Avermaet.

As controversy continues around Team Sky off the bike following the publication of a parliamentary report into doping in sport, they continue to look strong on the bike. Thomas' team-mate Chris Froome - facing his own issues following an adverse analytical finding for salbutamol last year - sits third in the race, three seconds behind Thomas' time.

Lotto NL-Jumbo's Roglic took victory after attacking off the front of the peloton with one kilometre remaining of the 234km stage from Follonica, which finished with two short climbs.

There was hesitation from behind as Roglic made his move, allowing him to get clear before Mitchelton-Scott's Adam Yates took up the chase.

Yates would finish second, with Thomas coming home after Lotto-Soudal's Tiesj Benoot.

"The team was very strong," Thomas said. "We had the plan to be as many as possible at the bottom of the climb. We did that very well.

"It was a natural selection to see how legs were. We tried to go for the stage but we can be happy with that. It's nice to get the jersey. It will be a big test tomorrow. It'll be different. Hopefully I'll feel good and if I don't hopefully Froomey or Kwiato (Michael Kwiatkowski) will take over."


Cavendish abandons Abu Dhabi tour after crash

Credit: LaPresse - Ferrari / Paolone

British rider Mark Cavendish suffered concussion and a whiplash injury following a crash which forced him to pull out of the Abu Dhabi Tour during the neutral zone on stage one.

The Manxman, who won the opening stage of last year's race, hit the deck shortly after setting off from Madinat Zayed.

The 32-year-old got back on his bike, but was forced to abandon soon after.

Cavendish's team Dimension Data confirmed in a post on their official Twitter feed that the British rider had fallen "on the same shoulder he broke last year" following a crash with Peter Sagan on stage four of the Tour de France.

A later medical update from team doctor Adrian Rotunno did not mention the shoulder and said there were no signs of a serious neck injury.

"Mark sustained a concussion and a whiplash injury after his crash today. Due to the concussion, we were not willing to risk rider safety and the call was made for Mark to stop the race," Rotunno said in a statement posted on their official website.

"A serious neck injury has been excluded in hospital. He currently has some concussive symptoms and neck pain, but is otherwise stable. We will monitor Mark's condition closely going forward."

Wednesday's crash happened ahead of the official start of the 189km opening stage between Madinat Zaya and Adnoc School.

Television replays showed the incident appeared to have been caused when the race director's car slowed down in front of the peloton, which resulted in a groups of riders behind having to brake sharply, with several then falling down.

Rowe to return in Abu Dhabi six months after leg break

Luke Rowe has been out injured after breaking his leg on his brother's stag do. Credit: PA

Luke Rowe will return to competitive racing for Team Sky six months after breaking his leg on his brother's stag do.

The 27-year-old Welshman, who was road captain for Chris Froome's fourth Tour de France win last year, will line up at the Abu Dhabi Tour which starts on Wednesday.

Rowe has not raced since crossing the finishing line on the Champs Elysees in July, when he finished with the slowest time of all those who completed the Tour de France to be presented with the lanterne rouge.

The following month he went to the Czech Republic for his brother's stag do and on the first morning broke his leg while jumping into the water when he was white water rafting.

Rowe, who was present for Team Sky's camps in Mallorca over the winter, admitted he did not expect to be back racing this early in the season.

"Even at Christmas and going into the new year, I still thought that the middle of the season was realistic (for a return)," he said.

"When I got back on the bike properly, though, I realised I probably wasn't as unfit as I thought. I managed to suffer through it a bit at first and I got my head kicked in a few times, but the fitness and strength built up quite quickly.

"On training camp in January I felt good and I went to the team and said that I wanted to do Abu Dhabi. It's all been a bit of a whirlwind, really.

"It's a perfect race for me to come back. The sprints will be hectic for sure, but the roads are bigger and it's pretty flat so it's slightly less stressful."

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