After an amazing performance, Jan Tratnik took an undisputed win in individual time trial, the last stage of Italian Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali.
Info: Stage 4, March 25th, Fiorano Modenese – Montegibbio, 12,5km (ITT)
Course: uphill finale
Time trial to the castle in Montegibbio, which is located on a hill, was not an easy one, with 2-kilometer climb in the finale with an average gradient of 10%.
CCC Sprandi Polkowice has selected some outstanding time trialists for this race, so the expectations were quite high. Kamil Gradek was one of the early leaders, with 20:27, but it was Jan Tratnik who set the bar for other TT favorites. He clocked 19:22, smashing the previous best time by almost a minute.
Later nobody was able to get nowhere near Slovenian’s time and CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider could celebrate a well deserved and convincing win. He was faster than Diego Rosa, who claimed 2nd place and won the overall, by as many as 28 seconds.
After a bad day on the mountain stage, I switched my focus to this TT. The course suited me, since it was quite similar to world championships in Bergen where I finished 10th. The climb in the end was a little bit shorter than in Norway, but it was also very steep and hard. I gave my maximum effort, I had good legs and everything went perfectly – Jan Tratnik said afterwards.
This victory means a lot to me. Last year I made a big progress in terms of my time trialling skills and our team had a huge part in it. Thus, today’s win is not only mine but the entire squad’s.
It was a special day for me for another reason – my family travelled 500 kilometers to watch me race and win. It made that victory even sweeter.
The highest placed „rider in orange” in general standings, Amaro Antunes took 27th place in the time trial (1:16 back) and finished the 4-day event in 19th overall (3:34).