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Malori Edges Cancellara in Tirreno Opener

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Mar 11, 2015 — Italian Adriano Malori won the opening prologue of the Tirreno-Adriatico, a 5.4 km time trial around the Lido di Camaiore, to take the overall lead of the Italian stage race on Wednesday.

AFP/Yuzuru Sunada

Malori clocked a time of 6min 04sec for the mainly flat course, finishing one second ahead of Swiss classics specialist Fabian Cancellara and two in front of Belgian Greg Van Avermaet.

Malori, of the Movistar team, will wear the race leader’s blue jersey into Thursday’s first stage, a 153 km ride from Camaiore to Cascina, but will be expected to give up the race lead as the overall challengers come to the fore. Spain’s Alberto Contador, the reigning race champion, is expected to ramp up his preparations this week for a tilt at a rare Giro d’Italia-Tour de France double.

Two-time Tour de France champion Contador is aiming this year to become the first cyclist since deceased Italian Marco Pantani to win the Italian and French three-week Grand Tours in the same calendar year.

Although missing Britain’s former Tour de France champion Chris Froome, the “Race of the Two Seas”, as Tirreno-Adriatico is affectionately known, will see Contador lock jaws with some of the rivals expected to stand in his way this season. Former two-time Tirreno-Adriatico winner Vincenzo Nibali, the reigning Tour de France champion, is also racing as is Colombian climbing specialist Nairo Quintana, the 2014 Giro d’Italia champion.

Watch a full replay of the final prologue rides:

Watch as Peter Sagan nearly crashes in the prologue: