Rick Zabel sped to third place and a spot on the podium on the second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, with Davide Cimolai finishing sixth.
Zabel was supposed to be leading his Italian teammate out in the sprint, but plans went away when Alex Dowsett took off in the final km – and took off very fast. Too fast, in fact, Zabel was on his wheel and shot to the front. Dowsett was caught but Zabel stayed near the front. He finished third only narrowly behind double winner Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe).
“I was supposed to do the leadout,” he said. “But then I was in a good position and couldn’t find Cimo, so I went for my own sprint. It was close but third is a nice result.”
Once the day’s break group was caught, Israel Start-Up Nation was clearly visible at the front of the field, and it was obvious the team had big plans.
“The team did an excellent job of strong and smart riding again today,” said Sport Director Nicki Sorensen. “Now we are facing three stages with different profiles and more of a race for GC riders. On stage six we will try this fast tempo sprint train again.”