Tirreno-Adriatico, Stage 4: Snowy Finish15. March 2015 — Road Team
Damiano Caruso, in 10th place, scored the BMC Racing Team's best result in a snowy finish to Sunday's mountain-top finish at Tirreno-Adriatico. (©Sirotti.)
Caruso powered his BMC teammachine SLR01 through slush and then snow in the final four kilometers of the 197-km race that finished with 16 km of climbing up Monte Terminillo.
"Today was a very cold and very hard stage, but my form was perfect," Caruso said. "I felt good sensations on the climb and tried to be there with the best riders. So it was good for me today."
Caruso moved into 14th, 1:47 off the overall lead of Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team), who soloed to the stage win ahead of Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing).
BMC Racing Team's Alessandro De Marchi, who was part of the day's breakaway, said the near white-out conditions at the finish reminded him of the snow-shortened edition of Milan-San Remo in 2013. He and the other remnants of the breakaway were only caught in the last seven kilometers.
"It might not have been the perfect day to try the breakaway," De Marchi said. "But in the final I tried to go with Michele Scarponi, but he was stronger," De Marchi said. "Then I waited for Caruso and helped him a little bit."
Sport Director Fabio Baldato said it was good to see Caruso bounce back from a tough stage on Saturday.
"He was with the big GC (general classification) riders, so he did a good performance," Baldato said. "All of the guys did a great job, especially in the difficult conditions for the finish."
BMC Racing Team's Brent Bookwalter, who had to cancel his own inaugural edition of the "Brent Bookwalter Binge" gran fondo last fall due to snow, said it was good the first 195 kilometers were rain and snow free because the last few kilometers changed everything.
"It was more like skiing than bike racing conditions," Bookwalter said. "At that point, in my race, I was pretty happy to not be racing for a result and just looking after for my safety. These were not conditions for bike racing. These were conditions for skiing or snowmobiling. Our bikes and our tires are made for dry pavement, not for two inches of snow."
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