March 11, 2015

LIDO DI CAMAIORE, Italy (AP) Adriano Malori won the amended opening stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico on Wednesday, edging out favorite Fabian Cancellara in an individual time trial.

The Italian completed the 5.4-kilometer (3.4-mile) route in Lido di Camaiore in 6 minutes, 4 seconds, to beat Cancellara by one second.

Greg Van Avermaet was third, just ahead of Maciej Bodnar and Matthias Brandle, who all finished two seconds behind Malori.

''It's an amazing day, I'll get to wear the jersey too, so it's special,'' Malori said. ''I didn't think I'd win because on a course like this, `Cance' is the best rider in the world. I'm very happy and there's the time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto too, which is straighter and should suit me.''

High winds over the weekend had left trees and debris along the roads between Camaiore and Forte dei Marmi, forcing the 22-kilometer (13.7-mile) team time trial to be replaced by a shorter individual race.

This year's race was set to be the first time that four riders with 10 Grand Tour wins between them have competed together in a World Tour stage race, but 2013 Tour de France champion Chris Froome withdrew on Monday because of a chest infection.

However, defending Tirreno champion Alberto Contador, two-time winner Vincenzo Nibali and last year's runner-up Nairo Quintana are in the race.

Contador finished 19 seconds behind Malori after a poor start, leaving him eight seconds behind Nibali and nine behind Rigoberto Uran Uran.

Quintana fared worse and was two seconds further back.

Thursday's second stage is a mainly flat, 153km (95-mile) route from Camaiore to Cascina.

The 50th edition of the race across central Italy ends March 17, with another individual time trial.

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