PORTO SANT'ELPIDIO, Italy (AP) — Defending champion Vincenzo Nibali took the overall lead from Chris Froome, while Peter Sagan won the penultimate stage of the weeklong Tirreno-Adriatico race Monday.
Nibali attacked on a dangerous downhill section during the rainy 209-kilometer leg (130-mile) that started and finished in Porto Sant'Elpidio. The Italian was joined by Sagan and Joachin Rodriguez for the final section and Sagan easily won the three-man sprint.
Sagan, a Slovakian with the Cannondale team, clocked 5 hours, 45 minutes, 17 seconds for his second stage win of the race. Nibali finished second and Rodriguez crossed third, both two seconds behind, while Froome didn't make the top 10.
Nibali will take a 34-second lead over Froome, the Tour de France runner-up, into Tuesday's concluding 9.2-kilometer individual time trial (5.7-mile) in San Benedetto del Tronto. "I have to thank the weather," Nibali said. "When it rains I'm always able to offer something extra, although I had two great breakaway companions today. Tomorrow is a big time trial and I hope I can do as well as I did today."
Rodriguez moved up to third overall, 37 seconds back, while Alberto Contador dropped to fourth, 48 seconds behind. After this race, many riders will try to maintain their form for Sunday's Milan-San Remo, the opening single-day classic of the season.