Second for Peter Sagan on day dedicated to Scarponi at Tirreno-Adriatico.
On a stage dedicated to Italian rider, Michele Scarponi, one would expect a parcours filled with hard, punchy climbs, and that was certainly the case, with no fewer than five categorised climbs spread out over the stage. The Fillotrano was the climb where the race came to life, sapping the riders’ energy reserves each of the three times it was ridden, while proving to be the launch pad for the late attack that won the stage. Staying in contention while the peloton split multiple times as the day went on, UCI World Champion, Peter Sagan, was ably supported to the line by his BORA-hansgrohe teammates to take second in the race for the remaining podium places.
The final climb of stage 4 was brutal, so the 45km downhill section at the start of today’s 178km stage was most welcome. While none of the remaining stages would be as hard as the Queen Stage, day five was never going to be easy, with an undulating parcours that would cover five categorised climbs – the climb of the day being the Fillotrano which, if it wasn’t hard enough being ridden once, riders would be forced to ascend three times before the finish. It wouldn’t be out of the question for a strong all-rounder to take the win today, but it was going to be hard.
The Team Tactics
The punchy parcours with short and sharp climbs would definitely make the going tough in the peloton. While the hills weren’t suited to the specialist climbers, it was difficult terrain for the all-rounders and classics specialists as well. The team’s aims, therefore, were to stay in touch as the going got tough, avoiding splits in the bunch and to make sure there was support at the front to bring Peter into position to go for the stage win. With Davide Formolo starting the day 8thin the GC race as well, the team would be making sure the Italian rider arrived at the finish safely, without losing any time.
The downhill start made for some fast riding, and the day’s break took advantage of this, a group of five building a lead of more than five minutes after only 15km, only to exceed six minutes at its peak. In the wet weather conditions the peloton was happy to allow the break to stay up front, but as the clouds cleared up, the peloton began upping their pace to bring the escape into a more manageable distance. By the final 50km, the gap was down to a little over three minutes, with the catch being made with 11km to go, and the race for the finale started immediately with attacks and attempts to break away on the final ascent of the day. The steepness of the Fillotrano made for an excellent launch pad for a late attack, and while the BORA-hansgrohe riders shifted the bunch into gear to try to reel in the solo rider on the front, their attack had been timed just right, this rider taking the win, with UCI World Champion, Peter Sagan, the first of the chasers to cross the line after to take second. Davide Formolo finished well, moving up to 7th in the GC race.
01 A.Yates 4h16’35”
02 P.Sagan +0:07
03 M.Kwiatkowski +0:07
04 T.Benoot +0:07
05 R.Uran +0:07
From the Finish Line
"It was a special stage today at the Tirreno-Adriatico. We would have liked to dedicate a victory to Michele Scarponi, his widow and children but it wasn't the case. I felt I had good legs today and the team worked well, so I'm confident about the big goals of the season ahead." – Peter Sagan
"The plan was to go for the stage victory with Peter. The team did a stellar job but in the final kilometres, Yates attacked in a good moment and took the win. He was the strongest today. Of course, we wanted to score a victory but that’s cycling. Davide moved up seventh in the GC which was also a goal for us, so, all in all, I think we can be satisfied." – Enrico Poitschke