Team News: Sagan wins Stage 5 of Tirreno – Adriatico

A tough stage with an even tougher finish saw World Champion show his class with another victory

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Team News: Sagan wins Stage 5 of Tirreno – Adriatico

A tough stage with an even tougher finish was on the cards for the riders today. After a relentlessly undulating profile that got harder as the stage went on, two tough ramps in the finale meant only the strongest would be able to contest the finish.

Surrounded by all-rounders and GC riders alike, the UCI World Champion was the picture of controlled calm, as he picked off his rivals in a final push to the line to take the win in style, ably supported in the final kilometres by his BORA-hansgrohe teammates, and to regain the red points jersey.

The first 100km of the 209 were gentle enough – a steady climb before an equally steady descent, but from here the whole character of the day would change, with one gradual climb replaced with a sawtooth profile for the rest of the stage.

If the parcours wasn’t hard enough, the final kilometre brought with it a 22% ramp before a 10% scramble to the finish. This was a finale that didn’t suit any one type of rider and anyone could take the win.

As expected, a break went off early on – trying to make the most of the more gradual start to the day before the really hard climbs began appearing on the horizon.

A group of eleven bumped their advantage up to four minutes, but not long after were reeled back in to a more manageable two minutes. This was a stage where strategy and a lucky break could win, so none of the teams was taking any chances. … continued after advert


With 90km remaining, it was all back together, only for another break to go at the 80km mark – this time a much bigger group of thirty, with another smaller group attacking off the front of this one.

The final 35km were cruel – with multiple steep ramps followed by equally steep descents – sapping the energy from the riders’ legs and bringing the escape back within touching distance.

The whole peloton was doubtless thinking about the final 22% ramp that would prove decisive, and were saving their legs. In the peloton, UCI World Champion, Peter Sagan, was doing exactly that. On the big climbs, the Slovak rider was rooted to his saddle while others around him were grinding their way up.

Also visible in the bunch was Rafał Majka, pushing hard at the front to support Peter, but there was no hiding from the fact it was getting harder, as the peloton started shedding riders as the GC contenders started pushing as well as the all-rounders.

Picking off riders one by one, Peter took to the front on the 22% ramp as the cobblestone streets narrowed, finally kicking and leaving everyone behind to take the win in the most amazing style.

After such a tough final kilometre, Peter didn’t even have the chance to celebrate his win on the line, it was such a hard effort. “I felt very bad today, but I am very happy for this win.

It was looking like I wouldn’t be able to race tomorrow – all day it was full gas, with everyone attacking. I don’t know if the other riders saw the profile? Rafał Majka was the guy who put his trust in me today. I said to him not to be stupid – that we’ll go together, and if he had the legs he’d go.

He worked for me and trusted my ability more than I did. I was actually dropped in the last climb, but just got back in the final kilometre. After that I did my best and am very happy with the victory.”

The last road stage of this year’s edition of the race is an altogether gentler affair. While the profile is undulating, it’s nothing near the grinding climbs of today’s stage. Apart from a small hump in the final 10km, the final 30km are more or less flat, and will encourage a bunch sprint.



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