Tirreno Adriatico: Stage 4

Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar, already a big winner in the UAE Tour in 2021, took the lead from Wout van Aert on stage 4 after Pogacar’s summit finish stage win

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Tirreno Adriatico: Stage 4

It was a case of double celebration on stage 4 of the Tirreno Adriatico for Tadej Pogačar and his UAE Emirates team as the Slovenian took the stage victory and moved into the overall lead. On the mountain top finish (Prati di Tivo (14.7 km at 7%)), an attack 7.5 km from the finish and another dig at 6km to go allowed Pogačar to hold off Simon Yates (+6 “, Team BikeExchange) and Sergio Higuita (+29”, Ef-Nippo), as well as jumping to the top of the general classification with a 35 ”advantage over Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).

Pogačar, also leader in the young rider classification and in the mountain classification, made his first move reacting to Geraint Thomas (Ineos-Grenadiers) followed by the group of the main climbers. Pogačar, after catching his breath, jumped again just after the town of Pietracamela and this time no opponent was able to follow the young talent of UAE Team Emirates although Simon Yates did get very close finishing just six seconds adrift.

Pogačar: “I tried to attack to stay alone and be able to set my pace. When I saw that the advantage over my opponents was good, I pushed really hard to try and keep the gap, also because I knew Yates was coming close. I gave it my all and managed to win. As far as the general classification is concerned, every second advantage is precious, also because tomorrow a very difficult stage awaits us and the final time trial too so the fight for the victory will in the balance”.

Wout Van Aert: If Pogacar’s victory was expected, the ride by Wout van Aert was top draw, the sprint winner of stage 1, racing with the ‘goats’ up the final climb. “I am happy with my performance today. I squeezed the maximum out of it. The competition started attacking early on, which made the stage very difficult. I rode a constant pace, something that suits my abilities best. I caught a lot of wind and that made it difficult. In the beginning, I hoped for support from other riders, but I quickly realised that it had to come from myself. In my mind I made it a kind of time trial and gave everything until the end. If anyone else had had the blue jersey, I would have been on the wheel too. Now I could not hide and I rode for my classification. It’s only logical that the 2020 Tour winner will take the blue leader’s jersey from me here.”

The Belgian is showing ambition for the days ahead. The course seems to be perfectly suited for him. “Pogačar now has a nice lead on me, but I’m not giving up yet and I will do everything in the next three days to achieve the highest possible result. The team is very strong and that pleases me. I can be happy and proud with my performance today. As a result, I am still second and I may continue to have ambitions for the coming days.”

Simon Yates – 2nd stage 4 “It was good today; I am off GC so we were only going for the stage. I tried to play the game, I tried to get other GC guys to bring back any gaps, bring back any guys that were trying to get away and in the end the mistake was trying to play the game for too long as Pogacar was gone. I tried to go across and close the gap a little bit, but he was already long gone, I didn’t really get any time on him after the initial acceleration. It was tough to win the stage, but the sensations are good, so I am feeling quite happy.“

Jakob Fuglsang: “I am satisfied with my result today. We knew it would all come down to the last kilometres, therefore we stayed in the peloton the whole day and waited until the finale. Approaching the final climb, I was surrounded by the other favourites and rode a good rhythm up to the finish. Being seventh on the GC now shows me I am on the right path towards my season goals. Tomorrow will be another good chance for us to go for a good stage result.”



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