Stage 5 was a near replica of Strade Bianchi, just over a week ago. A flat run into a lumpy final circuit which the peloton would complete 3.5 times meant it would definitely be an attritional day in store for the riders, even before factoring in the damp winter-like conditions. The nature of the terrain meant today’s stage could be solid practice for the upcoming successive monument races in Italy, France and Belgium. I came across a meme on Instagram by Sporza.be (if you want to check it out) that gagged about it being an exact replica of the aforementioned Strade Bianchi, because not only was the course reminiscent of the gravel race, but stage 5 terrain instigated an identical front group in the last 1/3rd of the race, including Tadej Pogacar, Wout Van Aert, Egan Bernal, and of course Mathieu Van Der Poel, could he continue his dominance of late in the cold conditions presented on stage 5. Continue reading “Tirreno Adriatico – Stage 5”
We start as the racing began to kick off, which in these semi-classics is usually around 40km or 1 hour of racing remaining. We were immediately treated to Yorkshireman and World-Tour debutant Tom Pidcock [Ineos-Grenadiers] pulling a monstrously strong turn to rapidly close the gap, solo, from the peloton to the late breakaway. This late break as it usually does in classics, contained all the main protagonists who were the favourites for the win. The escape included, naturally, three Deceuninck-Quickstep riders in the form of the brilliant Julian Alaphilippe, Davide Ballerini, and Zdenek Stybar. Have we already mentioned Tom Pidcock. Continue reading “Omloop Het Nieuwsblad”
Stage 6 brought us another sprint, after Stage 5’s uphill march to Jebel Jais. Apologies for no report on this one but, with the work at home, and a relatively casual affair up the slopes, the only news really from that day was that Tadej Pogacar retained the lead over Adam Yates, by finishing on the same time in a larger than normal bunch at the top of a mountain finish. Clearly it was ridden conservatively.
Apologies for the delay…
So here we go, the second sprint opportunity from the UAE Tour, but due to the crosswinds of stage 1, this was going to be the first mano-a-mano sprint of 2021 for many of these riders. Fewer external factors determining the stage result, so the best sprinter on the day could well be classed the best sprinter thus far in 2021.
Another scorcher of a day, not least because of the intense rivalry that will undoubtedly be shown on the final 10 km climb, up to Jebel Hafeet. Pogacar was leading overall but by only a handful of seconds, could the reigning Le Tour champion be matched in this final early season test. I say final early season test because it’s FINALLY opening weekend in 4 days’ time. I for sure cannot wait for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Have I mentioned the UAE Tour is a slightly dull affair? Yeah? Well I said it again for good measure.