Frenchman racks up his 53rd podium at World Tour level.
Julian Alaphilippe was in the mix at the end of the longest stage of the week, 218 kilometers from Greccio to Tortoreto, where the peloton tackled four times the eponymous climb. The second time up this 3.1km hill averaging 7.1%, the Frenchman was the one to ignite the fireworks – as soon as the excellent Dries Devenyns peeled off the front – launching an attack which reduced the peloton to around 40-50 riders.
Despite a few more skirmishes in the next hour of racing, the group arrived together at the bottom of the climb the last time up, Soudal Quick-Step being represented by both Alaphilippe and Andrea Bagioli. The two-time World Champion expertly made his way through the bunch in the last two kilometers, remaining calm and biding his time as other riders chose to show their intentions early on the steepest part of the ascent.
All these actions came to no result, and in the end a reduced sprint decided the winner in Tortoreto. Julian accelerated with 150 meters to go, putting in a solid effort that saw him take second place, just behind Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), thus scoring his first World Tour podium of the season.
“I’m happy about the feeling I had. I came here to do a good Tirreno, and this result confirms that I’m heading in the right direction. Of course, I would have preferred a victory today, but we can be content because the team did a good race, which is an encouraging sign for the upcoming days and weeks.”
“My early attack wasn’t planned, I just felt good and wanted to make the final part of the stage hard. Then when the regrouping happened, I was there together with Andrea, we stayed focused and kept an eye on the other teams that had multiple riders there. In the final kilometers maybe I could have been better placed for the sprint, but it is as it is. We’ll keep fighting and trying again in the weekend”, said Alaphilippe after the stage.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images