Tirreno-Adriatico route altered by the wind
Twice before a finish at Tirreno-Adriatico, having hosted two stages also at the Giro d’Italia more than three decades ago, the Valico di Santa Maria Maddalena climb awaited the riders at the end of the race’s queen stage. This time, the ascent was 2.5 kilometers shorter, and that’s because the organisers had to redesign the finish due to safety concerns caused by the strong winds at the top, exceeding 70km/h in some parts.
On a day with more than 3000 vertical meters, Davide Ballerini joined the breakaway, putting in a solid effort in the six-man move that managed to remain at the front until the last 30 kilometers. Going into the last climb, Soudal Quick-Step had two riders in the main group – Julian Alaphilippe and Andrea Bagioli – who remained there until with four kilometers to go, when an injection of pace at the front of the bunch caused significant cracks.
Due to the headwind, the stage came down to a reduced sprint, won by Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), while Julian – who was our team’s first rider home – will now look to the hilly penultimate stage, set to include around two dozen steep climbs, culminating with the uphill finish in Osimo, the small town in the province of Ancona which for centuries was part of the Papal States.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images