News | Tirreno-Adriatico • March 14, 2021
Pogačar extends lead on epic day at Tirreno-Adriatico
Race leader close to victory in Castelfidardo
Tadej Pogačar put in a determined display on stage 5 of Tirreno-Adriatico (Castellalto-Castelfidardo, 205 km), finishing in 2nd place at 10″ from the winner Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix). The Slovenian can take heart having distanced his main rivals for the general classification and putting on an exciting display.
On what was a very demanding stage, with five climbs of the Castelfidardo ‘wall’ (1500 meters at 10% average gradient) made even more difficult by bad weather.
It was Van der Poel who played the leading role for a long time, with an attack 66 km from the finish that led him to reach the final 20 km with a 3’40″ advantage over the chasing group of top riders.
At -17.4 km, the Slovenian from UAE Team Emirates decided to unleash his power on the penultimate lap, opening up a 39″ advantage on Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and 21″ on Sergio Higuita (EF-Nippo), 2nd and 3rd respectively this morning in the general ranking.
Pogačar gradually narrowed the gap to Van der Poel, coming within close reach of the Dutchman.
To underline the good performance of UAE Team Emirates, Davide Formolo came home in 6th place (+2’17”) having worked hard earlier in the stage to defend the leader’s jersey.
The good form of Pogačar is reflected in the rankings: he solidified his role in the general, with his advantage extended up to 1’15″ on Van Aert and 3’ on Landa, as well as in the ranking of best young rider and mountain prize.
Pogačar: “I attacked with the intention of widening my lead in the overall standings as much as possible, and I got an extra boost when I saw that my action had put Wout Van Aert in trouble.
I had no thought to take Van der Poel back, but I almost managed to catch him: many compliments to Mathieu, once again he did a great ride, it was not easy to be in the lead for so many kilometers alone in this stage and in this weather.
The advantage over Van Aert is certainly more comfortable than what I had this morning, I would be happy to start in the time trial with this situation but it’s still quite tight”.
The 6th stage will start from Castelraimondo and will end in Lido di Fermo after 169 km: the last 45 km will be on a circuit, to be repeated four times, with an ascent of 2 km at 4.1%.
Order of arrival 5th stage:
1. Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 4h48’17 ”
2. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) +10″
3. Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +49″
General classification after the 5th stage:
1. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) 22h41’41”
2. Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +1’15 ”
3. Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) +3′