Mikel Landa (Movistar) has the fourth stage in the Tirreno-Adriatico to his name. The Spaniard disbanded his demons in the last kilometre, uphill towards Sassotetto. He has made more Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy), who participated to the last mile, behind. Geraint Thomas (Sky) is the leader after materiaalpech. Michal Kwiatkowski is the new leader.
No rest for the riders in Italy this Saturday, because around 10: 30 was the starting gun for the koninginnenetappe between Foligno to Sassotetto, 219 km long and with a tough final climb to the finish line. But less than 14 km long, average gradient of 5.8 percent, with a peak of up to 12 percent.
Six riders chose to quickly run away, with the mountain king of this Tirreno. Nicola Bagioli (Nippo – Vini Fantini – Europa Ovini) got the company of Mads Pedersen (Pull – Segafredo), Alexander Vlasov (Gazprom – RusVelo), Antoine Duchesne (Groupama – FDJ), Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy) and Jacopo Mosca (Wilier Triestina – Selle Italia). They cycled for about 6 minutes ahead at each other.
In the platoon remained long quiet, but after 60 kilometers of racing made Tom Dumoulin for sad news. After a crash got the Giro-winner of 2017 of course. The damage seemed to fall, but Dumoulin jogged this week with a throat infection. Again a downer for Sunweb. Earlier this week, the German team all of Simon Geschke and Søren Kragh.
The stage kabbelde then calmly, because the peloton with Team Sky ahead – you sat with the proverbial calculator to count. The advantage is not too large and at the same time, the leaders safely to the foot of the final climb, so. With 20 kilometres to go, the pace in the peloton then finally the height, that meant for a lot of riders the kiss of death. Also the escapees noticed the difference: their gap fell under three minutes.
Benoot and Hermans
Due to the high pace of the Astana team were the escapees eventually nabbed, but also the peloton was getting smaller and smaller. Peter Sagan did actually walk, but Tiesj Benoot and Ben Hermans still well in front with paddling. Benoot was in the wheel of Primoz Roglic, the winner of Friday, but that was unfortunately not a good place. The Slovenian ex-jumper tapped after a carelessness of the rear wheel of his predecessor, and went against the asphalt. Benoot and Jungels were only just right, but then had a hole dichtrijden.
With five kilometers to go put Miguel Ángel López (Astana Pro Team) as the first fire to the wick. The Colombian, at 1’13” in the state, had to try something, but the attack by Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) offset. Also, Ben Hermans showed his legs in the mountains, the leader of Israel Cycling Academy was cradled in the wheel of Aru. So we got a four-strong breakaway in the last three kilometers: Ben Hermans, Fabio Aru, Rafal Majka and Mikel Landa.
Drama for Sky
Tiesj Benoot kept simple in the chasing group, but for Chris Froome proved to be the finish to be difficult. The Brit of Team Sky dissolved, and let them be. Still not the desired shape, or too much burden of the extrasportieve worries? The time will tell. But Team Sky remained in the corner where the blows fell, because a moment later, there was also Geraint Thomas, the leader, with the foot on the ground after materiaalpech. So had Chris Froome still full to the bak to the damage for Thomas to limit.
The front remained the quartet, despite some speldenprikken long together. At 200 meters from the finish put Mikel Landa are decisive acceleration, he gave Movistar a nice victory in this queen’s stage. Thomas finished in twenty seconds, he should be the leader’s jersey over to his teammate Kwiatkowski.
1. Mikel Landa
2. Rafal Majka
3. George Bennett