Adam Yates attacks to extend his overall lead at Tirreno-Adriatico

Sun 17 Mar 2019

Brit Adam Yates extended his race lead at Tirreno-Adriatico after an attacking display on another punishing day of climbing.

The 26-year-old’s advantage at the top of the general classification now sits at 25 seconds with two stages remaining in Italy.

Another tough day

With a potentially decisive stage on the cards, 13 riders were allowed to establish the break and they opened up a maximum advantage of over nine minutes before Australian Michael Hepburn came to the head of the peloton.

An injection of pace in the bunch saw the gap fall rapidly and as the race passed through the finishing line for the first of three finishing loops, the gap was down to just over four minutes.

The breakaway was reduced to four riders over the first lap of the finishing circuit, while Astana Pro Team were driving the pace in the bunch behind.

Punishing circuit

Riders were quickly being shelled out of the reduced peloton and a select group was formed on lap two, with Yates at the fore of the pack.

Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) made his move out of the group of favourites as the race approached the final lap, attacking on the climb and opening up a gap of around one minute.

With the gap starting to look dangerous for the overall, Yates attacked with 11km to go and initially distanced rival Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma). However, with the danger of Fuglsang out front, the pair joined forces in an attempt to bring back the Astana Pro Team rider.

That alliance lasted until two kilometres to go when Yates dropped Roglic on the steep slopes to the finish. The move wasn’t enough to catch Fuglsang who took the stage win, with Yates taking second and increasing his overall lead to 25 seconds over Roglic.  

Adam Yates:
“I got a little bit of time, but ideally Fuglsang wouldn’t have been in front and I could have won the stage, but again the strongest guy won today.”

“I did what I could on the final climb to drop Roglic and I gained some seconds, I did my best.”

“In the back of my head I would have liked 45 seconds just to be safe, I’m not sure how much time he [Roglic] look out of me last year, but I think he was top 10 [in the time trial].”

“But we’ll see, I’ll just do my best and where I end up, I end up. It’s not a TT course that suits me, but I’ll try my best and hopefully it’s enough.”

Matt White (Sports Director):
“It’s going to be all to play for in the time trial, there’s still another day to go but Adam has shown that he’s got some very, very good form at the moment.

"We finally saw a little chink in the armour of Roglic on an incredibly hard day, I think the gradient where Adam dropped him was maybe 20% and after brutal day yesterday Adam backed it up very well."

"The race looks like it’s going to go down to the wire, it’s going to be a matter of seconds that decides this race, 25 seconds on one of the world’s best time trialists is going to be tight."

"Tomorrow’s a day for the sprinters, obviously we’ve got to be vigilant at the start as always, but it’s the second and last opportunity for the sprinters so tomorrow will about trying to conserve energy for a time trial that’s going to decide the race.”

Tirreno-Adriatico stage five results:
1. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) 4:39:32
2. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:40
3. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) +0:56

Tirreno-Adriatico GC after stage five:
1. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 20:33:48
2. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) +0:25
3. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) +0:35

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.