Adam Yates stays safe to head into the final stage on top at Tirreno-AdriaticoMon 18 Mar 2019
Brit Adam Yates will head into the final day of Tirreno-Adriatico with a 25 second lead after finishing safely in the bunch on stage six.
It was a case of staying out of trouble on the 195km route from Matelica to Jesei with the day ending in the expected sprint finale as Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick Step) edged out the pure sprinters on the line.
A fast day
The day was billed as the last opportunity for the fast-men to have a crack at glory and there was no chance of them passing it up, despite a seven-man breakaway going clear.
The seven escapees were never allowed more than three and a half minutes, with their advantage being held around the two minutes mark for the majority of the day.
One final sprint
The pace in the peloton was increased with two laps of the finishing circuit remaining and the gap to the breakaway began to tumble as the seven riders attacked one another.
With one lap to go, just two riders were left dangling at around 40 seconds ahead of the bunch while Mitchelton-SCOTT were keeping Yates safe in the leader’s jersey at the head of the pack.
The remnants of the break were eventually reeled in with four kilometres remaining and as the race passed through the three kilometres to go marker, Mitchelton-SCOTT drifted back, allowing the sprinter’s teams to do their thing as Alaphilippe took a chaotic sprint victory.
“Another tough stage, a fast one and towards the end the wind was picking up a little bit and when it’s a circuit it’s always tricky, there’s always the different direction changes and the wind could be a factor.”
“In the end it wasn’t a factor, but teams get stressed and want to hold position and there’s a big fight for the front, but we got through it in one piece, the team rode great again.”
“Like I said yesterday and like I said from the beginning, I’ll do my best and if it’s not good enough, it’s not good enough.”
“I came here to win stages and I didn’t manage to win a stage but I got close on a couple of occasions and we’ve held the jersey for a few days now.”
“So in my mind it’s been a good race, a good race for the team and whether or not I can hold on tomorrow, we’ll find out won’t we?”
Matt White (Sports Director):
“It was another tough day, it was far from a flat sprint stage that’s for sure and there was a lot of wind around which made the race nervous from around 60km to 50km out."
"The boys did an incredible job of looking after Adam all day and gave him all the support they could have.”
“We were very, very lucky with the rain today, it started to sprinkle just as we entered the finishing circuit, but luckily it stayed dry because it could have been a very interesting finale if it was wet.”
“Regardless of what happens tomorrow, we’ve had a great week, the team time trial win was a big highlight and the way the boys have worked seamlessly throughout the week to support Adam has been really gratifying.”
Tirreno-Adriatico stage six results:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick Step) 4:42:11
2. Davide Cimolai (Israel Cycling Academy) ST
3. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck - Quick Step) ST
25. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Tirreno-Adriatico GC after stage six:
1. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 25:15:59
2. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) +0:25
3. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) +0:35
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.