Crash disrupts Mezgec's chances on stage six of Tirreno-AdriaticoMon 12 Mar 2018
Slovenian triple champion Luka Mezgec was looking forward to the chance of contesting the sprint on stage six of Tirreno-Adriatico before a big crash in the final ten kilometres held up the Mitchelton-SCOTT rider and robbed him of the opportunity.
Fortunately, Mezgec was not injured and it was Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) who ended up taking the stage win from the ensuing bunch sprint with Adam Yates protecting his sixth place on the general classification.
Four riders attacked as soon as the neutral flag dropped out of Numana and the scene was set for another day behind the breakaway before the sprinters teams organised themselves for the last opportunity of this year’s race.
After reaching a maximum of close to four minutes the attentive peloton rode tempo over the rolling roads up the East coast towards the finishing circuits in Fano, keeping the quartet at three minutes as the rain fell.
Approaching Fano and there was only Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe) left out front at one-minute and the German was the first to enter the tricky finishing circuits with the bunch getting closer.
Crash Split Finale in Fano:
The peloton swept up Burghardt with less than 20kilometres remaining and the closing circuits were marred by two heavy crashes that totally disrupted the run in to the finish.
Mezgec was caught in the second incident alongside Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step-Floors) with the front of the bunch speeding ahead and Kittel taking the stage victory.
Luka Mezgec – Sprinter:
“We were in a good position going into the last lap and Daryl Impey was moving me further up the bunch with maybe ten kilometres to go and it was fast, but also windy so we worked further in and then the crash happened.”
“I braked and slowed down, but I couldn’t avoid it and still ended up hitting the deck with some other guys coming over the top of me. By the time I got the bike out and got moving again it was over, we were still quite far from the finish so no chance of getting back on.”
Head sport director Matt White:
“The weather conditions were very erratic today the temperature was constantly changing along with on and off rain. You couple that with varied road conditions and it meant that the peloton never really relaxed so it ended up being quite a tense day.”
“Luka was our guy for the sprint today and there was a couple of incidents on the closing circuits in Fano that made the bunch even more nervous, when Gaviria went down that was it for us. We’d identified him as a key guy to follow and there was no way we could avoid it.
“Adam needed a bike change late on, but there was no panic, it was done quickly and we held our sixth place on GC.”
Tirreno-Adriatico stage six results:
1. Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) 03:49:54
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST
3. Maximiliano Richeze (Quick-Step-Floors) ST
6. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
General classification after stage six:
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team-Sky) 25:21:22
2. Damiano Caruso (BMC-Racing-Team) +0:03
3. Mikel Landa Meana (Movistar) +0:23
21. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:36
Photos courtesy of Getty images.