Simon Yates retains the race lead after stage six sprint at Tirreno Adriatico

Sat 12 Sep 2020

Yesterday’s stage winner Simon Yates stayed safe through today’s stage six sprint at Tirreno Adriatico to retain the race lead.

The 28-year-old will head into tomorrow’s penultimate hilly stage in the Maglia Azzura, 16-seconds ahead of Rafal Majka (BORA-Hansgrohe) and 39-seconds ahead of Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers).

Today's fast 175km stage concluded with a predicted bunch sprint in Senigallia won by Belgian champion Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix).

Five fight ahead
The day began with five riders jumping away from the peloton in the opening 20km and quickly establishing a lead of around two and a half minutes.

The day remained much the same with BORA-Hansgrohe controlling the pace in the peloton until the race approached the final finishing circuits.

Safely through the sprint
When the race entered the final flat circuits the wind made the conditions slightly harder than anticipated, with Mitchelton-SCOTT riders working hard to keep Yates protected and in the wheels through the final.

It wasn’t until the final lap, with just 14km remaining, that the breakaway riders returned to the bunch and the pace picked up once again for a fast and frantic bunch kick.

Mitchelton-SCOTT led the peloton into the final eight kilometres before the sprint trains came past and the sprint opened up ahead.

Flying down the sea front Yates remained tucked in the wheels, crossing the line on the same time to retain his lead ahead of tomorrow’s rolling stage.

Simon Yates
“There was a headwind down the home straight, so the sprint was quite messy, but the day in general was good for us.

“The breakaway went fairly easy, there wasn’t too much fight to get into it and the sprint teams took up the chase pretty much straight away so for us it was a nice day; which was good because I think tomorrow will be very hard and difficult to control.

“I’m sure there will be some action and some guys will try to take some time, but we will try to deal with it as best we can. We have a strong team here so I hope to defend the jersey well.”

Tirreno Adriatico – Stage 6 Results:
1. Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) 3:59:30
2. Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe) ST
3. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Pro Cycling) ST
30. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

Tirreno Adriatico – General Classification after Stage 6:
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 27:36:29
2. Rafal Majka (BORA-hansgrohe) +0:16
3. Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:39

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.