Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) led an elite group that finished seven seconds adrift, which included the leader’s blue jersey holder Damiano Caruso (BMC). However, the bonus seconds picked up by third-place finisher Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) was enough to see him the new overall leader.
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Yates made his move around 4km from the line, following and then countering a move from Alexey Lutsenko (Astana).
Bora-Hansgrohe led the chase in the hope of setting up Sagan for a sprint win from the reduced bunch, but could do nothing as Yates opened up a considerable gap to seal a decisive victory.
How it happened
It only took a few minutes for the day’s five-man break to be established. It consisted of Igor Boev (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Iljo Keisse (Quick-Step Floors), Kristijan Koren (Bahrain-Merida), Steve Morabito (Groupama-FDJ) and Dario Cataldo (Astana).
Cataldo was paying tribute to Michele Scarponi, his ex-teammate at Astana. The stage was designed to honour the Italian, who tragically passed away while training last year, with the three-lap finishing circuit based around his home town of Filottrano.
Cataldo took maximum points over four of the day’s five climbs, including the first and second ascents to Filottrano, where various commemorations to Scarponi featured on the roadside, including balloons in the light blue and yellow colours of Astana.
The break built a lead of over six minutes, before Bora-Hansgrohe – signalling their intent to set Sagan up for a win – and later BMC – defending Damiano Caruso’s overall lead – took to the front of the peloton to keep them in check.
The five-man break became four when Boev was dropped on the rolling run-in leading to the second climb of the day, the Osimo.
As the peloton approached the next climb – the first of the three ascents to Filottrano – mild crosswinds briefly split the bunch. The wind was not severe enough to cause lasting damage, however, and everything quickly came back together.
Fabio Aru (UAE Emirates) was one rider who was in danger of being caught out when he suffered his second puncture of the day just as the bunch was splitting, but comfortably made it back into safety as the head of the group opted not to push on.
It was a day of several mechanicals, with Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) also suffering problems, but both also made it back into the peloton with little hassle.
On the second time up to Filottrano, Cataldo dropped his other breakaway companions, who drifted back into the bunch. The Italian himself wasn’t caught until 11km from the line, maintaining his efforts up until the very moment the bunch reached his wheel.
By that point the peloton had been whittled down to around 50 or 60 riders, with Sky, Mitchelton-Scott and Movistar all taking turns at the front. Mitchelton-Scott’s train proved to be the strongest, stringing the bunch out as they approached the final climb.
Another mechanical afflicted a big name rider with 5km to go, with Chris Froome suffering a puncture. Having fallen out of overall contention yesterday, and having been spotted towards the back of the bunch earlier, Sky would not have been as concerned as they might otherwise have been, with Kwiatkowski and Geraint Thomas being there protected riders.
As the bunch reached the foot of the climb, Lutsenko was the first to make his move. Yates and Thomas following. Yates subsequently made his counter-attack, and soloed to a very impressive victory.
The Tirreno-Adriatico continues tomorrow, with a stage expected to end in a bunch sprint.
Tirreno-Adriatico 2018 stage five, Castelraimondo – Filottrano (178k)
1 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott, in 4-16-35
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:07
3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
4 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac
6 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
7 Mikel Landa (Esp) Movistar Team
8 Jaime Roson (Esp) Movistar Team
9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
10 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team, all same time
Overall classification after stage five
1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky, 21-31-28
2 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team, at 3s
3 Mikel Landa (Esp) Movistar Team, at 23s
4 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky, at 29s
5 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac, at 34s
6 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott, at 36s
7 Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 37s
8 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal, at 39s
9 George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 41s
10 Jaime Roson (Esp) Movistar Team, at 47s