Wout van Aert takes final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico 2021 as Tadej Pogačar seals overall victory

The Belgian time trial champion took his second stage win of the race but had to settle for second overall

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wout van Aert took victory on the final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico 2021 in the individual time trial, beating European champion Stefan Küng and world champion Filippo Ganna on the day.

Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) took the final day time trial but was not able to take the overall title as Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) held on and took fourth on the final stage, only beaten by Van Aert, Küng (Groupama-FDJ) and Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers).

Küng held the lead for the vast majority of the day before the penultimate rider, Van Aert, crossed the line six seconds faster over the 10.1km course, taking his second win of the race.

Pogačar sealed the overall victory, best young rider's jersey, and the mountains jersey with the Slovenian beating Van Aert by 1-03 in the final general classification.

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How it happened

The final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico 2021 would once again be the now regularly featured 10.1km individual time trial around the coastal town of San Benedetto del Tronto, with Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) leading Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) by 1-15 on GC going into the final stage.

The pan-flat course on the Adriatic coast would no doubt see some fast times set with a host of accomplished time triallists among the field.

Michael Hepburn (Team BikeExchange) held the lead time for a while early on with a time of 11-33 (52.4kmh). But it was Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-Nippo) who came through eight seconds faster than Hepburn with an 11-24 (53.1kmh).

But Bettiol didn’t last long at the top as the European champion, Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) took the lead with an excellent time of 11-12 (54.1kmh).

While Küng's time looked impressive, he still had to hope it would hold against the stage favourite and time trial world champion Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers). Küng continued to lead at the intermediate split as Ganna came through five seconds down.

Even with the Italian averaging around 550 watts after the split, he was not able to beat Küng as his time held by five seconds on the line.

Benjamin Thomas, Küng’s team-mate also pushed Ganna close, beating him at the split, but faded to 10 seconds behind Küng and five on Ganna.

British hopeful, Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) wasn’t able to emulate his fourth place in the 2020 Tirreno, slotting into eighth behind Küng.

João Almeida (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) was level on time with Ganna at the intermediate split, the Portuguese rider fully invested in the ride. He came into the finish with a very strong fifth place just 18 seconds behind Kung, meaning he moved up one place on GC ahead of Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal).

Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) finished way down on the day losing over 50 seconds to Küng’s time, but Wout van Aert was looking to potentially challenge the Swiss rider after going 0.2 seconds faster than him at the split.

Van Aert did just that, beating Küng by six seconds and Ganna by 11 seconds. Overall leader Tadej Pogačar also continued to show his time trial prowess, finishing just a second off of the time of Ganna and 12 behind Van Aert, safely defending his blue jersey to take his first victory at Tirreno-Adriatico.

Pogačar took victory by 1-03 over Van Aert in second and a 3-57 gap back to third place, Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious).

Tadej Pogacar wins the 56th Tirreno-Adriatico (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)


Tirreno-Adriatico 2021, stage seven: San Benedetto del Tronto (10.1km, ITT)

1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma, in 11-06

2. Stefan Küng (Sui) Groupama-FDJ, at 6 seconds

3. Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers, at 11s

4. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, at 12s

5. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 16s

6. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo, at 18s

7. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 24s

8. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 26s

9. Michael Hepburn (Aus) Team BikeExchange, at 27s

10. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ, at 28s

Final general classification

1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, in 26-36-17

2. Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Junbo-Visma, at 1-03

3. Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain Victorious, at 3-57

4. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos Grenadiers, at 4-13

5. Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hangrohe, at 4-37

6. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 4-54

7. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, at 5-00

8. Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM, at 5-50

9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, at 6-30

10. Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange, at 7-45

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.