Primož Roglič holds off attempted steal to win third consecutive Tirreno-Adriatico stage

Alexsandr Vlasov had attempted an audacious coup, but it was Primož Roglič celebrating yet again come the finish

Primoz Roglic
(Image credit: Getty)

Primož Roglič made it a hat-trick of wins at Tirreno-Adriatico as he sprinted to victory at the end of an entertaining stage six where it briefly looked like he would cede race leadership.

The Jumbo-Visma rider got the better of Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) and João Almedia (UAE-Team Emirates) in a finishing sprint in Osimo after a demanding day of riding.

Although the first were all awarded the same time, thanks to bonus seconds Roglič increased his lead at the top of the GC standings to 18 seconds with just one stage remaining. Lennard Kämna, second overnight, failed to finish in the leading group, meaning Almedia moves up to second overall, with Geoghegan Hart advancing three places into third, 23 seconds in arrears.

Victory for Roglič was hard fought, with Bora-hansgrohe’s Alexsandr Vlasov trying a daring move inside the last 30km, and for a period of time it looked like the Russian was going to overturn his 21 second deficit to Roglič and take the blue leader’s jersey.

Unfortunately for Vlasov, he and his three fellow attackers were brought back before the penultimate climb and Roglič bided his time before launching his race-winning move inside the final 100 metres.

It was his third win in as many days, and he now looks set to win the Italian race for the second time in his career. 

“It was a bit tricky with a lot of guys all around attacking but I managed to take it in the end so I am super happy about that,” Roglič said. “We know from experience, it [the race] is not finished until tomorrow.”

How it happened

The penultimate stage of the race included four laps of a 32km finishing circuit that ascended the Muro di Osimo each time around, a 1.5km climb that averages 13.2% with gradients approaching 30%. 

It took a while to form, but when it did the breakaway consisted of 11 riders, Casper Pedersen (Soudal-QuickStep), Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segadredo) and Georg Zimmerman (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty)  among the riders present.

They were permitted an advantage of around 2-30, but with 70km to go, Santiago Buitrago of Bahrain-Victorious attacked from the peloton in pursuit of the break. At just 1-20 behind Roglič on GC, Jumbo-Visma were aware of the threat posed by the Colombian, and within 30km both he and the breakaway were swallowed up.

Wout Van Aert tried a brave move at 32km to go, but it was shut down within seconds. Roglič was then attentive when Vlasov of Bora-hansgrohe tried to move away, but the Slovenian was unable to prevent the Russian rider from jumping away with three other riders a few minutes later.

Vlasov - whose teammate Kämna was second on GC just four seconds behind Roglič - hitched onto the back of a group containing Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and the Movistar duo of Carlos Verona and Alex Aranburu. 

With Vlasov sitting 21 seconds behind Roglič, and bonus seconds on offer at the finish line, both Jumbo and UAE-Team Emirates eventually agreed to work together to try and bring back the quartet. The latter had Almeida and Brandon McNulty 12 and 17 seconds off the lead, respectively. 

The leading quartet’s lead dipped from 30 seconds to 20 seconds with 12km to go, but the commitment to work together from the peloton was fragmenting, and the following five kilometres saw Vlasov and co. stretch their lead back out to 27 seconds.

However, once Ineos Grenadiers, whose rider Geoghegan Hart was 19 seconds adrift of Roglič, went to the front, the picture changed entirely, and within a kilometre the peloton had caught Vlasov and his breakaway colleagues.

On the cobbled climb of Osimo, Mikel Landa of Bahrain-Victorious powered to the front but Roglič was on his wheel throughout, with Almeida and Enric Mas (Movistar) also shadowing the Basque climber. 

Up and over the climb and towards the final finishing incline, all of the top GC riders were present at the front, except McNulty and the Bora-hansgrohe trio of Kämna, Vlasov and Jai Hindley.

As the leading eight riders passed under the flamme rouge, Roglič temporarily ramped up the speed, but he was unable to move clear of his rivals until the final 50m when he emerged from a chaotic sprint to squeeze past both Geoghegan Hart, Mas and Almeida.

The seventh and final stage features a lumpy opening 70km, before a pan-flat 80km, ensuring that Roglič has all but won the race.

Tirreno-Adriatico stage six: Osimo Stazione > Osimo, 193km

1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, at 4-49.17
2. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
3. João Almeida (Por) UAE-Team Emirates
4. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar
5. Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain-Victorious, all at same time
6. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, at 3 secs
7. Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-EasyPost, at 9 secs
8. Michael Woods (Can) Isreal-Premier Tech, at same time
9. Tom Pidcock (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 20 secs
10. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma, at same time.

General classification after stage six

1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, at 25-06.21
2. João Almeida (Por) UAE-Team Emirates, at 18 secs
3. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 23 secs
4. Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-hansgrohe, at 34 secs
5. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, at 37 secs
6. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar, at 41 secs
7. Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain Victorious, at 56 secs
8. Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-EasyPost, at 57 secs
9. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Bora-hansgrohe, at 1-10
10. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 1-11

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