Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) took his second stage win of Tirreno-Adriatico 2022 with a blistering solo attack to further increase his lead in the general classification.
The Slovenian took off with less than 15km to go and quickly put distance between him and his rivals.
Pogačar eventually crossed the line 1-03 ahead of Jumbo-Visma's Jonas Vingegaard and now takes a nearly two-minute lead into tomorrow's final stage eight.
How it happened
A backloaded day in Italy, with a 180km lead up to a double ascent of the Monte Carpegna. A few interesting names snuck their way into the move up the road, Quick-Step’s Julian Alaphilippe, Enric Mas (Movistar), Benoit Cosnefory (Ag2r Citroën) and Trek-Segafredo’s Quinn Simmons amongst a large move, Davide Bais (EOLO-Kometa) also present to try and steal the mountains jersey back off Simmons.
The break built up a healthy lead, UAE Team Emirates and Arkéa-Samsic marshalling the bunch behind, while Ineos’ Jhonatan Narváez was forced to abandon after a nasty crash.
Once the escapees reached the Mobaroccio climb mid-way through the race with 120km to go, Simmons was first over the top to add to his KOM lead.
A couple more riders abandoned after the 100km mark, Astana’s Harold Tejada out after a crash, before Ineos’ Elia Viviani then climbed off. The break still had a five-minute advantage but that would likely evaporate at the business end.
Movistar’s Lluis Mas led the break over the intermediate sprint, with Jumbo-Visma and Bahrain-Victorious joining UAE Team Emirates at the head of the peloton, lobbing a minute and a half off the escapees’ gap, then coming under three minutes with 50km remaining.
Onto the first ascent of the Carpegna and the breakaway started to fracture, riders dropping as the gradient lifted, and soon only Alaphilippe, Cosnefroy, Simmons, Mas and Alex Aranburu the only ones left out front. At the top their advantage was down to 1-40, as both Remco Evenepoel and Tao Geoghegan Hart dropped from the bunch.
Simmons continued to push on alone as the gap came under one minute, wanting the mountain points, the rest of the break dispensed with now, Evenepoel half a minute further behind the bunch, Alaphilippe dropping back to lend a hand.
The descent was looking slightly treacherous, Damiano Caruso nearly running wide, and the main peloton reduced to just seven other men alongside the Italian: Pogačar, Ciccone, Landa, Vingegaard, Bilbao and Hindley.
But then some riders got back across, including Marc Soler who got to work for his team leader Pogačar, Simmons now caught and passed.
Onto the second ascent and Landa lifted the pace, dropping Majka, Soler, Ciccone and Pinot, as Pogačar, Vingegaard, Landa and Mas followed, yet Pinot was able to regroup alongside Porte and Hindley as they chased down the leaders.
With 16km remaining it was time. Pogačar launched his attack and once again no-one could match it, the Slovenian quickly taking out 20 seconds, soon up to half a minute.
Landa then stretched his legs, putting some life back into the chase but Pogačar was long gone. Enric Mas then crashed on one of the slippy corners of the descent, snow lining the roads.
Landa and Vingegaard formed the second group on the road, Porte further back, Pogačar crossing the finish line with plenty of time to cement his overall lead heading into tomorrow's final stage.
Tirreno-Adriatico 2022, stage six
1.Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE-Team Emirates in 5-28-57
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 1-03
3. Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain-Victorious, at same time
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers, at 1-34
5. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Victorious, at 1-49
6. Jai Hindley (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe
7. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, both at same time
8. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, at 2-23
9. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain-Victorious
10. Thymen Arensman (Ned) Team DSM, both at same time
General classification after stage six
1.Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE-Team Emirates in 23-45-55
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 1-52
3. Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain-Victorious, at 2-33
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers, at 2-44
5. Jai Hindley (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 3-05
6. Thymen Arensman (Ned) Team DSM, at 3-16
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Victorious, at 3-20
8. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 3-37
9. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain-Victorious, at 3-51
10. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, at 4-03
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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