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Tirreno-Adriatico: Victory and leader's jersey for Pogacar on stage 4
1 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 4:48:17
2 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:0:10
3 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 0:0:49
4 Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech 0:01:26
5 Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:02:07
6 Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
7 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:02:18
8 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation
9 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious 0:02:25
10 Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:02:45
General classification after stage 5
1 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 22:41:41
2 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 0:01:15
3 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious 0:03:00
4 Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:03:30
5 Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:03:54
6 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:04:30
7 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:04:42
8 Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM 0:05:03
9 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:05:54
10 Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange 0:06:58
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 5 of Tirreno-Adriatico.
At 205km, today's stage is the second-longest of the race, running south to north up the Adriatic coast from Castellalto to Castelfidardo.
Buongiorno da Castellalto!#TirrenoAdriatico pic.twitter.com/QgYQcGXCo8March 14, 2021
Today, the riders will take on a stage which features four and a half laps of a hilly circuit around Castelfidardo at the end. We'll see them take on four climbs of a 1.5km, 10.1 per cent hill in Castelfidardo. The wall features a section of road that reaches 19 per cent gradient, and will be crucial in today's stage.
Of course, the leader's blue jersey changed hands yesterday, with Tadej Pogačar winning the stage up Prati di Tivo. He's in blue while Wout van Aert wears the maglia ciclamino – the sprints jersey.
🥇 Winner Stage 1 ➡️ @WoutvanAert ✅🥇 Winner Stage 2 ➡️ @alafpolak1 ✅🥇 Winner Stage 3 ➡️ @mathieuvdpoel ✅🥇Winner Stage 4 ➡️ @TamauPogi ✅#TirrenoAdriatico pic.twitter.com/BEtpksF5NBMarch 14, 2021
Read up on what happened during yesterday's stage here with our stage 4 report.
Meanwhile, the peloton have started their ride today, passing kilometre 0 at the start of today's stage. It's all pan flat for the first half of the day.
Today's stage should suit a wealth of riders, not least the winners of the first three stages, Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel, and Julian Alaphilippe. AG2R's Greg Van Avermaet should also be in contention. Here's what he had to say before the start.
"One of the contenders, I think. I think, favourite, maybe not, but I will try to do my best, and try to be up there. I think I can come close, but winning will be not easy.
"It’s a good parcours for me, but it’s quite hard. Just it’s a good try I think to building up still my shape and see how far I can come. My close contenders are really strong."
The racing has been underway for half an hour, but updates on the state of the race have been scarce. The start has been incredibly fast, though, with the peloton flying along at an average of 57kph so far.
170km to go
There have been repeated attacks off the front, but nothing is sticking so far...
British rider heading for Belgium before focusing on the Tour de France
Finally, we have five riders who have made a gap to the peloton.
Robert Stannard (BikeExchange), Jonas Rickaert (Alpecin-Fenix), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious), Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) are out front.
The riders have already covered just over 40km on this flat start. It's been a very quick opener.
Here's what race leader Tadej Pogačar had to say about today's stage...
"It’s the perfect circuit for attacks. We will see, we’ll try to attack with the team.
"[I need] as many seconds as I can. Yeah, it’s going to be close. Now, I’m thinking of the GC, but today there’s a chance [to win]."
155km to go
The five men out front don't have much of an advantage. It's only just gotten up to a minute.
A 55kph average speed for the first hour. Crazy...
Now our leaders have extended their advantage to 2:55. The break is set.
Some news this morning concerning the long-running and very complicated Freeman/Sky/British Cycling tribunal, which on Friday saw the doctor found guilty ordering testosterone 'knowing or believing' it was to be given to a rider...
140km to go
Back at Tirreno and the gap is reportedly up to four minutes now.
A look at today's breakaway, with Ganna in front.
125km to go
The gap has come down a little to 3:40. The riders are still heading north up the flat coastal road.
A couple of news pieces from yesterday's stage if you want to catch up with the latest from Tirreno-Adriatico...
Wout van Aert loses Tirreno-Adriatico lead but still in GC contention
Bernal and Thomas positive about future goals after testing day at Tirreno-Adriatico
Simon Yates just short of stage win in Tirreno-Adriatico
115km to go
The gap is down to 3:05 now, and the break are 15km away from entering the finishing circuit and starting those hills...
Meanwhile, here's our report on yesterday's summit finish in Paris-Nice. Our live coverage of the final stage will be starting shortly.
A reminder of the climb they'll be tackling four times in this closing half of the stage.
90km to go
The break are currently on that climb. It doesn't look fun...
Jumbo-Visma are currently massed at the front of the peloton as they tackle the steep slopes.
Lotto Soudal, EF and Arkéa-Samsic are also present towards the front.
80km to go
3:15 between break and peloton now. No change in the riders up front at the moment.
Van der Poel, Van Aert, Alaphilippe and Pogačar – the big stars and the stage winners so far – are all up towards the front of the peloton. They should all be in contention here.
There's a bit of rain out there now. It looks dry in the peloton though, so it just seems to be affecting a small part of the circuit.
75km to go
Ineos move up in the peloton. 2:25 to the break now.
Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) and Chris Juul-Jensen (BikeExchange) have jumped away from the peloton as the rain falls harder.
71km to go
The gap has dipped under two minutes now, and there's another move coming. Van der Poel is in there!
The peloton is strung out at the front now. They're back on dry roads.
Meanwhile, Peter Sagan is out the back of the peloton.
It's raining at the finish as the break pass through. The gap is 1:40 now...
Madouas and Juul-Jensen are caught. That adventure didn't last long.
70km to go
Three laps remaining. Three times up that brutally steep wall iin Castelfidardo.
It's down to a minute now for the break. They certainly won't make it to the finish today.
66km to go
The attacks begin in the peloton! Van der Poel is leading the push. Fuglsang, Alaphilippe, Pogačar, Van Aert, Nibali are all up there right away, along with the familiar climbing names.
They're taking on that steep climb at the moment.
Alaphilippe looked to have a gear problem for a second there. Now he's struggling at the rear of the group.
Rickaert drops back from the break to help Van der Poel. The break is just 15 seconds up the road now...
Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech) makes a push, while Alaphilippe has dropped back to help his teammate Almeida, who is struggling.
Ballerini has also been caught from the break. Bilbao, Ganna and Stannard remain out front.
Stannard makes a mistake on the wet descent off the climb. He overshoots a corner but stays upright and has to chase back on.
Van der Poel leads the way for the peloton ahead of Pogačar.
60km to go
The 'peloton' has really slimmed down now. Maybe 10 riders in this select lead group.
Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) slides out at a roundabout.
Bardet leads the main group and pushes on.
58km to go
A second group of another 10 or so riders is closing in. It's almost over for the break, too.
Now it's over for the break, and Van der Poel has attacked again to catch them! Ciccone is on his wheel and Bardet is also in there.
The move doesn't last long, though, as the lead group comes back to make the catch. Van der Poel is still pushing on.
56km to go
Around 20-25 men in that group now.
And Egan Bernal is next to attack! Higuita, Pogačar, Van Aert and Van der Poel are right on him.
Van der Poel has been using quite a bit of energy so far but he let the others chase that Bernal move. That group of five has a gap to the rest as they take on another descent.
53km to go
Bahrain Victorious lead the chase behind the lead group. 15 seconds is the gap.
The weather is still bad out there. It's visibly windy and the rain is still falling.
Van der Poel is pushing on at the front but the rest of the group isn't going at 100 per cent. The chase group is coming back.
The group is caught but Van der Poel pushes on alone at he takes on some kind of snack from his pocket.
Pogačar has a problem! His chain came off as he changed down the gears when the group turned onto a climb...
He gets some help from a bystander and is now with two teammates making his way back to the front.
49km to go
20 seconds from Van der Poel to the chase group. Pogačar is back in.
Nairo Quintana is in trouble at the rear of the group. Marc Soler (Movistar) and Matteo Fabbro (Bora-Hansgrohe) make a move at the front.
Van der Poel heads up the steep Castelfidardo climb again. He's 25 seconds up the road now.
And now the gap jumps up to 35 seconds. RCS timing...
Van Aert jumps away across the finish line for the intermediate sprint. He takes two bonus seconds as Pogačar takes one second right behind him.
So the GC lead is down to 34 seconds now.
The next group on the road – which contains a miserable-looking Jakob Fuglsang – is almost 3:30 behind Van der Poel.
43km to go
43 seconds for Van der Poel now. I was wondering if he was using too much energy ahead of the finish but maybe he is just riding a casual solo 50-kilometre attack to the end...
MVDP on the attack.
After a shot of Alaphilippe adjusting hs gloves while wrapped up in rain jacket, the camera cuts to Van der Poel, still in his short-sleeves and bib shorts.
Of course, at the front there hasn't really been a chance to get wrapped up given all the attacking going on...
Several riders suffering at the rear of the chase group. Higuita, Nibali, Ciccone among them.
Davide Formolo taps out a pace at the front. His UAE Team Emirates squad will be quite happy to see Van der Poel off up the road to collect 10 bonus seconds at the finish, of course, given Pogačar holds the race lead.
39km to go
1:10 for Van der Poel.
Van Aert has no teammates with him, so it looks like a big ask for him to try and bring back his longtime rival.
Van Aert really needs to win the stages both today and tomorrow (20 bonus seconds) and likely also to drop Pogačar at some point today to stand a chance of winning the race overall. It's unlikely that the final time trial will see much of a gap between the two. 34 seconds is the gap.
Another small group of dropped riders is a further 5 seconds behind the chase group.
35km to go
Now it's 1:30 for Van der Poel. This is a big ride.
It's not a comprehensive rundown but here's a list of who I can see in the chase group...
Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Davide Formolo, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic), Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers), Simon Yates (BikeExchange), Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ), Romain Bardet (Team DSM), Matteo Fabbro (Bora-Hansgrohe), Marc Soler (Movistar), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious), Giulio Ciccone, Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech), Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citroën), Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation).
33km to go
Van Aert battles to get a gilet on in the windy conditions.
Van der Poel is now two minutes up the road. Barring disaster, this looks over...
The Dutch champion has yet to call the team car for a gilet, jacket or any arm warmers.
Bernal grabs a jacket and faces a similar struggle to get it on.
Tim Wellens is trying to make a move from the chase group. He's not gaining much ground, though.
29km to go
There's been a bit of a split as the group chases Wellens, but it's quickly back together and Formolo takes it up on the front again.
Bernal has his jacket on now.
He can't get it zipped up though...
Meanwhile, Pogačar shakes his hand to get some circulation going.
Van Aert looks miserable and cold.
Van der Poel grabs a bottle from his team car – no sticky bottle at all – and still ploughs on in his warm weather kit...
26km to go
2:40 for Van der Poel now.
Astana's Fabio Felline puts in an attack from the chase group. I hadn't seen him in there before.
Serrano and De Marchi chase him. They're 15 seconds up on the chase group.
Van der Poel crosses the finish line once again.
19km to go
Inside the final 20 kilometres left for Van der Poel now.
Soler, Felline and De Marchi are 2:50 down. The main group is at 3:25.
17km to go
Attack by Tadej Pogačar!
Wout van Aert can't respond on the steep inclines as Mikel Landa takes his wheel.
The Slovenian was riding in Van Aert's wheel on the climb before jumping away.
Not much between them on the road but on these slopes it's about 10 seconds already.
Pogačar catches that attack group.
They're grovelling up the climb in ones and twos behind...
Van Aert needed time today but he's only losing it here. He chases solo.
15km to go
Pogačar powers past the chasing move at the top of the climb. He's with Felline and Soler now. 2:40 down on Van der Poel.
Van Aert is nowhere.
25-30 seconds between Pogačar and Van Aert. The Belgian has De Marchi for company.
Pogačar asks for help from his groupmates. They're 2:35 behind Van der Poel while Van Aert and De Marchi are three minutes back.
Van der Poel's racing is so direct. There's no waiting, observation or calculation, just attack today. When he started the move he was hardly looking back, as if he didn't care what the rest were doing pic.twitter.com/Efzzs5a21GMarch 14, 2021
10km to go
Not much longer to go for Van der Poel.
He still has no gloves, warmer or jacket on, by the way.
Behind Van Aert I have no idea who is where – it was every man for himself on that last climb, and we haven't had any information about who is where since.
Pogačar has now left Soler and Felline behind as they tackle another incline.
Off comes Pogačar's jacket and now we see his nice blue jerseye for the first time in a while.
Van Aert joins Felline and Soler, 30 seconds back.
I do like the details on the leader's jerseys at this race...
7km to go
Van der Poel is 1:30 up now, assured of the win.
Pogačar, also solo, is 40 seconds up on Van Aert.
Soler dropped from the Van Aert trio, so it's just him and Felline now.
Pogačar is chipping away at the lead but Van der Poel has it won and has no need to push hard all the way, given his GC position.
5km to go
1:15 now. The gap is coming down.
He's only closing in here, but it should be too late to make a catch.
40 seconds back to Van Aert.
3km to go
Now the gap is under a minute! He couldn't, could he?
Van der Poel heads into the final ascent to the line. It's tough but it's not the wall we've seen four times today.
2.5km to go
45 seconds is the gap now. Pogačar is flying! Van Aert 1:30 down.
2km to go
Christ, it's under 30 seconds now. Pogačar might really do this.
The road ramps up to the line, and now the gap is 20 seconds...
1km to go
Final kilometre for VDP. This is crazy.
500m to go
13 seconds for VDP now.
He's just going to hang on. Wow...
Pogačar can see him but he won't make it.
Van der Poel wins!
That was an incredible finish. Van Aert crossed the line some 50 seconds back.
What a finish that was.
10 seconds between Van der Poel and Pogačar. Van Aert loses 39 seconds to his GC rival.
Van der Poel's winning shot...
Pogačar and Van Aert warming down after that crazy stage...
Simon Yates has finished in 21st. He was 5:02 down on Van der Poel.
Fabio Felline in fourth was the last man in within two minutes, while Egan Bernal took fifth, 2:07 down.
What a brutal day.
WHAT A RACE!#TirrenoAdriatico pic.twitter.com/qjPhQtuuNaMarch 14, 2021
That will certainly go down as one of the races of the season.
If you've been stuck with our live ticker and haven't been able to get to a TV or stream all day, you'll have to see some highlights later on.
We'll have much more news and reaction from that stage to come through the evening.
Big drama over at the final stage of Paris-Nice. Follow the final 15 kilometres live here.
Here's some brief reaction from Van der Poel after today's stage...
"I was riding completely on empty in the last few kilometres. I was told that Pogačar was coming close but I wasn't even able to listen. I just wanted to reach the finish as fast as I could.
"I'm happy with the win. I attacked from far away because I was cold and I felt good until 20km to go."
Spoilers here, but here's our breaking news on what has just happened on the final stage at Paris-Nice.
Dutch champion prevails in ice-cold rain in Tirreno-Adriatico
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