Tirreno-Adriatico: Roglic makes it three in a row with stage 6 victory

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) just can't stop winning. The Slovenian took his third straight victory in Tirreno-Adriatico on stage 6, beating Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) and João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) in Osimo.

Roglič, in his first race of the season after shoulder surgery last year, already won stages in Tortoreto and on the shortened summit showdown at Sassotetto this week. He looked equally invincible on the steep, cobbled climb to the line in Osimo on Saturday.

Geoghegan Hart and Movistar's Enric Mas tried to break his will in the closing few hundred metres but Roglič powered past without even getting out of the saddle to deny them the victory. 

The 10-second time bonus for the stage win helped extend his lead to 18 seconds with one stage remaining. 

Almeida moved into second overall after former race leader Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) lost contact on the final lap. Geoghegan Hart climbed from sixth overall to third at 23 seconds, with Kämna slipping off the podium into fourth.

"It was a bit tricky with a lot of guys all around [within a few seconds on GC], attacking. I managed to take it at the end so I'm super happy about it," Roglič said of the frantic finale.

The Jumbo-Visma rider is not calling the race won yet, he knows from experience that bad luck can strike at any time, having lost Paris-Nice in 2021 to a crash on the final stage.

"We know from experience that it's not finished until it's really finished tomorrow," Roglič said succinctly.

Geoghegan Hart was slightly frustrated to miss out on the stage but said Roglič is "one of the most impressive riders of his generation". 

Almeida, however, was pleased to move up one rung on the virtual final podium. "I was feeling pretty the whole day. It was super chaotic but I was feeling good so I just did my race. I think it went pretty good but the strongest guy won. I'm happy with the whole week and of course, we wanted to win but we can be happy with the podium. We did everything we could."

How it unfolded

The riders of the 2023 Tirreno-Adriatico faced a demanding 193-kilometre stage with the feared 'walls' of Osimo tackled on each of three laps of a 34.2-kilometre finishing circuit.

The attacks came from the gun as usual but when the dust settled there were 11 riders out front gaining a maximum lead of 3:12 on race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) before the midpoint of the stage. 

Those riders were Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo), Krists Neilands (Israel-PremierTech), Nikias Arndt (Bahrain-Victorious), Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Davide Bais (Eolo-Kometa), Mike Teunissen and Georg Zimmerman (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Casper Pedersen (Soudal-QuickStep), Clément Russo (Arkéa-Samsic), Alessandro De Marchi (Team Jayco AlUla) and Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies).

On the second assault of the walls of Osimo, Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious) attacked from the peloton and, with a long effort from teammate Arndt, who dropped back to help, bridged across to the lead group. The pair dangled between the peloton and the breakaway, with the gap falling rapidly, and finally made it across with 50km to go.

Simmons, not thrilled with the antics of Bahrain-Victorious, surged on a climb and kicked Russo out of the lead group. Soon after, Buitrago suffered a mechanical, Arndt dropped back to help him and, when the leaders hit the walls of Osimo with around 40km to go, Zimmerman and Ferron had attacked and split the breakaway. The antics ruined the leaders' chances. 

In the chasing peloton, Wilco Kelderman (Jumbo-Visma) touched wheels and crashed just as Wout van Aert came to the head of the peloton and lit up the pace, making quick work of deleting their 25-second gap.

Van Aert led across the penultimate KOM and soon an attack first from Alexander Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) and then Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) drew out Movistar's Carlos Verona and Alex Aranburu. The four riders gained a couple dozen seconds but were soon caught when the GC battle really kicked off on the final series of climbs in the final 5 kilometres.

A patient Roglič waited to surge until he absolutely needed to, biding his time as Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) and João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) made their attacks and quickly marked the moves. He was with Landa, Almeida, Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos), Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), Hugh Carthy (EF-EasyPost), Enric Mas (Movistar) and Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech).

Woods attacked ahead of the final KOM and opened up a solid gap on the blue jersey group but could not withstand the pace of the Slovenian. Geoghegan Hart surged in the final 500 metres pulling out Mas and Roglič and the race leader proved strongest in the cobbled finale.

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Laura Weislo
Managing Editor

Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Managing Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. As former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks. Laura's specialises in covering doping, anti-doping, UCI governance and performing data analysis.

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