Tirreno-Adriatico, stage 5: Yates attacks to victory, as Kwiatkowski leads GC

Adam Yates took the fifth stage on Sunday in Filottrano, as Michal Kwiatkowski finished third on the day to move into the overall lead.

Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) took the stage win at Tirreno-Adriatico on Sunday in Filottrano, as the race paid tribute to the late Michele Scarponi. Scarponi tragically died last spring after being hit by a van while out training and Filottrano was his hometown.

Yates was able to jump away on the steep climb into town and then powered on alone to take the stage win. World champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) brought the chase group home seven seconds after Yates, as Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) rounded out the stage podium.

“I’ve been feeling good for a few days now,” a confident Yates said at the finish. “I tried a couple of stages ago, but I came second. The team set me up perfectly before the last climb, so I could ride away. All I had to do was attack and hold off the bunch. I finished it off.

“It’s been a long time since I last won a race. My brother won [Saturday] at Paris-Nice [and] it gave me some extra motivation for today. It’s disappointing that I crashed on stage two and lost my hopes for GC, but that’s part of cycling. I would have been in a good position in the GC.”

Kwiatkowski’s third place on the stage moved him into the overall lead, as he had begun the day just one-second down on previous race leader Damiano Caruso (BMC Racing). Caruso finished the stage in the same time as Kwiatkowski, but the Pole’s third-place finish meant he earned a four-second bonus and, thus, the overall lead as well.

“I was racing for the stage win, but also with the GC in mind, knowing that time bonuses could put me in the lead,” Kwaikowski said. “This stage suited Peter Sagan to perfection, but with the shape I had in the past few days, I knew I could be up there with him and take some time bonus. At the end of the day, I’m happy I finished third. It’s nice that we have the leader’s jersey back after [Saturday’s] bad luck. Now I hope we won’t have any bad luck tomorrow and will be in the same situation before the ITT.”

Monday’s stage at Tirreno-Adriatico travels 153 kilometers from Numana to Fano and is suited to the sprinters. The race should end in a bunch sprint and set the stage for an exciting finale on Tuesday with the riders tackling a 10-kilometer individual time trial.

Top-10 stage 5

  • 1. Adam Yates, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, in 04:16:35
  • 2. Peter Sagan, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:07
  • 3. Michal Kwiakowski, TEAM SKY, at 0:07
  • 4. Tiesj Benoot, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 0:07
  • 6. Geraint Thomas, TEAM SKY, at 0:07
  • 7. Mikel Landa, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:07
  • 8. Jaime Roson, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:07
  • 9. Romain Bardet, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 0:07
  • 10. Damiano Caruso, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:07

Top-10 overall

  • 1. Michal Kwaitkowski, TEAM SKY, in 21:31:28
  • 2. Damiano Caruso, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:03
  • 3. Mikel Landa, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:23
  • 4. Geraint Thomas, TEAM SKY, at 0:29
  • 6. Adam Yates, MITCHELTON-SCOTT, at 0:36
  • 7. Davide Formolo, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:37
  • 8. Tiesj Benoot, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 0:39
  • 9. George Bennett, TEAM LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 0:41
  • 10. Jaime Roson, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:47

Sunday’s fifth stage of the 2018 Tirreno-Adriatico traveled 178 kilometers from Castelraimondo to Filottrano. The stage finished with two 16-kilometer circuits around Filottrano. The circuit included the tough Muro di Filottrano and its nearly 16-percent gradients. The climb came cam less than 10 kilometers from the line and was tough enough for the pure climbers to attack. However, there was a brief descent before the final kick to the line, meaning it would be difficult for a single rider to hold off the chasers.

Dario Cataldo (Astana), Kristijan Koren (Bahrain-Merida), Steve Morabito (FDJ), Igor Boeve (Gazprom-Rusvelo), and Iljo Keisse (Quick-Step Floors) broke away from the peloton in the opening kilometers and they quickly built an advantage of over six minutes.

On the final circuits around Filottrano, most of the breakaway was quickly swept-up, but Cataldo wasn’t content to return to the peloton that easily. The Astana rider held off the peloton until 10 kilometers to go before his was caught by the Team Sky-led bunch. Mitchelton-Scott also had a heavy presence at the front in support of Yates, as the riders sped toward the final ascent of the Muro di Filottrano and the finish.

Earlier in the day, Yates’ brother, Simon, lost the yellow jersey at Paris-Nice on the final stage. He missed out on the overall title by a mere four seconds.

Approaching the climb, Chris Froome (Sky) suffered a puncture and lost contact with the peloton. The Briton was off the pace on Saturday’s summit finish and the puncture ended any hopes he had to contend for the overall title.

Yates began the final ascent of the Muro in perfect position and attacked right away. The Briton was quickly powering along on his own, while behind him the peloton had shattered. Those that remained in the chasing group were general classification contenders, along with the puncheurs of the peloton. The rainbow bands of Sagan could be seen in the chasing group.

The chase group was disorganized and Yates entered the short finishing straight with no one in sight. He looked behind just as the chasing group was coming over the ridge of the hill. Yates had plenty of time to soak up the victory, as Sagan sprinted ferociously behind.

Sagan led the chase group over the line seven seconds behind Yates with Kwiatkowski capturing third to take the blue leader’s jersey away from Caruso.

Caruso trails Kwiatkowski by three seconds in the general classification with Mikel Landa (Movistar) sitting third at 23 seconds. Previous race leader Geraint Thomas (Sky) is fourth overall, 29 seconds behind his teammate.

With a sprint stage set for Monday, the fight for the overall title should come down to Tuesday’s final 10-kilometer time trial.