STAGE 5 – TIRRENO-ADRIATICO
Tirreno Adriatico headed to the mountains once again today in Stage, although this time it was to the only mountain-top finish of the race – the 12 kilometre climb to Sassotetto.
A breakaway managed to establish early into the day, with Team Sunweb all in the peloton, protecting GC leader Wilco ahead of the finish. As the kilometres ticked by the breakaway’s advantage dwindled as the peloton began to race over the many small hills. Hitting the foot slopes of the final climb the race was all back together and an infernal pace was set at the head of the peloton.
Sam Oomen and Jai Hindley did a great job to shepherd Wilco up the climb, before the attacks flew. Wilco initially followed the moves but wasn’t able to follow a second time. Instead, he focused on riding at his own tempo with Hindley returning to him and contributing to the pace. Approaching the top Wilco kicked on, driving hard all the way to the line to take fifth place on the stage and move into sixth on GC. Hindley rounded out a strong team performance by following home in eighth place, with Oomen not too far behind in 15th.
“It was a long and hard day gain,” expressed Kelderman at the finish. “I didn’t feel so good actually but I went full gas for it. On the final climb I was able to ride my own speed and it was good enough for a top five. Jai did a really good job in the final to pace me until the last kilometre where I did my last sprint. The team did great work throughout the day with bottles and everything; I think it was a good job from all of us.”