STAGE 7 – TIRRENO-ADRIATICO
With yesterday’s day for the sprinters, today the peloton were faced with a much more rolling parcours that featured several short and sharp climbs on the finishing circuit.
A fierce battle to make the breakaway saw team Sunweb very active at the front of the bunch with Martijn Tusveld making it into the group that finally went clear 70 kilometres into the stage. Their advantage was allowed to grow out to over five minutes before the peloton began the chase in earnest.
Hitting the lap circuit the bunch slowly started to reel in Tusveld’s breakaway, or so it seemed, as the breakaway soon spurred on over one of the many climbs and managed to stabilise their gap. Some attacks saw the group split, with Tusveld riding strongly to make the split of six riders.
On one of the many climbs Fabbro went clear from the break, with Tusveld and the rest of the breakaway’s cooperation faltering. At the same time, the peloton upped the pace behind and started to eat into the gap, setting up a very exciting finale on the climb to the line.
Tusveld was caught inside the last kilometre, where Wilco launched a stinging attack to get clear from the bunch, sprinting to fourth place behind the remnants of the breakaway. Wilco managed to get a small gap on those following in behind, gaining some seconds on his GC rivals ahead of tomorrow’s final time trial.
“It was again a hard stage, with some full gas racing,” explained Kelderman at the finish. “It was really good that Martijn was in the break for us. In the final it was hectic with lots of attacks and it was hard to keep control. In the end I felt really good and went full gas from 400 metres and tried to get the best out of it. Ending in fourth place is a good result but on the other hand I’m a little disappointed because I had good legs and could have maybe done even more. In general, I think we had another good day though.”