A week after the solitary feat at Strade Bianche, Tadej Pogacar struck again, reaching the finish line of the 6th stage of Tirreno-Adriatico alone leaving his rivals in the dust on the Italian roads from Apecchio to Carpegna.
The leader of the UAE Team Emirates squad made his move 16km from the finish, on the second ascent of Monte Carpegna (6.2km at 9.6% average gradient), responding to a move by Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious), Pogacar sank a single, but decisive attack, gaining 20 seconds in short time on a trio of pursuers made of Landa, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Richie Porte (Ineos-Grenadiers).
The advantage widened to almost 2 minutes at the brow with just over 12km to go. The Slovenian was then able to pedal smoothly to the finish to take his sixth victory of the season and the 17th for the Emirati team.
Pogacar said, “First of all I would like to thank the team and my team mates, they were once again fantastic all day and allowed me to take the last climb in the best position. I had good legs, Marc Soler was making a good pace, there were some attacks and, at that point, I decided to try to go all the way to the top at my own pace, giving it my all. It was very cold and, in this way, I also kept warm. I am very happy to have won and to have repaid the work of the whole team during these last days: today my teammates struggled at the head of the group for 200 km, with the headwind, so it’s nice to have conquered the queen stage for them. Now only one day remains, we remain calm and serene, hoping that Pascal Ackermann can recover from the efforts made for the team in the recent stages”.
Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 6 results
1. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) 5h28’57 “
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) + 1’03 ”
3. Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) s.t.
Tirreno-Adriatico General Classification after Stage 6
1. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) 23h45’55 “
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) + 1’52 ”
3. Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) 2’33 ”
Heading back to home soil, Yousif Mirza continued to re-write the history books of cycling in the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East by taking a record 12th victory at the UAE National Road Championships.
Having won the time-trial earlier this month, Mirza was the hot favourite on the 120km course where he attacked early and was too strong in the closing kilometres to the win.
Yousif Mirza: “Today was great. I managed to secure the title for the 12th year, which means every year since 2010. It was a very hot day with a good level of competition. I moved away in a break with another rider and jumped away solo in the final kilometres. It was a nice way to win and I’m happy to add a little bit to the already amazing season the team is having.”
Elsewhere on the roads, Joao Almeida added to an already special weekend by taking home the white jersey in Paris-Nice. The Portuguese powerhouse showed poise and tenacity to earn the jersey of best young rider on the penultimate stage of the French race.
The talent crossed the finish line of the 7th stage in 5th place 11” behind winner Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma). Almeida’s UAE Team Emirates’ teammate, Brandon McNulty, fresh off the back of his Stage 5 win, finished in sixth place at +25”.
The performance brought Almeida to 10th place in the overall ranking (+ 3’13”) and to the top of the youth standings, with a 1’44” lead over Mauri Vansevenant (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl).
Almeida saisd, “The group was immediately reduced to a few riders, on the last climb I managed to pace the effort well and to have the necessary energy in the final to catch the head of the race. I’m really happy.
The white jersey is a nice goal, after starting the race with the weight of the seconds lost in the falls ”.
Paris-Nice – Stage 7 results
1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 4h02’47 ”
2. Daniel Martinez (Ineos-Grenadiers) s.t.
3. Simon Yates (BikeExchange) +2 ”
5. João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +11 “
6. Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) +25 “
Paris-Nice – general classification after Stage 7
1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 26h26’11 ”
2. Simon Yates (BikeExchange) +47 ”
3. Daniel Martinez (Ineos-Grenadiers) 1st minute
10. João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) + 3’13 “