Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) became the first Slovenian stage winner of Tirreno-Adriatico as he jumped from the bunch with one kilometer to go in the spectacular uphill finish in Trevi. Having lost his hopes on GC in the first two days, he anticipated the action of another unlucky favourite, Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) who was also a victim of the crash on stage 2. Strade Bianche winner Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) rounded out the podium while Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) moved into the lead, equal on time with Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team). On stage, Primoz Roglic mimicked the gesture of the ski jumper he used to be (junior world champion).
1 – Primoz Roglic (Team Lotto NL – Jumbo) 239km in 6h17’23”, average speed 37.998kph
2 – Adam Yates (Mitchelton – Scott) at 3″
3 – Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) at 6″
1 – Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)
2 – Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) s.t.
3 – Chris Froome (Team Sky) at 3″
The stage winner, Primoz Roglic, said: “I came to Tirreno-Adriatico to win the overall. But we didn’t do our best TTT and we had some bad luck yesterday. I was forced to change my bike after the crash. My GC was over, so I needed to find some new goals because I worked really hard for this race. After winning a time trial at the Giro d’Italia (2016) and a mountain stage at the Tour de France (2017), I’m happy to get an uphill finish win. I’ve already lost some sprints in my career so I knew I shouldn’t wait for the last moment but just fight and go for it. The best feeling in cycling is when you don’t see anybody in front of you and you’re first on the finish line.”
The Maglia Azzurra, Geraint Thomas, said: “I was going pretty well last year at Tirreno-Adriatico. We had some bad luck in the TTT with a wheel so I wanted to come back. Racing in Italy reminds me my early years with Barloworld. Roads here always make it an interesting race. I didn’t expect to be in this position today but it’s nice to lead the race. The team is here to win the overall. I’m in the best place now but tomorrow it’s a long mountain finish. Hopefully one of us can do it. If I don’t have the legs, I hope Froomey takes over. It’s nice to get better luck here this year. Tirreno-Adriatico is a massive race, one I’d love to win.”
Best young rider Jaime Roson said: “For Mikel [Landa] and myself, it’s a good result today. Mikel is a rider who is already consolidated in the peloton while I’m only in a development process. We’ll try our best for him tomorrow. Two years ago Tirreno-Adriatico was my first WorldTour race [with Caja Rural]. It’s a beautiful race and I’m looking forward to doing the Giro too.”
King of the Mountains Nicola Bagioli said: “After getting the green jersey yesterday, I had to break away again today. I managed to win all the KOM on the way. I’m happy with that and I’ll defend the jersey as much as I can.”
Points classification leader Jacopo Mosca said: “I was well positioned in both the KOM and the points classification. Bagioli made it hard for me in the climbs but I took as many points I could, hoping that neither Sagan nor Kwiatkowski would win the stage, so here I am with the orange jersey. Let’s see how many days I can keep it for.”
Stage 4 – Foligno – Sarnano-Sassotetto 219km
This is the hardest stage, ending with a summit finish. The route starts in Foligno and clears the Colfiorito pass, then it becomes an endless series of climbs and descents with not a single flat stretch all the way to the finish. The route takes in, amongst others, the San Ginesio, Gualdo and Penna San Giovanni categorized climbs.
The route is extremely challenging, in terms of both course and profile; the roads are relatively wide, and the surface is usually good to mildly worn out. The final climb leading from Sarnano to Sassotetto measures 14.2km in length and has an average 5.8% gradient, peaking out at 12%.
The last kilometres correspond to the final climb leading to Sassotetto. The gradients are quite steady around 6-7%, peaking out above 10% at points, and long straight stretches alternate with hairpins. The gradient decreases shortly before the finish. The home straight is 100m long, on 7m wide asphalt and slightly uphill road.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Lying halfway between the more renowned Perugia and Assisi, Foligno is an excellent destination worth discovering. Piazza della Repubblica, the true heart of the city, features an outstanding architectural “ensemble” comprising the Duomo, the Town Hall and Palazzo Trinci. The Duomo, dedicated to the patron saint of the city, St. Feliciano, is Neoclassical-Baroque in style. The Museo Capitolare Diocesano and the Crypt, inside the cathedral, are definitely worth a visit. Neoclassicism also inspired the 13-century Town Hall and crenelated tower. Rising near the Duomo is Palazzo Trinci, housing the city’s art gallery (Pinacoteca). Completed in 1407 and restored in 1949, the building has a neoclassical façade and a stunning Gothic staircase. Palazzo Orfini, nearby, was the former abode of Emiliano Orfini, the typographer who printed the first Italian edition of the Divine Comedy, and has an amazing 16-century gate. Parco dei Canapè, surrounded by the ancient city walls, between Porta Romana and Porta Todi, is the perfect choice if you are looking for a place to unwind. Local cuisine offers a wealth of traditional Umbrian delicacies such as spaghetti con il rancetto (a sauce made of pancetta, tomatoes and marjoram) and “rocciata”, a local rendition of the apple strudel with nuts, cocoa and alchermes liqueur.
Rising upland, right of River Tennacola and against the background of the Sibylline Mountains that seem to protect the town, Sarnano is an Orange Flag certified by the Touring Club of Italy. Among the red cotto tiles, major landmarks include the church of S. Maria di Piazza, Palazzo del Popolo, Palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo dei Priori, the San Giacomo baths and the Sassotetto ski resort. The medieval old town has survived undamaged to the present day; it still has the shape of a castrum, a fortified centre that expands in concentric circles, starting from Piazza Alta, and descending all the way to the foot of the hill, with tiny streets and lovely houses creating an evocative atmosphere where time seems to have stopped. Taking a first glance at the historical district of Sarnano, it really feels as if everything has retained its original appearance: the mediaeval layout and the defensive walls are still recognisable, and Porta Brunoforte still marks the entrance into town. Sarnano is also home to a ski resort extending from Monte Sassotetto to the Santa Maria Maddalena pass, with a unique feature: on a clear day, the view reaches the sea. As the Sibylline Mountains are just 50 km away from the Adriatic coast, skiers can enjoy a stunning view that ranges from the mountain tops, through the hills and to the sea.
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