The pace today was fast all stage, averaging 47.2 kph for the first hour, 45.7 kph for the first two, and 45.645 kph for all 3h42’09” of the stage, making it the second fastest in-line stage ever at Tirreno Adriatico. If you’ve ever made the mistake of starting your constitutional jog with an all-out sprint, and grinding rapidly to a halt, you will admire, as I do, the ability of the professional road racer to ride from flag drop at the better part of 50 kph for 60 minutes, and still be racing hard four hours later.
Israel Start-Up Nation’s 26-year-old Dane, Mads Würtz Schmidt, showed his ability do just that today, joining the first doomed breakaway of the day -with Nathan Van Hooydonck (TJV) and Ryan Mullen (TFS) at kilometre two – and then integrating another attack at kilometre 23 that, this time, got away, alongside Simone Velasco (GAZ), Jan Bakelants (IWG), Brent Van Moer (LTS), Nelson Oliveira (MOV) and Emīls Liepiņš (TFS). At km 24, they had a 30″ advantage. This grew to 1’50” at km 26, when the shape of the stage to come had been established. At km 29 the gap was 4’07”.