Taking a small GC lead into Saturday’s stage 6 at Tirreno-Adriatico, defending champion Tadej Pogačar removed all doubt with a commanding performance on a challenging day of racing. The 23-year-old Slovenian put in a powerful attack on the second trip up the Monte Carpegna climb just inside the last 15 km of the stage, and he soloed his way to victory with more than a minute to spare over Jonas Vingegaard and Mikel Landa.
Remco Evenepoel, who started the day nine seconds back, could not keep the pace on the first trip up the climb and ultimately dropped to 11th overall after finishing 4:01 back on Pogačar. Vingegaard and Landa now sit in second and third overall, respectively, but Pogačar’s advantage seems – barring a catastrophe – unassailable with only a sprinter-friendly stage remaining. Saturday’s victory is already his sixth so far on the season.
“I didn’t even think of going with him,” Vingegaard said after the finish. “He is incredible today and so much better than everyone else.”
Pogačar, who made the decision to ride rim brakes on the day, said that he was feeling confident with the race situation after Evenepoel started to falter.
“Remco suffered a bit on the first climb, and I still had Rafa and mark, I felt good but I knew there were strong riders with me,” Pogačar said. “Forty-five more minutes on that kind of climb can be really fast gone. Let’s wait until tomorrow, still one day. I’m super happy to come close to the end with the blue jersey. We hope we finish like this.”
Tirreno-Adriatico (2.UWT) Apecchio → Carpegna
Bahrain - Victorious