Mads Würtz Schmidt wins from an all-day break, Tadej Pogačar maintains overall lead – VeloNews.com

Mads Würtz Schmidt wins from an all-day break, Tadej Pogačar maintains overall lead – VeloNews.com


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Mads Würtz Schmidt (Israel Start-Up Nation) won stage 6 of the 2021 Tirreno-Adriatico in a reduced bunch sprint from the front of a successful breakaway.

The Dane, wearing the leader’s jersey for the climbing competition, scored his first professional win.

“This is the biggest win in my career. I have been fighting for this for five years,” said an excited Schmidt.

The final 3km was technical, requiring riders to navigate a tunnel under a rail bridge and three chicanes, and while the route took riders through these features three times before the final, riders wanted to position themselves on the final run to have the best chance at taking the win.

Nelson Oliveira (Movistar Team) opened the sprint coming out of the final 90-degree turn, but it was Schmidt who powered through for the win.

Overall leader Tadej Pogačar finished safely in the main bunch, with no change to the general classification.

How it happened

Several attempts to make a break were attempted, and finally, six managed to escape: Schmidt, Oliveira, Simone Velasco (Gazprom-RusVelo), Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal), Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), and Emils Liepins (Trek-Segafredo). Of this bunch, Bakelants was the best-credentialed, having worn the yellow jersey at the 2013 Tour de France stages 2 and 3.

With as much as six minutes’ advantage at 90km to go, the break worked cohesively, going into the four-lap finishing circuit, while the chase to bring them back slowly ate into the sextet’s lead.

At 52.5km, the advantage hovered around four minutes.

Several half-hearted attempts were made by riders in the main bunch to bridge up to the break in the finishing circuit, but nothing was successful.

In the third of four finishing laps, Liepins started to show signs of fatigue and was soon popped from the break, leaving the five off the front to sort out podium positions.

UAE-Team Emirates stopped applying pressure on the front to get sprinter Fernando Gaviria into position to take a bunch sprint, and instead focused on securing Pogacar’s overall race lead.

On the final lap, having enough gap on the main bunch, the break started to test each other’s legs, but it was not until the final technical 3km that signs of who was strongest started to show.

Racing single-file out of a tunnel under a rail bridge, the group played cat-and-mouse to see who would take the lead going into a series of sharp left and right turns.

Bakelants dropped to the back, and Schmid maintained second wheel into the final turn.

When the five emerged from the last 90-degree bend in the road, Oliveira came to the front for a flat final 400m straight drag.

Surging from third position, Schmidt launched from 200m out and maintained his lead to take his first win since turning pro in 2017, with Katusha.

What’s to come

The final stage of the 2021 Tirreno-Adriatico is a 10.1km time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.

Pogačar is a skilled individual rider against the clock and is favored to maintain his overall lead.

World time trial champion Filippo Ganna (Ineos-Grenadiers) will take the start as the odds-on favorite to take the pan-flat final stage.

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 6 Results





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