Mathieu van der Poel holds off charging Pogačar to take sublime solo stage five win at Tirreno-Adriatico
Even the dismal weather couldn’t dampen the spectacle on offer at Tirreno-Adriatico, as Mathieu van der Poel pulled off a magnificent solo win, holding off race leader Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) to take the stage five victory.
Such was the effort to keep the Tour de France champion at bay, the Dutchman crossed the finish line head hanging over his handlebars, no energy left to celebrate, collapsing to the floor past the finish line and staying there.
Van der Poel had gone solo from 50km out after pushing the issue consistently, his 20-minute GC deficit enough to allow him up the road in pursuit of stage glory.
Pogačar soon made his own move, however, looking to distance Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) on the punchy finishing circuit to extend his lead before the final time trial.
Although Pogačar’s ride was formidable, he hadn’t set off in pursuit of Van der Poel, but his effort brought him within 10 seconds of the Dutchman after nearly closing the two-minute gap, eventually settling for second place as he put more than 40 seconds into Van Aert, now leading the Belgian in the overall by 1-15.
The riders were dead behind the eyes as they warmed-down after the stage, a lasting image of what was yet another incredible day of racing at the start of the 2021 season.
More to follow…
Tirreno-Adriatico 2021, stage five: Castellalto to Castelfidardo (205km)
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix, in 4-48-17
2. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, at 10 seconds
3. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma, at 49s
4. Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana – Premier Tech, at 1-26
5. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos Grenadiers, at 2-07
6. Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, at same time
7. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal, at 2-18
8. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Israel Start-Up Nation, at same time
9. Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain-Victorious, at 2-25
10. Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 2-45
General classification after stage five
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, in 22-41-41
2. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma, at 1-15
3. Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain-Victorious, at 3-00
4. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos Grenadiers, at 3-30
5. Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 3-54
6. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal, at 4-30
7. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 4-42
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM, at 5-03
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, at 5-54
10. Simon Yates (GBr) BikeExchange, at 6-58