It looked pretty good for Britain’s Adam Yates to claim the famed Tirreno-Adriatico for himself with just a 10 km Individual Time Trial remaining as the final stage in San Benedetto del Tronto on the Adriatic Coast of Italy on Tuesday.
But he was worried.
One of the terrific aspects of having the time trial as the final stage is that everyone raced, instead of marching along and conceding the race to whomever is the leader. In Yates’s case, he had a 25-second lead over Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic, already the winner of the UAE Tour this season, and 35 seconds on Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang.
Roglic was ready, screaming through the course and putting up the 11th-fastest time, some 13 seconds behind stage winner Victor Campanaerts (BEL). Yates, riding last, knew what he had to do and … almost did it.
He finished 48th overall, but more importantly, was 39 seconds behind the leader. The 26-second differential was enough to give Roglic the title by 31/100ths of a second!
“Tirreno-Adriatico was my big goal of the start of the season,” said Roglic afterwards. “It’s just really nice that I managed to win the whole thing. For sure I was confident at the start that I’d win, but I only managed to control myself, I didn’t know how fast Adam would ride. I took 100% out of my body. Luckily it was enough. I wanted to finish as fast as possible. This is a big win for me. The Giro d’Italia will be a different story with big mountains but I’ll come back to Italy very motivated after altitude training.”
It’s the 13th win for Roglic, 29, on the World Tour, and the fourth multi-stage World Tour race victory, also including that UAE Tour, and last year’s Tour de Romandie and Itzula Basque Country race in Spain.
For Yates, 26, there will be more chances in the future. “I did the best I could,” he noted afterwards. “I said before the race that 25 seconds wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough indeed. But I did a good TT. I’d like to look back but my power was good and I held the position as long as I could. All the way round, the feeling was about the same, just suffering. The course didn’t suit me at all, I knew that. There’s no much more I could do. That’s bike racing. That’s sport at the highest level. But for sure next year I’ll come back and hopefully I can come back stronger and finally win this race overall.” Summaries:
UCI World Tour/Tirreno-Adriatico
Italy ~ 13-19 March 2019
(Full results here)
Stage 1 (21.5 km Team Time Trial): 1. Mitchelton-Scott (AUS), 22:25; 2. Team Jumbo-Visma (NED), 22:32; 3. Team Subweb (GER), 22:47; 4. Deceuninck-Quick-Step (GER), 23:02; 5. Team Sky (GBR), 23:12.
Stage 2 (195.0 km): 1. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA), 4:48:09: 2. Greg van Avermaet (BEL), 4:48:09; 3. Alberto Bettiol (ITA), 4:48:09; 4. Tiesj Benoot (BEL), 4:48:09; 5. Adam Yates (GBR), 4:48:09. Also in the top 25: 19. Brent Bookwalter (USA), 4:48:09
Stage 3 (226.0 km): 1. Elia Viviani (ITA), 5:26:45; 2. Peter Sagan (SVK), 5:26:45; 3. Fernando Gaviria (COL), 5:26:45; 4. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA), 5:26:45; 5. Jens Keukeliere (BEL), 5:26:45.
Stage 4 (221.0 km): 1. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ), 5:16:29; 2. Primoz Roglic (SLO), 5:16:29; 3. A. Yates (GBR), 5:16:29; 4. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN), 5:16:29; 5. Davide Formolo (ITA), 5:16:38.
Stage 5 (180.0 km): 1. Fuglsang (DEN), 4:39:32; 2. A. Yates (GBR), 4:40:12; 3. Roglic (SLO), 4:40:28; 4. Tom Dumoulin (NED), 4:41:11; 5. Thibaut Pinot (FRA), 4:41:25.
Stage 6 (195.0 km): 1. Alaphilippe (FRA), 4:42:11; 2. Davide Cimolai (ITA), 4:42:11; 3. Viviani (ITA), 4:42:11; 4. Clement Venturini (FRA), 4:42:11; 5. Sagan (SVK), 4:42:11.
Stage 7 (10.0 km Individual Time Trial): 1. Victor Campanaerts (BEL), 11:23; 2. Alberto Bettiol (ITA), 11:26; 3. Jos van Emden (NED), 11:27; 4. Sebastian Langeveld (NED), 11:29; 5. Yves Lampaert (BEL), 11:30.
Final Standings: 1. Primoz Roglic (SLO), 25:28:00; 2. Adam Yates (GBR), +0:01; 3. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN), +0:30; 4. Tom Dumoulin (NED), +1:25; 5. Thibaut Pinot (FRA), +2:32.