Tirreno Adriatico Stage 4 Preview
Elia Viviani had a great ride in the final kilometer and seized his good positioning to get his first Italian win of the season. Leadout by Stybar who did a great job, Viviani entered the finishing straight in third place and overtook Sagan to get a strong win, 3rd one of the season. He beat Sagan and Gaviria, who had no room to manoeuvre and finished 3rd in the day.
A big day on the road, with 226Km on the menu it was never gonna be a gentle day, and the almost 5 and a half hours on the bike fit as a mini preparation for Milano-Sanremo next weekend. On the break were Berhane (Cofidis), Schronberger (Neri), Tonelli and Maestri (Bardiani), Cataford (Israel) and Kurianov (Gazprom) set out on sight of an elusive win and secondary classifications, Berhane moved up to the KOM leader whilst Maestri now leads the points classification ahead of Kurianov.
There wasn't much story to the stage, the break caught only 4Km to the line but it never looked like a threat, the real story was the lead in to the finale, with Bora being the best positioned team entering the final 2Km.
Dimension Data took up the charge in the last kilometer but Nizzolo's leadout man couldn't get him far enough, so Stybar, followed by Sagan, Viviani, Gaviria and Nizzolo was the order when the sprint started. Lotto-Soudal made a fast approach but Keukeleire wasn't fast enough to deal with those riders, in which the only change of place in the final sprint was Viviani overtaking Sagan.
It was evident on the footage but even more looking at Gaviria's numbers. The final kilometer was packed with accelarations as it's visible, but that didn't change the storyline, but Gaviria was clearly blocked in the final sprint and that can easily be seen as he powered in the last few meters but had to let off a lot of force in the pedals, and couldn't do a proper sprint as he had no room, not even coming close to beating Viviani.
Perhaps the hardest day in the race on stage 4, after some already very long days the rider's will face another one, this time even bigger with 221Km en route to Fossombrone. After going through the middle of the Apennine valleys where the riders will face some seriously steep bumps like in the Villa Del Monte climb (max. 19%) and Monteguiduccio (2.7Km at 7.1%, max. 19%) the riders will enter the final circuit with 16Km to go.
After the 1st passage through the finish line the riders will turn left and will quickly feel the gradients of Il Cappuccini, a 1.9Km climb with an average gradient of 10.8% and (again) a 19% maximum. After the climb comes a descent with a technical finale setting the riders up for the final flat 1.5Km. But after going through the finish line the riders will have to go through the little circuit again, which will surely cause major mayhem in the peloton, as it's a climb that gets up to fierce gradients but doesn't have any resting period.
Who can we expect to see?
Well, maybe the same riders as yesterdau. The climb fits the lightweight climbers. Obvious first guess is Alaphillipe. But the line of the lightest riders who finished in the group on stage 2 has Roglic included wish should be a major threat has he looks in great condition.
Adam Yates, the leader, should also be a major threat for tomorrow, he is a very punchy climber and with only 58Kg gravity should be his major ally. Thibaut Pinot, Valerio Conti, Davide Formolo, Alexis Vuillermoz, Simon Clarke and Richard Carapaz are the other lightweight climbers/puncheurs we should see riding strongly tomorrow.
Tom Dumoulin can't be discarted even though the clear disadvantage he'll have. The ultra-steep climbs don't suit him best but they will have to be done by pace and he is good in that, alongside Tiesj Benoot, Jakob Fugslang and Alexey Lutsenko. Greg van Avermaet should be too heavy for such a climb, but in a regrouping way of view, he has an excellent sprint, same with Sagan
Tim Wellens and Wout Poels are the other two riders who have a good shot tomorrow, both like the short hills and both are good at pacing this type of climb.
⭐Poels, S.Clarke, Bettiol, GV.Avermaet, Sagan, Fuglsang, Benoot, Lutsenko
Julian Alaphillipe is who I think will win tomorrow, there's not much against him, the climb is short and steep, there's a technical descent afterwards and a flat finish, so he is the man of all trades really. I don't know if he can distance everybody in the climb but he can certainly outsprint those who can.
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