Tirreno-Adriatico

Stage 5) Castellalto - Castelfidardo

IT Italy Sunday 14 March 2021 205 km

Almeida retains Tirreno-Adriatico top 10 spot

Almeida retains Tirreno-Adriatico top 10 spot

A savage day unfolded on the hills around Castelfidardo, amplified by the miserable weather conditions, which shattered the peloton with over 70 kilometers to go, on the viciously steep gradients that made for an attritional day of racing. Stage 5 took the peloton around four and a half laps on a tough circuit that offered no moments of respite, making for some significant gaps between the GC contenders.

A savage day unfolded on the hills around Castelfidardo, amplified by the miserable weather conditions, which shattered the peloton with over 70 kilometers to go, on the viciously steep gradients that made for an attritional day of racing. Stage 5 of Tirreno-Adriatico took the peloton around four and a half laps on a tough circuit that offered no moments of respite, making for some significant gaps between the GC contenders.

Distanced with 60 kilometers to go on the 20% gradients, João Almeida got a helping hand from World Champion Julian Alaphilippe, who pulled hard so that he could rejoin the main group, which numbered around 20 riders at that point. It was every man for himself, as the rain continued to pour in heavily and the attacks continued until the finish in Castelfidardo, where Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) seized the win ahead of GC leader Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates).

For his part, João showed again a lot of character, gritting his teeth and soldiering on, battling through the dreadful conditions and plummeting temperatures that reminded more of a northern classic than a day in the Marche region. His effort paid dividends in the end, as the 22-year-old – despite finishing a couple of minutes down on the winner – remained in the top 10 overall with two stages to go.

“It was a very hard day, with the rain and cold making it really difficult out there. The race was blown to pieces quite early and from that moment on it was only about limiting the losses, especially as I struggled a bit in the last part of the race. The good thing is that I’m still there in the GC, seventh ahead of hopefully will be two calmer days, and will do my best to maintain this position”, said Almeida after the all-out effort he put in Sunday afternoon.

 

Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/Getty Images

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