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"I was feeling ok, and I could follow the first 5-10 riders on the climb. It wasn’t easy of course, but I was not in trouble. I am feeling good and looking forward to tomorrow.”

Photo: Sirotti






14.03.2015 @ 18:48 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Stage four, the longest stage of the seven-day Tirreno-Adriatico at 226 kilometers, ended with two ascents of a steep climb that proved to be a perfect launchpad for late moves. The first time up the 3-kilometer Crispiero climb (average gradient of 9.3%, which peaks at 15% in the final stretch) with 23 kilometers remaining Movistar’s Giovanni Visconti attacked as the last relic of the 2-man Orica GreenEdge escape was swept aside. 


A focused Julián Arredondo immediately jumped onto the move and a four-man group formed by the top of the short but brutal uphill. It was a dangerous move that raised the hackles of Tinkoff-Saxo behind, and they wasted little time in setting up a furious chase.  Over the finish line, the quartet had a mere 10 seconds as they headed back to tackle the grueling uphill one more time.


The breakaway group with Julián Arredondo heads through the finish with a small lead.


“It was planned for Julián to look for attacks, but I think it was a bit too early because it was a headwind for most of the climb and that is why they did not take too much time,” Bauke Mollema explained to the Trek website. “It was still 10k to the next time up, and yeah, I think it’s a bit of a pity - if you go the second time then you have more chance.”


Tinkoff-Saxo soon had the move neutralized and everything was back to one, albeit decimated peloton at the start of the second time up Crispiero. It was here the winning attack came as Dutchman Wout Poels (Sky) countered near the top in a surge of power that left everyone behind. With only a technical descent to navigate to the white finish line he held his advantage to take a well-earned win, and with it the leader’s jersey.


“Poels is a strong guy on climbs like this and he made a strong attack,” continued Mollema on his fellow countryman. “He was going pretty fast, there were a few corners and suddenly he was away.  He took 15 seconds pretty fast.”


Behind, Bauke Mollema arrived 14 seconds later with a decimated peloton to finish in 14th place and now sits 7th in the overall classification (+28”) ahead of the queen stage tomorrow. Jesse Sergent and Fabian Cancellara work the front for Bauke Mollema.


“It was a long stage and it was not too hard for the first 100k because there were only two guys in the break. But afterward, at 226k, then you start to see everyone getting tired. The last 50k were really tricky; it was always going up and down, lots of short climb and steep climbs in the finale,” Mollema added.


“I think we did a good job as a team so we started the steep climb with 20k to go with both me and Julián  in the front peloton. The guys allowed us to save as much energy as possible, and that was good. I was feeling ok, and I could follow the first 5-10 riders on the climb. It wasn’t easy of course, but I was not in trouble. I am feeling good and looking forward to tomorrow.”


Tomorrow will see the biggest overhaul of the general classification with the mountain summit finish of Mount Terminillo (16kms at 7.3% gradient with a maximum of 12%).



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