Roglic Climbs to Victory in Stage 4 of Tirreno-Adriatico
Stage 4 of Tirreno-Adriatico 2023 was the first chance for general classification contenders to show their worth in the legendary race. The 218-kilometer hilly route went from Greccio to Tortoreto in Abruzzo on the Italian east coast and culminated in a 3.2-kilometer climb to the finish.
The stage’s mountain finale offered an average gradient of seven percent and featured sections of no less than 9.6 percent. While the name of the finish town was given to it for its large presence of turtle doves during the Middle Ages, there was no love on the menu between the race favorites in today’s hectic town visit.
The most challenging part of the stage was the final fifty kilometers that featured four short, but challenging climbs. On the second ascent of the Tortoreto climb former World Champion Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-QuickStep) attacked and he remained active and animated the stage beautifully until the final meters.
It was, however, former Tour de France Champion Primoz Roglic who proved his return-to-form following his serious crash in last year’s Vuelta a Espana. The Slovenian Jumbo-Visma rider won the uphill sprint to the finish line, beating Alaphilippe and UAE Team Emirates’ Adam Yates in the process.
Stage winner Roglic told Roadcycling.com his Jumbo-Visma team hadn’t intended for him to win today’s stage and the goal was to work for a teammate of his. “Our plan was to go for a result today, but I wasn't the first plan. It was for Wout (Van Wert), but after his crash we changed the plan and I won. It's always nice to win and it's impressive to see how fast I recovered from my injuries.”
“It’s been a long time since I last won a race, so I am really enjoying the moment,” Roglic explained. “I’ve now put some tough months behind me. It took a lot of sacrifices for my family and me. After a strong block of training, I felt I was ready to race, so I came here just for the sake of resuming racing and to take the last step towards the Giro d’Italia that you can’t have by training at home.”
Following today’s stage 4 of 2023 Tirreno-Adriatico German Bora-Hansgrohe rider Lennard Kämna leads the race. Kämna is six seconds ahead of Roglic in the GC and UAE Team Emirates star Joao Almeida is in third, eight seconds behind.
New Tirreno-Adriatico leader Kämna open admitted to having underestimated the challenges that awaited the riders in the stage. “To be honest I was underestimating the stage this morning. I didn't think that the climb would be so hard, but on the first passage I got the feeling that I could take the jersey from (Filippo) Ganna. I fought hard for it. For sure we'll try to defend the jersey now although it's going to be hard.”
Stage 5 of Tirreno-Adriatico 2023 is set to be another mountain battle for the general classification favorites. The route will be a 168-kilometer ride from Morro d’Oro to Sarnano-Sassotetto. The stage will conclude with a 13.1-kilometer Hors Categorie climb featuring sections of up to 9.1 percent and an average gradient of 7.3 percent.
Stay tuned to Roadcycling.com for coverage from Tirreno-Adriatico 2023.