On the first climbing test of this year’s Tirreno Adriatico, both Wilco Kelderman and Tom Dumoulin were in the action for Team Sunweb, with Wilco racing to 9th on the stage and both moving into the top 10 on GC.
The long 234km stage profile was punctuated with short sharp climbs, culminating in two ascents of the Trevi climb in the last 15km – the latter to the finish line. A break of 5 riders spent most of the day out front, building a lead of over 8 minutes during the stage. They were pegged back and eventually caught by a reduced bunch with just over 10km to race.
The first ascent of Trevi saw the GC favourites come to the fore, and a group of around 40 form over the top before the second time up decided the race. A solo attack proved enough to win the stage, with Wilco and Tom pushing hard all the way to the line to take their respective places.
Unfortunately, during the stage Simon Geschke crashed hard into a barrier fracturing his left collarbone. We will have more details later on his expected recovery, and we wish Simon well and a speedy return to the bike. Søren Kragh Andersen also stepped off the bike during the stage following sickness that showed no improvement this morning.
Having moved into the top 10 overall, Tom commented after the finish: “Today was a long day and I felt better than the days before. Still, it was not good enough to follow the best, but luckily Wilco could! I hope that the coming days I will still continue to improve.”
Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef added: “The goal was to protect Tom and Wilco and position them into the Trevi climbs. During the day Søren had to give up having been sick and when we were going into the final Simon crashed and broke his left collarbone.
“The other guys kept Tom and Wilco in front and after the first Trevi climb we only had the two of them in a group of around 40. On the last climb one rider attacked and behind Wilco and Tom were fighting right to the line.”