The Queen’s stage of Tirreno Adriatico routed riders from Montalto di Castro to Terminillo, with two ranked climbs and two intermediate sprints to entice an exciting day of action from the peloton. Almost as soon as the flag dropped, five riders were on the attack and went on to establish a solid 10 minute lead on the pack. With 80km to go the peloton began to make up ground on the breakaway as Team Sunweb moved to the front of the chase and set the pace. As the race reached its business end there were just two men left standing out the front and the efforts of the team closed the final gap. As the days first breakaway were reeled in a group of five attacked and with 6km to go Tom attempted to follow them and continued to attack with each move closely marked by the other GC favourites. A group of riders momentarily slipped out of Tom’s reach but he was soon back with them in the mix of action. More attacks in the final kilometre saw a rider solo up the summit of Terminillo to take the victory, with no one able to mark the move. Tom finished the day in 6th position.
“Once again the team did a really good job of putting me in position and protecting me all day,” said Tom Dumoulin after the stage. “I was a little enthusiastic with my attack and I think that cost me some energy in the end meaning I couldn’t move up any further in the GC. Overall it was a good day for me and the team.”
Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek commented: “The plan was to protect Tom and bring him into a good position on the last climb. There was an opportunity at 146km to try and split the field in a crosswind. We tried it with the team but it just did not work out. Nevertheless it was a great effort from the whole team and Tom is back in contention for a good GC result and that’s what matters the most.”