Alpecin-Deceuninck sprinter Jasper Philipsen took his second bunch sprint victory of the week at Tirreno-Adriatico, edging out Jayco-Alula’s Dylan Groenewegen on the final stage in Benedetto del Tronto, with Team DSM’s Alberto Dainese in third place.
Race leader Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) finished safely in the bunch to secure his second overall success in the Italian stage race, with the podium completed by UAE’s João Almeida and Ineos Grenadier Tao Geoghegan Hart.
The 154km stage divided into two halves, the opening one hilly and the second totally flat. The break formed from the start. Nans Peters (AG2R Citroën), Mikkel Frølich Honoré (EF Education-EasyPost), Lorenzo Fortunato (Eolo-Kometa), Samuele Zoccarato (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Henri Vandenabeele (Team DSM), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies) and Arthur Kluckers (Tudor) pushed their advantage out to three-and-a-half minutes in the hills, but the peloton began to reel them in steadily during the five laps of the 15km finish circuit.
The capture was made half a dozen kilometres from home, and led to a frantic battle for position over the twisting and tight section into the line. Alpecin came out of this high-speed back and forth in the best position, Mathieu van der Poel at the front of the line, where he set a ferocious pace for Philipsen.
Soudal-QuickStep’s Davide Ballerini took over as the Dutchman pulled aside, only to find that he had Philipsen rather than his own sprinter, Fabio Jakobsen, on his wheel. As Ballerini swung over, Philipsen took full advantage of the position he found himself in, crossing the line almost a bike length clear of Groenewegen as Dainese came from a long way back to take third.
“We just wanted to go as hard as possible to the finish. We were in a really good position as a team thanks to the confidence we got from the previous sprint. I think the team did a great job as a whole and Mathieu did really well to set me up at the end,” said Philipsen.
The defending champion at Tirreno, van der Poel has been quieter this week, putting all of his focus on next weekend’s Milan-Sanremo. “I’m really happy with the team. Two victories here is really nice. I’m starting to enjoy the lead-outs especially if the sprinter finishes it off. It’s also good for me to go hard in the final bearing in mind what’s coming,” he said.
“I’m already focused on Sanremo and I hope this will get me the shape I need for Sanremo. I’ve worked as well as I could this and I’m healthy. I just need a bit of luck to win the race next weekend.”
A surprise late entry for Tirreno, Roglič will now switch his focus to the Volta a Catalunya at the end of the month having taken three stage wins and the overall title in Italy. “It’s just nice to come back to racing this way. I really enjoyed the whole week. My team-mates were super strong. One week ago I was just expecting to suffer. It’s even better to win when it’s unexpected. It feels good ahead of the Giro d’Italia too,” said Roglič, who has made the Italian national tour his principal objective for this season.
Tirreno-Adriatico stage seven: San Benedetto del Tronto > San Benedetto del Tronto, 154km
1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck, at 3-32.36
2. Dylan Groenewegen (Hol) Jayco-Alula
3. Alberto Dainese (Ita) Team DSM
4. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
5. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
6. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Israel-PremierTech
7. Jordi Meeus (Bel) Bora-Hansgrohe
8. Clément Russo (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic
9. Luca Colnagi (Ita) Green Project-Bardiani
10. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Movistar, all same time.
Final general classification
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, at 28-38.57
2. João Almeida (Por) UAE-Team Emirates, at 18 secs
3. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 23 secs
4. Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-hansgrohe, at 34 secs
5. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, at 37 secs
6. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar, at 41 secs
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain Victorious, at 56 secs
8. Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-EasyPost, at 57 secs
9. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Bora-hansgrohe, at 1-10
10. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 1-11