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Tirreno-Adriatico: sparks fly, leadership changes as the race begins to climb

Michael Woods rises to 33rd in his first 2023 stage race

On Thursday Primoz Roglič claimed the fourth stage of the 58th Tirreno-Adriatico on a short, steep climb. After off-season bone graft surgery in his left shoulder, the Slovenian was a late addition to the Tirreno-Adriatico start list. At the Race of the Two Seas Michael Woods and Derek Gee are racing for Israel-Premier Tech. Woods was 22nd, only +0:12 of Roglič.

The Race So Far

On Monday Filippo Ganna had taken the lead on Stage 1’s time trial, before the sprinters had two days to bump elbows. Soudal-QuickStep’s Fabio Jakobsen was fastest on Tuesday and Alpecin-Fenix’s Jasper Philipsen took the flowers on Wednesday. Going into Stage 4, Ganna led the race by 28 seconds. Derek Gee was 25th

The Course

Thursday was the longest stage of Derek Gee’s career at 218 km. After early uncategorized climbs, a long down hill and the first passage of Tortoreto, the mild side, the riders entered the first of three circuits, each ending on 3.2 km, 6.9 percent Tortoreto.

Breakaways flew their flags for the cameras and came to heel before the circuits. Each climb of Tortoreto thinned out the ranks. On the second ascent, with 35 km remaining, Julian Alaphilippe attacked, drawing Adam Yates, Roglič and Wout Van Aert.

Alaphilippe, Yates and Van Aert make Stage 4’s first sharp move with 35 km to go.

A group of 45 dropped down the other side and headed into the third lap, where Group 1 received reinforcements. On the third trip up Tortoreto, the pace spat Gee out the back but Woods was still accounted for.

Gee loses contact with 19 km to go.

Wout Van Aert and Tom Pidcock crashed on the approach to the climb and they were out of it.

Van Aert and Pidcock compare crash damage.

Ganna dropped off. Several surges couldn’t stay clear. Two riders from wildcard teams led under the red kite. Hugh Carthy launched with 800 metres to go. Roglič slipped through on the inside. Cofidis’ Victor Lafay tried his luck. With 100 metres to go, the three-time Vuelta a España winner sailed past Yates and earned the win.

Alaphilippe was runner-up and Yates was third. Lennard Kämna of Bora-Hansgrohe took over the blue leader’s jersey, Roglič now six seconds in arrears.

Friday’s HC-rated summit finish on Sarnano-Sassotetto is far more difficult.

2023 Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 4

1) Primož Roglič (Slovenia/Jumbo-Visma) 5:00:04
2) Julian Alaphilippe (France/Soudal-QuickStep) s.t.
3) Adam Yates (Great Britain/UAE-Emirates) s.t.
22) Michael Woods (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +0:12
69) Derek Gee (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +6:20

2023 Tirreno-Adriatico GC
1) Lennard Kämna (Germany/Bora-Hansgrohe) 15:38:46
2) Primož Roglič (Slovenia/Jumbo-Visma) +0:06
3) João Almeida (Portugal/UAE-Emirates) +0:08
33) Michael Woods (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +1:39
60) Derek Gee (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +6:54