With only to the final time trial to go, Primoz Roglic sits fourth overall in of the Tirreno-Adriatico. Fernando Gaviria won the sprint stage today in Civitanova Marche and Nairo Quintana maintained his lead of 1-15 minutes over Roglic.
"Primoz’s goal was to defend his place today," said Sports Director Addy Engels.
"On paper, it looked like a sprint stage and that it is ultimately what it became. It was a tricky final, a tough climb and a dangerous descent, so with the GC so close, he had to be careful."
LottoNL-Jumbo and Roglic were attentive for any gaps that could open in the group and risk Roglic’s overall position.
"On the line, there was a small gap behind the first 10 riders. Thankfully, it was only the sprinters ahead,” Engels added.
“Primoz was very well placed. You have to do everything to sit there. If he was in the top ten, then he would have taken six seconds extra, but it is not realistic for a GC rider to get in the first top 10 of a sprint. You just have to sit behind and avoid the hazards because if you crash then you lose everything.”
"Boom and Van Emden helped Primoz. Enrico Battaglin and Juan José Lobato tired to prepare for the sprint. After they crossed the finish line the first time in the circuit, Lobato knew that he would lose to the sprinters in the fast arrival."
In the 15 kilometre circuit, they climbed above the seaside city. On the steep section, Vincenzo Nibali attacked and Lobato followed. A number of other riders also tried to get away, but in the descent to Civitanova Marche, the riders regrouped. Roglic placed 19th in the sprint.
"I'm glad to see that Lobato has the legs to do that with Nibali,” Engels said. “The beginning of the season was not good for him, but he is showing some good things now. I don’t want to give him too much pressure, but this gives us hope towards Milano-Sanremo on Saturday."
Roglic will have a chance to move up the overall in tomorrow’s final stage, a time trial over 10 kilometres around San Benedetto del Tronto.