Tirreno-Adriatico: Jungels tames the brutal slopes of Trevi
On a finish that didn't suit him, the Luxembourger finished with the best and moved up to sixth in the general classification.
Bob Jungels – a top 10 finisher this season at Vuelta a Murcia, Volta ao Algarve and Drôme Classic – continued his strong run of form on the longest stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, whose length (234 kilometers) resembled that of a Monument.
On Friday morning, the bunch left Tuscany behind and headed to Umbria, the region that inspired Leonardo Da Vinci's first signed drawing, back in 1473, when the young artist was discovering the extraordinary surroundings of Terni, a town located just a mere 50 kilometers from Trevi, where the riders fought for victory at the end of stage 3.
A five-man breakaway animated the stage from the beginning, establishing a huge advantage, which stretched over eight minutes at one point, but that meant nothing for the peloton, who made their homework and chew into the escapees' gap kilometer after kilometer. Inside the final hour, sensing that the break was about to be brought back to heel, Le Samyn winner Niki Terpstra attacked from the pack and time trialed to a one-minute gap, forcing the peloton to up the tempo in order to catch him and the break, who by that point was already doomed.
The Trevi "wall", a short urban climb kicking up to 20% just 200 meters from the finish, led to an important selection in the bunch, which Bob Jungels made thanks to an impressive effort of Philippe Gilbert, who positioned him in the group when it came down to crunch time.
The win was bagged by Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo), while the blue jersey landed on the shoulders of Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), but Bob's superb effort on a climb that on paper wasn't much to his liking was one of the day's highlights, one that helped the 25-year-old jump from 12th to 6th in the overall rankings, just a few seconds behind the leader of the race.
"It was a pretty long day and it got stressful in the end, but the team made sure I was protected and perfectly positioned. They did a perfect job and it gives me great confidence to see how much they trust me. Normally, a finish like the one of today doesn't suit me, but I had good legs and I'm happy to see where I find myself before the queen-stage", the best young rider of the past two Tirreno-Adriatico editions explained in Trevi.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images