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Primoz Roglic has won the queen stage at Tirreno-Adriatico. After good preparation by Wilco Kelderman, the 33-year-old leader of Team Jumbo-Visma was again the strongest in an uphill sprint. Roglic also took the lead in the general classification thanks to ten bonification seconds.
The queen stage of the Italian stage race was slightly modified just before the start in Morro d'Oro. Strong winds caused the final ascent to Sassotetto to be cut by 2.4 kilometers, putting the ascent over 10 kilometers rather than 13.
On the final climb, the GC riders hid themselves for a long time. Damiano Caruso was the first to try to break away and immediately opened up a gap. In the last kilometre, that gap was closed, and Kelderman took the lead of the depleted peloton.
The Dutchman pulled the sprint ahead of Roglic, who finished off the job. "This is crazy. For me to make my comeback with two stage wins is fantastic", Roglic said. "At the end, I asked Wilco if he wanted to keep everything together so I could have another chance to sprint. He did that perfectly."
"I have already accomplished more than I had anticipated."
According to Roglic, Friday's stage was more difficult than Thursday's. "I suffered a lot today. Luckily the guys pulled me through and made it possible for me to fight for the win. I'm pleased that I finished it off. I have already accomplished more than I had anticipated."
One of the reasons Roglic wanted to race Tirreno-Adriatico was to get used to his (new) teammates. Kelderman, who is currently fifth in the general classification, is one of the riders who will be riding the Giro d'Italia with Roglic. "It's crucial to develop a positive rapport with one another. Today we showed that we do.”
Roglic's victory was the eleventh victory of the season for Team Jumbo-Visma.