134 km to go – Van der Poel’s Alpecin-Fenix is supported by Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. Not so strange, because the Belgian formation also has one of the favorites for the stage victory on board, the Eritrean Girmay.
139 km to go – An impasse between the escapees and the peloton. The difference has been hovering around six minutes for some time now.
Another 166 km – The escapees’ lead has already increased to almost six minutes and that is the signal for Alpecin-Fenix to intervene. Mathieu van der Poel’s team is at the head of the pack.
170 km to go – The lead of the three men in the lead is getting bigger and bigger. They already have a margin of 4.5 minutes on the peloton, which has still not started.
Still 177 km – The pace in the peloton then stops, so that the lead of the three refugees increases quickly. Naesen, Bais and De Marchi drive with a margin of two minutes on the long, flat roads along the Adriatic coast.
185 km to go – Lawrence Naesen (AG2R Citroën), Mattia Bais (Drone Hopper) and Alessendro de Marchi (Israel – Premier Tech) are doing everything they can to stay away, but calm has not yet returned to the peloton. The Belgian and the Italians have a lead of barely twenty seconds.
191 km to go – Three riders were in it to make a hole: the Belgian Naesen gets the Italians De Marchi and Bais with him. The difference is still small.
Start! The stage has started and a number of riders immediately try to jump away from the peloton.
So first there is a long flat run-up. The first climb only appears after 100 kilometers of course.
The riders are on their bikes for the neutralized part of the stage. Does it rain immediately after the official go-ahead?