2023 Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 5 Preview

Morro d’Oro > Sarnano-Sassotetto 167.6km

After today’s punchy climb, it’s time for a proper mountaintop finish, one that will go a long way to settling the GC battle.


It starts off quite warm and with little wind, but it doesn’t stay like that. By the end of the stage, it’s going to be just about freezing at the top of the mountain and the wind will be close to 30km/h. The bad news for watching fans is that it’s a roaring headwind on the climb.

The Climb

A proper mountain at this time of year. It’s quite a steady climb, but there is a steep section in the middle, which can normally be used to attack. The climb is longer by about 1.5km compared to previous years.


God damn, the headwind is in danger of killing this stage. I can’t remember the last time a finishing climb had a 30km/h headwind, it’s quite unique. Anyone attacking early will soon realise their mistake, the wind should ensure a larger than normal front group inside the final kilometres, with everyone waiting until the end of the stage before launching a move.

Bora are in the race lead, but with three leaders, they don’t have the men to chase the break. Jumbo-Visma also have multiple leaders, as do UAE, I sniff a chance for the morning break. The problem will be if someone relatively close on GC gets in the move, the early attackers will be praying this doesn’t happen, as they’ll have an okay chance of getting quite far up the mountain. 

Those teams with multiple options would have hoped to use that to their advantage, but the wind makes it much harder to do this. The key point will be when all the domestiques get dropped, there’s no point attacking before then. From that point onwards, the attacks will flow, but we’ll have to see what impact the wind has on the moves. One thing is for certain, the climb will feel more than 7% into a 30km/h headwind.


Primož Roglič – his win today answered many questions, but not all of them. Going well on a 3km climb at 7% isn’t the same as 12km at 7.3%, but it was an excellent sign that his legs are good. Jumbo-Visma have a strong team, both Kelderman and Benoot are also going well just now. The headwind isn’t bad news for Roglič, his sprint is hard to beat from a reduced group, so he starts as the favourite.

Adam Yates – looked strong today, he’s maintained his level from the UAE Tour. Yates is 35 seconds behind Roglič on GC, that’s well within his grasp. He was much stronger than everyone else in the UAE Tour, but the level here is higher. UAE have three excellent options; we’ll have to wait and see when Yates looks to attack.

João Almeida – surely UAE will get Yates to attack, and Almeida tries to follow the wheels. Almeida is just 2 seconds behind Roglič on GC, he doesn’t need to do anything risky when the team also have Yates and McNulty for Jumbo-Visma to worry about. His goal for the stage should be to follow the wheel of Roglič, then see if he can beat him on the line.

Enric Mas – was climbing well in Andalucía, he’s one of the men to beat in this stage. After ending 2022 climbing better than ever before, I expect big things of the Spaniard this year. If he’s at 100%, he’ll be a hard man to beat.

Aleksandr Vlasov – we’ve not yet seen him at his 2022 level yet, but it’s got to be coming. Vlasov made significant strides last year, this should be a good climb for him. He’s another GC rider with a fast sprint, he’ll hope to challenging for the win.

Jai Hindley – with Vlasov waiting for a sprint, and Kämna just trying to hold on, Hindley should be free to attack. The Aussie always seems to find another gear when riding in Italy, I’m hoping for Giro level Hindley in this stage.

Mikel Landa – finishing in the front group was a good sign today, but Landa has won just one race since the start of 2020. 

Hugh Carthy – considering today’s climb didn’t suit him, he was looking great. This climb is much more his style, I’m hoping for a big result from the big man. In particular, the headwind is bad news for someone like him, he would prefer to attack rather than sitting in the wheels.

Prediction Time

Looking at today’s stage and some of the recent races, I’m thinking it’s going to be a battle between Roglič, Yates and Mas. One thing is certain, the headwind is terrible news for those who want a race, it’s likely we won’t see big moves until the final kilometres. 

Embed from Getty Images

I think we’ll see a sprint finish and a win for Primož Roglič.