In the Tour de France the Dutch Jumbo-Visma team is in control of the race, but in Tirreno-Adriatico the relatively small Alpecin Phoenix of Mathieu van der Poel is now the dominant factor.
The Dutchman cleverly won the seventh stage of the Italian stage race on Sunday, after his team mate Tim Merlier had already won the sixth stage a day earlier. Alpecin does not ride the Tour because it does not have WorldTour status.
On a steep finish in Loreto Van der Poel passed the Italian Matteo Fabbro in the final meters. The British rider Simon Yates kept the blue leader‘s jersey.
Fourteen men, including Van der Poel and Martijn Tusveld, had jumped away early. The difference quickly grew, but with Loreto in sight and Astana at the head of the peloton, the gap was narrowed.
Van der Poel, Fabbro and the Portuguese Ruben Guerreiro left their fellow fugitives behind and in the last lap around Loreto Fabbro took off. Van der Poel, the Dutch champion, didn’t give up and passed the Italian in the last 200 metres.