Second Thursday behind Julian Alaphilippe, Mathieu van der Poel was awarded this Friday the third stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. The Dutchman left no chance for his rivals.
It is decidedly untenable. King of the Strade Bianche last Saturday, Mathieu van der Poel won with authority the third stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, this Friday, in Gualdo Tadino, in the province of Perugia (Umbria). The Dutchman from Alpecin-Fenix beat his Belgian rival Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and the Italian Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck-Quick Step). In the general of the “Course des deux mers”, Van Aert retains the first place ahead of the winner of the day. The podium is completed by world champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), who did not join in the battle the day after his victory in Chiusdino.
A Mbappé celebration
Before the queen stage on Saturday, Mathieu van der Poel was keen to mark the spirits a little more in a tortuous final after the ascent of Poggio della Croce. The Deceuninck-Quick Step almost pulled off a perfect shot attacking in the last kilometer with Czech Zdenek Stybar, while protecting Davide Ballerini, also in good form at the start of the season. But Mathieu van der Poel reacted immediately and made his burst of speed speak to win with disconcerting ease during a sprint in a small committee.
Raymond Poulidor’s grandson was even able to take the time to celebrate his victory by crossing his arms when crossing the finish line. A celebration reminiscent of that of Kylian Mbappé … “We saw this celebration in MotoGP on Instagram with the team,” he said after the race, certainly referring to Fabio Quartararo, who had imitated the Parisian striker Last year.
The Ineos Grenadiers, for their part, were visibly disturbed by a fall that occurred as they approached the last three kilometers. Colombian Egan Bernal and Welshman Geraint Thomas arrived 18 and 19 seconds behind Mathieu van der Poel.