Giro dell'Emilia: Primož Roglič sprints to third title ahead of Tadej Pogačar

Jumbo-Visma leader announced his departure from the team ahead of the race, but showed he is still at his very best to take the win

Clock14:15, Saturday 30th September 2023
Remarkably, this was Primož Roglič's first one-day race of the season

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Remarkably, this was Primož Roglič's first one-day race of the season

Primož Roglič won the Giro dell'Emilia just hours after announcing his upcoming departure from Jumbo-Visma, to take his tally of wins at the Italian Classic to three. Behind Roglič, it was Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Simon Yates (Jayco AlUla) in second and third, respectively.

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The race was largely uneventful until the peloton arrived to the circuit around the San Luca climb, upon which UAE Team Emirates set a ferocious pace to dwindle the front group down to a select composition. Adam Yates produced a remarkable ride to tee up his leader Pogačar, but despite the Slovenian launching an attack inside the final kilometre, he was unable to shake off the likes of Roglič and Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost).

By this point, all that remained to decide the day's winner was the final sprint, which prompted Roglič into an early launch and the Jumbo-Visma man could not be stopped. He soared to the third Giro dell'Emilia title of his career, as Pogačar was forced to settle for second.

"[It feels] beautiful, it's just an iconic old race... San Luca climb... I like I love it! It's always just great to finish it off," beamed Roglič after the race.

"It was super hard, at the end I went for it and obviously had the legs to finish it off."

Eight-rider breakaway goes clear early in the day

At over 200km in length and falling just a week before the final Monument of the season, Il Lombardia, the Giro dell'Emilia is always a prestigious point on the racing calendar and saw a star-studded lineup take to the start in Carpi.

San Luca awaited the likes of Simon Yates, Pogačar and Carapaz, but all eyes at the beginning of the stage were on Roglič, who had just confirmed his impending departure from Jumbo-Visma.

After a little over 20km of relaxed riding, the peloton's opportunists took their leave from the group, with an initial five-man group soon joined by Christian Scaroni (Astana Qazaqstan), Floris De Tier (Bengal WB) and Marcel Camprubi (Q36.5 Pro Cycling).

The trio were up front with Matt Bais (EOLO-Kometa), Jacopo Mosca (Lidl-Trek), Alex Bogna (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and the Team Techniques #inEmiliaRomagna duo of Emanuale Ansaloni and Matteo Montefiori.

The eight-rider breakaway rode together for the next 50km and a enjoyed maximum advantage of three minutes over the Jumbo-Visma/UAE Team Emirates-led peloton, but Montefiori and Camprubi were then unable to keep pace on the day's first categorised climb.

On the subsequent Monte Nonascoso (5.9km at 7.1%), UAE Team Emirates began to unleash a hard tempo on the front of the peloton, with the gap to the break beginning to tumble to nearer one minute.

Sensing the threat from behind, Bais and Scaroni attacked their breakaway companions and sought their fortunes alone, leaving the remaining six to drop back to the peloton.

Italian crowds line the picturesque San Luca climb, as Chris Harper goes alone

There was little to note between the Monte Nonascoso and the first of five ascents of the San Luca (2.1km at 9.3%), as Bais and Scaroni valiantly fought to defend their slim lead.

Within sight of the first ascent, the pair were ultimately caught by the peloton, who by this point were well and truly racing under the steam of UAE Team Emirates. Their intentions were very clear, to fatigue the rivals of Pogačar.

Alejandro Osorio (GW Shimano-Sidermec) was the first to attack on the climb, shortly followed by Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ) and Chris Harper (Jayco AlUla). As the Italian crowds cheered the riders up the steep ramps, it was Harper who fared best and went on a solo march ahead of the peloton.

The Aussie no doubt won the favour of those at the side of the road by powering his way up the climb whilst out of the saddle and with his hands on the drops - à la the late, Marco Pantani. Emilia-Romagna was, of course, the home of one of Italy's most beloved stars.

A wave of cheers roared from the tifosi as the Italian national champion, Simone Velasco (Astana Qazaqstan), attacked inside the final 30km. His move triggered Fausto Masnada (Soudal Quick-Step) and Giovanni Aleotti (Bora-Hansgrohe) into action, but still Harper ploughed on alone up the road.

With 18km to go, Aleotti had fallen victim to an untimely puncture, Masnada and Velasco had been caught by the peloton, and Harper held a slim ten-second gap over the peloton.

It was to be the final two ascents of the San Luca that the winner of this year's race would be decided.

Pogačar's attack not enough to prevent Roglič

Having burned through the likes of Jay Vine, Rafał Majka and Diego Ulissi, it was down to Adam Yates to lead his UAE Team Emirates teammate, Pogačar, on the front of the peloton, with Harper eventually caught 10.6km from the line after a spirited performance.

Yates' acceleration put many into trouble as the reduced peloton entered the penultimate climb of the San Luca, with Pogačar ready and waiting in second wheel. Carapaz remained in the select group, as did Roglič, Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe), Enric Mas (Movistar) and a small handful of others.

With one lap to go, only nine riders were in the front group, from which the winner would emerge, and it was only UAE Team Emirates who had more than one rider involved. For Yates, his task was to lead the group into the final climb to the line, where a battle of the strongest would decide the victor.

Lidl-Trek's Giulio Ciccone took a flyer on the last real descent with 6km to go, but Yates quickly extinguished the Italian's optimism. The Brit led the group onto the San Luca for an explosive last 2km.

Vlasov made the first move but Yates closed the gap and continued to tap away a ferocious rhythm, before Mike Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) struck out with a kilometre to go. His attack drew a response from Pogačar, who swarmed to the front and put down a wave of power in his trademark style.

Only Carapaz, Mas and Roglič could initially follow, before Vlasov and Simon Yates returned when the leading riders began to look at one another.

Roglič was the first to open a whole-hearted sprint to the line and his attack was unstoppable, leading him to victory. His move perhaps came a second or two before his rivals were expecting the sprint to begin, allowing him to open an initial gap and use the final couple of bends to hold off the chasers.

Pogačar's strength was enough to see him finish second, whilst Simon Yates came over the line a commendable third place after having suffered a crash earlier in the day.

Race Results

1

si flag

ROGLIC Primoz

Jumbo-Visma

4H 49' 44"

2

si flag

POGACAR Tadej

UAE Team Emirates

+ 1"

3

gb flag

YATES Simon

Team Jayco-AlUla

"

4

es flag

MAS Enric

Movistar Team

+ 4"

5

ca flag

WOODS Michael

Israel-Premier Tech

"

6

ru flag

VLASOV Aleksandr

BORA-hansgrohe

+ 6"

7

ec flag

CARAPAZ Richard

EF Education-EasyPost

+ 10"

8

it flag

CICCONE Giulio

Lidl-Trek

+ 15"

9

gb flag

YATES Adam

UAE Team Emirates

+ 43"

10

fr flag

BARGUIL Warren

Team Arkéa-Samsic

+ 58"

Provided by FirstCycling

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