Tirreno-Adriatico stage 7 was made for sprinters with the final straight into a headwind, staying sheltered until late was key. Bahrain-Victorious sprinter Phil Bauhaus was patient and launched the sprint in the last moment, winning his 4th World Tour race with Cavendish and Merlier caught out of position. Tadej Pogačar secured the GC win for the second consecutive year in Tirreno-Adriatico.
The race ended with a flat stage to keep sprinters motivated to race until the last day, where they have a chance to win. The road in the last kilometre was narrow and twisty. Israel Premier-Tech was at the front with Alex Dowsett and Rick Zabel leading-out Giacomo Nizzolo but seemed to be short an extra leadout man. The final straight was in the headwind, which meant it would be better to come out of the draft and launch the sprint later.
Zabel finished his lead-out for Nizzolo too early with 225 metres to go. The constant problem for Israel Premier-Tech is that their lead-out usually comes up a bit short in 2022 leaving their sprinter exposed to the wind too early. Luckily for Nizzolo, Alexander Kristoff launched his sprint first and the Italian could draft for some time. Both Kristoff and Moschetti, who hit the wind early, finished respectively only 6th and 10th. It was better to wait.
Stage winner Bauhaus was way deeper in the peloton than Nizzolo and came out of the draft at the last moment, surpassed everyone on the right side and won with a good timed bike throw, upsetting Nizzolo. It was the fourth World Tour victory for the German sprinter. Those who hit the wind late, Bauhaus, Groves, Dainese, finished the highest.
Mark Cavendish did not properly contest a single sprint in Tirreno-Adriatico, while Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sprinted with Davide Ballerini, who finished 7th, 12th and 20th in sprints. A terrible sprint performance for the Belgian team.
Tadej Pogačar secured the GC win without any trouble as expected. He won Tirreno-Adriatico for the second year in a row. At age 23 he has already won 10 GC’s, of which 7 are World Tour level (2x Tour de France GC (2020, 2021), 2x Tirreno Adriatico GC (2021, 2022), 2x UAE Tour (2021, 2022) and 1x Tour of California (2019)).
This was the best race for both Jai Hindley and Thibaut Pinot since 2020, finishing 5th and 8th in the GC. Jonas Vingegaard could not challenge Pogačar on the Monte Carpegna climb yesterday, but he will play an important role in the Tour de France this summer for Jumbo-Visma to try to defeat the Slovenian, finishing best of the rest here. Mikel Landa finished 3rd in Tirreno, which looks promising for Giro d’Italia, where Pogačar, Roglič and Vingegaard will not start.