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Tadej Pogačar chalks up 2024 Giro d’Italia stage hat trick on summit finish

Tadej Pogačar chalks up 2024 Giro d'Italia stage hat trick on summit finish

Eight stages into the 107th Giro d’Italia, Tadej Pogačar has claimed a hat trick of stage victories following Saturday’s second summit finish of the 2024 edition. The pink-clad Slovenian padded his lead while second-place Dani Martinez put a little time between himself and Geraint Thomas in third.

The Course

Saturday’s fare seemed purposefully crafted to elicit a large breakaway. There was a uncategorized climb right from the gun in Spoleto before a long, mild Cat. 2. Rolling telemetry led to the next categorized climb. Following that was a long descent and then the summit finish ascent, the 14.7 km, 7 percent Prati di Tivo, where Tadej Pogačar won in the 2021 Tirreno-Adriatico.

Sure enough, a 14-strong breakaway formed early in the day, and as expected it contained a few riders in the top-20: 14th Romain Bardet, 16th Georg Steinhauser and 17th Michael Storer. Simon Geschke, still going strong at 38, took the maximum KOM points atop Cat. 2 Forca Capistrello. By the middle of the 152-km route, the gap was 2:20. UAE-Emirates drove the peloton.

The lead was whittled down to 1:30 by the foot of Cat. 3 Passo Capannelle. Again, Geschke scored the maximum points, and put himself second in the classification behind Pogačar. A 21-km drop to the bottom of Prati di Tivo followed.

The refugees found their advantage negligible when the roads of Prati di Tivo kicked up. It wouldn’t be their day, but surely the GC top-10 would be interested in skirmishing. White jersey Luke Plapp immediately cracked, and the pink jersey gang was streamlined. Second-place Dani Martinez’s Bora-Hansgrohe took over the pace making.

Valentin Paret-Peintre was the final hold out. He hung on until 4.7 km remaining.

Valentin Paret-Peintre, the last escapee standing.

Fourteen riders headed into the final 4 km. Rafal Majka led the way for the pink jersey. Antonio Tiberi attacked with 1.7 km to go. The race leader brought it back. Thymen Arensman was the next to try his luck. No dice. Tiberi 2? No boogaloo. Nine chaps went under the red kite. Storer made a move. Nope. Arensman on repeat. Nix. Pogačar parried all the thrusts.

Majka returned to the group to lead out his man. The Slovenian took it up and won in front of Martinez. Ben O’Connor was third. Only…

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