Mathieu van der Poel won Stage 5 of Tirreno-Adriatico (Alpecin-Fenix), attacking solo for the final 60km, but finished just ahead of race leader Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) in what commentator Carlton Kirby called an "amazing" finish to the race.
The 26-year-old took it in a time of 4:48:17 and was cruising comfortably for the majority of it, but the Tour de France champion continued to close what was a three-minute gap to set up a tense final kilometre.
Van der Poel appeared to be tiring in the final five kilometres, but the line was in sight and he held on to seal his second stage victory, 10 seconds ahead of Pogacar. He passed the finish line on the floor in a heap of exhaustion.
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However, for all the Slovenian's efforts he was unable to close down the Dutch rider having broken away from Marc Soler (WorldTeam Movistar) and Fabio Felline (Astana-Premier Tech).
‘You want drama?’ - Van der Poel attacks early, Julian Alaphilippe loses chain
Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) took third (+49') having failed to keep pace with Pogacar with 17km to go.
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