Primoz Roglic (L), pictured here at last year's Vuelta a Espana, won the Tirreno Adriatico on Sunday

Milan (AFP) - Primoz Roglic won Tirreno-Adriatico on Sunday after finishing comfortably in the bunch in the final stage won by Jasper Philipsen in a sprint.

Slovenian rider Roglic made no mistake as he held on to an 18-second lead over Joao Almeida built by winning the previous three stages to claim victory in his first race of the season.

The overall win for Jumbo-Visma rider Roglic came a little over six months after a crash at the Vuelta a Espana ended his 2022 campaign.

“It’s just nice to come back to racing this way. I really enjoyed the whole week,” the Slovenian said.

“One week ago I was just expecting to suffer. It’s even better to win when it’s unexpected. It feels good ahead of the Giro d’Italia too.”

He won the seven-day stage race for the second time, swopping titles with countryman Tadej Pogacar, who earlier on Sunday won Paris-Nice, a race Roglic won last year.

Ineos rider Tao Geoghegan Hart finished third, a further five seconds off the pace.

Alpecin–Deceuninck’s Philipsen won his second stage of the week, again after being practically led to the line by teammate Mathieu van der Poel, following 154 kilometres of riding into coastal town San Benedetto del Tronto.

Philipsen pipped Dylan Groenewegen and Alberto Dainese to the win with his late burst, a good sign ahead of Milan-San Remo next weekend.

“I’m happy to get first over the line before I was dying at the end. My legs were really painful. I’m happy that I kept it to the finish,” Philipsen told broadcaster RAI.

“We are confident (for Milan-San Remo), we have a strong team, now it’s good to take some time off, recover a little bit and try to be more top level on Saturday.”

Tom Pidcock crashed out of the race early in the stage, ending a difficult week for the Briton after winning the Strade Bianche last weekend.

Pidcock, who also crashed with Wout van Aert earlier in the week, went down in a pile up in the bunch with well over 100 kilometres remaining.

By that point, a seven-man breakaway featuring none of the general classification contenders had created a gap of three minutes. They were eventually reined in with just 3km remaining on the final of five laps around San Benedetto del Tronto.

From there Van der Poel positioned himself perfectly to lead out Philipsen.