Sanchez Sprints to Victory in Stage 6 of Giro d’Italia

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05/9/2024| 0 comments
Pelayo Sanchez wins stage 6 at Giro d'Italia
Pelayo Sanchez wins stage 6 of Giro d'Italia 2024 for Team Movistar RCS Sport - LaPresse

Sanchez Sprints to Victory in Stage 6 of Giro d’Italia

Pelayo Sanchez (Movistar Team) is the winner of stage 6 at Giro d’Italia 2024. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) remains General Classification leader following today’s Giro d’Italia stage

Stage 6 of Giro d’Italia 2024 was a 180-kilometer ride from Viareggio to Rapolano Terme. The General Classification favorites were hoping for a relaxing day in the bike saddle before tomorrow’s important individual time trial. The route, however, included multiple gravel sections, so the stage might end up hectic anyhow and spectators were hoping for a grand show in the first Grand Tour of the 2024 professional cycling season.

Stage start city Viareggio is situated in Tuscany and is the second largest city in the Lucca province. Viareggio attracts many tourists as it is known for its seaside resorts. The city is also home of a famous carnival. Rich families from Lucca built palaces in Viareggio around year 1750 after the marshlands were successfully drained.  

Rapolano Terme is in the Italian province of Siena in the region of Tuscany. Florence is the closest large city as it is situated sixty kilometers away. The town is known for its hot springs and thermal baths.

Giro race organizer RCS Sport had chosen hilly terrain for the route and the last 110 kilometers of the stage featured virtually no flat sections and included two category 4 climbs.

Unfortunately for the GC riders, several teams had found inspiration in yesterday’s successful breakaway and were eager to replicate this success in today’s stage 6. Therefore, numerous attacks were launched in the first many kilometers of the stage. The sprinter teams, however, were also on high alert after they allowed themselves to be cheated in yesterday’s stage. Speed was high and so was the level of attention. 

After fifty kilometers of intense attack-and-reel-in racing no successful breakaway had yet been established. The situation was the same after seventy kilometers as the peloton approached the first climb of the day. The Volterra is a category 4 climb (8.6 km; 4.6%). 

An attack was launched by Julia Alaphilippe (Soudal-QuickStep), Aurelien Paret-Peintre (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale) and Filippo Fiorelli (VF Group – Bardiani CSF - Faizane). The trio built a small lead, but the riders were caught later.

Additional attacks were launched, but no rider managed to create a viable lead.

Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Pelayo Sanchez (Movistar Team), Alaphilippe, Luke Plapp (Jayco-Alula), Matteo Trentin (Tudor Pro Cycling Team), and Fiorelli formed a group and created a lead of 25 seconds with 83 kilometers left of today’s stage 6. The riders carried on.

The Giro d’Italia peloton reached the first gravel section of the day and the speed was intense. The front group was joined by Andrea Vendrame (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale). The group had an advantage of 02:15 minutes with 45 kilometers left of the stage. Plapp accelerated as he was dissatisfied with the pace. The Australian rider is excellent in gravel races.

The front group got split in the following kilometers on the gravel-clad roads. 

Sanchez, Alaphilippe and Plapp were first to reach the top of the hill and exit the gravel. Vendrame and Fiorelli followed 35 seconds later, while Groves and Trentin were 55 seconds behind the frontmen.

Mikkel Honore attacked from the main peloton to animate the race for his EF Education-EasyPost. Honore was powerful in the saddle despite suffering from a fractured rib. 

Meanwhile, fellow Dane Mikkel Bjerg was pulling for the peloton to reduce the advantage of the attackers. 

The front group and peloton reached the second and last gravel section of the stage. The speed was intense. The Sanchez-Alaphilippe-Plapp trio were fighting hard to stay in front of the race. They each wanted the stage victory for themselves. Following multiple crashes and disappointing seasons Frenchman and former World Champion Alaphilippe was in desperate need of a success. 

In the main peloton Geraint Thomas and the rest of Ineos-Grenadiers were setting a fast pace to put main General Classification contender and race leader Tadej Pogacar under maximum pressure. 

Frontman Sanchez almost crashed in a roundabout with 11 kilometers left and almost brought down Alaphilippe in the process. Plapp continued solo, but Alaphilippe and Sanchez managed to bridge the gap and the trio carried on with a one-minute lead over the chasing peloton.

Five kilometers of the stage remained, and the front trio now had a small advantage of 42 seconds. The group fought hard to maintain a speed on the final major uphill section of the day.

Sanchez attacked in the front group, but Alaphilippe countered and closed the gap. Plapp was struggling to hang on.

In the main peloton Daniel Martinez (Bora-Hansgrohe), Romain Bardet (DSM-Firmenich) and Pogacar were active at the front to set the fastest possible pace. Meanwhile, Geraint Thomas was fighting hard to return to the front of the group after suffering a crash or a mechanical issue.

Andrea Piccolo (EF Education-EasyPost) launched an attack from the main peloton to try to bridge the small gap to the front trio. Piccolo would have much fresher legs if he could catch the front trio who had been working hard for many kilometers.

Piccolo was unsuccessful in his attempt. The front trio reached the finishing meters and Alaphilippe launched a strong sprint, but it was Sanchez who was the strongest man on the day.

Pelayo Sanchez won the stage for Team Movistar ahead of Alaphilippe and Plapp took third. Courageous Piccolo finished fourth while the General Classification favorites arrived together, so there were no significant changes in the GC before tomorrow’s important individual time trial.

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) remains general classification leader before tomorrow’s stage 7 individual time trial. Sovenian Pogacar has a 46 second advantage over Welshman Geraint Thomas of Ineos-Grenadiers. Daniel Martinez is in third for Bora-Hansgrohe. Both Pogacar and Thomas are excellent time trial riders.

“For me it was an ok stage. I enjoyed riding on the gravel roads again. One more stage ticked off,” Tadej Pogacar told following the stage.

“Today I had good legs, so let’s see what I can accomplish in the time trial tomorrow. The parcours of the stage 7 time trial look interesting. I want to feel good on the time trial bike and get the sense I can push as I can on my road bike,” Pogacar explained.

Stay tuned to for complete race coverage from Giro d’Italia 2024.

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