A long stage that’s likely to end in a sprint finish but beware the crosswinds that are forecast for most of the day.
Stage 6 Wrap: a stage win for Silvan Dillier (BMC Racing) after he, Jasper Stuyven and Mads Petersen of Trek-Segafredo, Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Simone Andreeta (Bardiani-CSF) went away early. Behind the fluo tones of Cannondale-Drapac and Willier-Selle Italia seemed to be on a “punishment chase” having missed the move but for all their efforts they never took back much time and if other teams did a turn or two in the final hour it was too little, too late. Stuyven is powerful in a straight sprint or if he can get away solo but Dillier was always the punchiest of riders for an uphill finish. The Swiss rider was further helped when Petersen cracked to make for a cleaner tactics in the finish and then when Stuyven tried an attack, Pöstlberger seemed to struggle only to go straight to the front to donate what energy he had left which made it into a two rider contest and Dillier won.
The Route: not a lot going on but another stage notable for its length at 224km as the ride around the arch of Italy’s boot before heading inland on more crowded roads to head to Alberobello, a town famous for its trulli, houses made of stone without cement.
The Finish: the circle around the town of Alberobello on tight, narrow roads where a strong sprint train will help hold position and pick the safest line. As the profile shows it is up and down at times but these are small gradients. There’s a right-hand turn onto the 600m finishing straight. It’s slightly uphill at 2-3% in its steepest points.
The Contenders: this should be a sprint finish for the simple reason it’s the last chance of the week and several teams have an interest in a bunch sprint. Caleb Ewan is still looking for that win, he appears to have the speed but he and his team have been making mistakes, surely have to make amends this time? Fernando Gaviria is the opposite, perhaps he’s not the fastest in a straight contest Quick Step have taken opportunities and won thanks to team work. André Greipel will like the slight slope to the line, he has won stages in the Giro just like this before.
Among the others Sam Bennett is looking better again and Jakub Mareczko has shown what he can do. Sacha Modolo seems to be struggling a bit, sometimes Roberto Ferrari sprints for UAE Emirates instead.
|Caleb Ewan, André Greipel|
Weather: (updated 10.00am CET) sunshine and clouds and a warm 26°C. The wind will blow from the south-west at 20-25km/h and could gust more, just enough to exploit or at least raise stress levels for the riders and managers but the latest forecast says it will calm during the day.
TV: the finish is forecast for 5.15pm CET. There’s live coverage on home broadcaster RAI in Italy and Eurosport for much of Europe and beyond. Otherwise cyclingfans.com and steephill.tv are the go-to sites for schedules and pirata feeds.