Giro shorts: Stage 6 review

Stage 6 – Urbino to Porto Sant’Elpidio, 210km

Stage profile: The first medium mountain stage, incorporating strade bianche dirt roads, gravel climbs and the second category Passo della Cappella at half-distance, which includes sections of up to 15%. The final 60km is constantly undulating too, before a flat run-in. A profile tailor-made for a breakaway.

Top three: 1. Miguel Angel Rubiano (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela), 2. Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD) +1:10, 3. Michal Golas (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) same time, peloton at +1:51

Who was in the breakaway?: Miguel Angel Rubiano (Androni Giocattoli), Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD), Michal Golas (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Alexsandr Dyachenko (Astana), Cesare Benedetti (NetApp), Dominique Rollin (FDJ-BigMat), Jack Bauer (Garmin-Barracuda), Aleksandr Kuschynski and Gatis Smukulis (both Katusha), Pablo Lastras (Movistar), Luke Roberts (Saxo Bank), Manuel Belletti (AG2R La Mondiale), Dennis van Winden (Rabobank), Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEDGE) and mountains jersey wearer Alfredo Balloni (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia). Their lead was just under nine minutes before they were undone and whittled down to five by the undulating parcours and a crash which saw Lastras taken to hospital.

How the stage was won: It was left to Liquigas, who had missed the move, to hunt down the break. They forced the pace over the final two climbs which were tough, particularly the last one, Montegranaro just 33km from the finish. Here the maglia rosa, Garmin’s Ramunas Navardauskas, finally slid away and Rubiano soloed off in search of his biggest victory to date from the remnants of the breakaway, which included pink hot-to-trot Malori who – with a 12 second bonification and a 41-second gap back to the peloton – became the first Italian in this year’s Giro to don the pink pullover. Garmin gave it their best shot to put Ryder Hesjedal into pink, but it was too little too late. He’s now lying third overall. A number of riders got off their bikes: Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) crashed and injured his hand, Pablo Lastras (Movistar) broke his collarbone and four ribs, Thor Hushovd (BMC) felt fatigued and Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM) was still suffering with injuries from stage three‘s crash.

Quote of the day: Stage winner Rubiano said modestly:

At first I was just aiming for the mountain points, but then when I heard how far behind the group was I decided to take a risk and try a breakaway, and it went well.

Odd occurrences: A skittish, young donkey in a pink blanket watching from the roadside and the podium girls towering above today’s stage winner, despite them standing on the lower step. [Well, he is only 170cm tall – Ed.]

VeloVoices rider of the stage: Tough one, this: stage winner or new pink pullover wearer? I’m going to go with Adriano Malori who, having been in the breakaway all day, looked to be dying on his feet in the last few kilometres but had the presence of mind to pink up bonus seconds and finished runner-up. He’s the first Italian in this year’s Giro to wear pink – and it won’t clash with his Lampre kit.

General classification:

1. Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD) 20:25:28

2. Michal Golas (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) +0:15

3. Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) +0:17

4. Miguel Angel Rubiano (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) +0:30

5. Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Barracuda) +00:32

Points leader: Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEDGE).

King of the Mountains leader: Miguel Angel Rubiano (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela).

Tomorrow: Stage 7 – Recanati to Rocca di Cambio, 205km. A second consecutive rolling medium mountain stage sees the first uphill finish of this year’s race at the top of the 1,392m Rocca di Cambio. It’s a long climb (19.15km), but one with a steady gradient of around 5% which should not trouble the GC contenders unduly. The main action probably won’t occur until the final 1.5km, which comes at the end of a lengthy downhill section and is likely to tempt punchy Classics-style climbers.

And here is Cycling the Alps‘ fly-over of the route:

Link: Official website

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