It was always going to be a sprint stage – and it was a fast one in the end, with a decisive victory from Andre Greipel. But it was a spectator’s camera that did the most damage.
Dynamic duo of the day
Greg Henderson and Andre Greipel are stage six’s dynamic duo. Lotto-Soudal’s train took up the sprint early, possibly due to the fast tailwind, with Henderson taking a long turn at the front before launching his teammate to a well-deserved sprint win and his 13th stage victory in a grand tour. One of the things I’ve always liked about these Lotto boys is that they really seem to love riding for each other and are fully committed to their man. Greipel praised Henderson in his after-stage interview:
We’re friends and that makes it easier to fight for each other.
One thing we hated
A few days ago, some idiot on the Italian equivalent of a Boris bike decided to barge into the peloton, taking a number of riders down. Today, it was a fan with a long-lens camera who brought down Nippo-Vini Fantini’s Daniele Colli in the closing metres of a very fast sprint. Once Colli went down, there was a big pile-up, including the maglia rosa. Although Alberto Contador got up and on his bike quite quickly, at the presentation ceremony he wasn’t moving his right arm and declined putting on the maglia rosa. Word had it that he also hurt his knee. At the time of writing (1930 CET), there were rumours – no more than that, pending the result of x-rays – of Contador having suffered a separated shoulder and there was no word on Colli’s condition but one thing is certain:
Spectators have to stop being oblivious to those around them – especially those on bikes who are going at speed past them. There has been a spate of spectator-caused crashes this year – some idiot put his hand out and looked to be grabbing Loren Rowney‘s handlebars as she was sprinting to the finish in this year’s Drentse 8, causing her to crash and break her collarbone. By the looks of Colli’s arm, there could be lasting damage there and with Contador’s injury, one stray camera might very well have changed this race completely.
One of the great things about cycling is the fact that you can get close to the action and it’s free for all to attend. But with that comes responsibility on the part of the fans. Responsibility not to bring selfie sticks, not to jump in front of the peloton to take pictures, to just bloody well think your actions through. And you know what? You’ll never be able to take a picture of the action as good as someone like Jered Gruber so why don’t you just watch the action with your own eyes? Stop looking at some tiny screen when the real thing is right in front of you! And keep your arms/lenses/legs inside the barriers and well away from the riders. These athletes have real bones that can break and real blood that can be spilt.
UPDATE: According to an official Giro press release, it appears that Contador has a slight instability of the left shoulder joint (in layman’s terms, a mildly dislocated shoulder), while Colli suffered a compound fracture of the left humerus (upper arm). No news as yet as to whether Contador will take tomorrow’s start.
Stage 6 result
1. Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) 4:19:42
2. Matteo Pelucchi (IAM) same time
3. Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) s/t
4. Manuel Belletti (Southeast) s/t
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek) s/t
1. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) 20:25:43
2. Fabio Aru (Astana) +0:02
3. Richie Porte (Sky) +0:20
4. Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo) +0.22
5. Dario Cataldo (Astana) +0:28
6. Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE) +0.37
7. Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) +0:56
8. Mikel Landa (Astana) +1:01
9. Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Garmin) +1:15
10. Andrey Amador (Movistar) +1:18
Points leader: Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal).
King of the Mountains leader: Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida).
Best young rider: Fabio Aru (Astana).
Team classification: Astana.
Link: Official race website