In today’s 188km scenic and sunny stage of the Giro d’Italia from Castrovillari to Matera, French champion Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) appeared from out of nowhere on the final corner. Launching his sprint on the finishing straight, he crossed the line a mile ahead of runner-up Michael Matthews (Sunweb) and third-placed Fabio Felline (Astana). With this second victory, Demare took the points jersey from Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe). The general classification remained unchanged after race leader Joao Almeida finished in the bunch with the other favourites.
How the stage was won in style
The stage followed a familiar script with a quartet allowed to build a significant advantage until, with under 100km to go, Sagan’s BORA-hansgrohe team-mates worked at the head of the peloton to haul them back. Would this stage be a case of third-time lucky for Sagan?
As is so often the case on stages such as these, we sat back and enjoyed the fine weather and the splendid countryside while awaiting the final few exciting kilometres.
With everyone back in the peloton, we collectively moved forward onto the edge of our seats.
The GC teams disrupted the run-in as they tried to keep their leaders safe, leaving wanna-be matinee idol Demare to pop up from nowhere and power to a clear victory, winning his second stage in this year’s race.
Demare now has 106 points to Sagan’s 67 in the race for the points’ jersey.
Speaking seconds after the stage finish, the stage winner said:
Two days ago it wasn’t a perfect sprint but today it’s super! I wasn’t sure if I could overcome the climb but I found the best position when it flattened a bit. I said that the earlier I’d win a stage, the more stages I’d win in this Giro. This is pure pleasure!
It wasn’t just Demare who was a happy bunny. His delightfully demonstrative team boss enjoyed today’s stage too.
Now, let’s enjoy that final kilometre all over again.
As for Sagan …
The Final Word
Stage 6 Results
1 Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 4:54:38
2 Michael Matthews (Sunweb) same time
3 Fabio Felline (Astana) s/t
4 Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE-Emirates) s/t
5 Davide Cimolai (Israel-Start Up) s/t
GC Top 10
1 Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quickstep) 22:01:01
2 Pello Bilbao (Bahrain McLaren) +0:43
3 Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) +0:48
4 Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) +0:59
5 Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) +1:01
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (NTT Pro Cycling) +1:05
7 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) +1:19
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) +1:21
9 Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:26
10 Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:32
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
Points jersey Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ)
King of the Mountains Filippo Ganna (INEOS-Grenadiers)
Best Young Rider Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
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Official race website: Giro d’Italia
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