A hilly stage in the first part with two long climbs (the first is a categorized summit) and a section along the coast, until the final three short climbs lead into the finish – ideal for finisseurs – in Terme Luigiane.
Stage 6: Dillier wins out of long-range breakaway
Silvan Dillier won his first Giro d’Italia stage Thursday, sprinting clear of a breakaway after 217 kilometers of racing in stage 6 to Terme Luigiane. The BMC rider was fastest in a three-man sprint on the short finish hill. Trek-Segafredo’s Jasper Stuyven was second place on the day, and Lukas Pöstlberger, winner of stage 1, came home third. Quick-Step’s Bob Jungels finished with the peloton and conserved his overall race lead.
“I knew when it’s a hard sprint, I have power, I can push a big gear, so I just tried to believe in myself and tried to find some little more energy, and yeah, I could finish it,” said Dillier. “It’s absolutely the biggest victory for me so far.”
Stage 6, top 10
- 1. Silvan DILLIER, BMC RACING TEAM, in 4:58:01
- 2. Jasper STUYVEN, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :00
- 3. Lukas PÖSTLBERGER, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :12
- 4. Simone ANDREETTA, BRD, at :26
- 5. Michael WOODS, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :39
- 6. Adam YATES, ORICA – SCOTT, at :39
- 7. Wilco KELDERMAN, TEAM SUNWEB, at :39
- 8. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :39
- 9. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :39
- 10. Geraint THOMAS, TEAM SKY, at :39
- 1. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, in 28:20:47
- 2. Geraint THOMAS, TEAM SKY, at :06
- 3. Adam YATES, ORICA – SCOTT, at :10
- 4. Vincenzo NIBALI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :10
- 5. Domenico POZZOVIVO, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :10
- 6. Nairo QUINTANA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :10
- 7. Tom DUMOULIN, TEAM SUNWEB, at :10
- 8. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :10
- 9. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC RACING TEAM, at :10
- 10. Andrey AMADOR BIKKAZAKOVA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :10
Dillier suffered a flat tire in the opening meters of an undulating ride from Reggio di Calabria to Terme Luigiane, the first first stage of the 100th Giro edition held on the Italian mainland.
But, with a stage win on his mind, the 26-year-old chased back on, fought to help a five-man breakaway escape the peloton. “The stage started pretty bad for me, I had a flat tire at kilometer zero then I chased back and fought to get into the breakaway,” said Dillier.
Although Cannondale-Drapac spent a great deal of time chasing on the front of the peloton, the break kept its advantage at around five minutes into the final, rolling kilometers.
Mads Pedersen was first to drop from the breakaway after working for his teammate Stuyven.
Stuyven accelerated on the short hill that came with five kilometers remaining. This shed Simone Andreetta (Bardiani-CSF) from the breakaway, but Postlberger and Dillier hung on.
“He wasn’t doing a lot of work with us, so it was best to get rid of him in case he’d kept his energy for the finish,” said Stuyven of Andreetta.
On the 10 percent gradient of the stage’s final kilometer, Postlberger was on the front as the trio held fire, watch each other’s every move.
Dillier struck first with 200 meters remaining. Stuyven hopped on his wheel, came alongside Dillier on the right, but he had nothing left in the tank to come past the Swiss. The 26-year-old BMC rider held off his Belgian breakaway companion in the final 50 meters.
“To beat Jasper Stuyven in a sprint like this is crazy for me!” Dillier added. “I still can’t believe this. It’s the biggest victory so far for me. It’s fantastic.”
“You don’t get many chances like this. I had targeted this stage,” said Stuyven, who finished fourth at Paris-Roubaix earlier in the season. “I was a little surprised by Dillier, but this finish had an eight-percent gradient, which is a little difficult for me. I’m very disappointed.”
Canadian Mike Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) finished fifth, winning the sprint out of the peloton behind Andreeta, who was fourth. Jungels and the rest of the GC riders finished together in that group.
“We were hoping the breakaway would go until the end so the [time] bonuses were gone,” said Jungels.
Friday’s stage 7 will be another long day in the saddle at 224 kilometers. The run to Alberobello is nearly flat, so it will likely favor a bunch sprint.