André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) sprinted to a third career Giro d’Italia stage win on stage six of the 2015 race, after a controlled leadout by his Lotto-Soudal teammates.
On a day lacking in action through much of the duration, the final kilometre saw not only the German beat sprint rivals Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) and Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) to victory, but also a huge crash.
Race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) was caught up in the incident, but was awarded the same time as the winner by virtue of the crash coming within the last 3km. Worryingly, the Spaniard appeared to be sporting injury to his left arm or collarbone while on the podium, and refused to put on the maglia rosa because of it.
Stage six’s biggest talking point however, was the gruesome arm injury to Nippo-Vini Fantini rider Daniele Colli, which marred an otherwise quiet stage.
The day’s break, which contained Alan Marangoni (Cannondale-Garmin), Marco Bandiera (Androni-Sidermec), Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC), Alessandro Malaguti (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Eduard Michael Grosu (Nippo-Vini Fantini), formed within the first 20km of the race max gap of 4-20.
The peloton always seemed in control though, and the break was eventually pulled back in with around 13km remaining.
It was then over to the sprinter’s teams to begin controlling proceedings, and it was the Belgian Lotto team who looked dominant, sitting on the front for the final 3km to lead Greipel perfectly to his first stage win at this year’s race.
Friday’s stage is the longest of the Giro. At 263km, it looks almost ideal for sprinters until the climb right at the finish, which lends itself to puncheurs or the less pure sprinters.
Giro d’Italia 2015, stage six: Montecatini Terme to Castiglione della Pescaia, 183km
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal, in 4-19-42
2. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling
3. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Southeast
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
6. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Southeast
7. Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
8. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Alpecin
9. Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
10. Davide Apollonio (Ita) Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec, all same time
Overall classification after stage six
1. Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff-Saxo, in 20-25-43
2. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, at 2 seconds
3. Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky, at 20 seconds
4. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo, at 22 seconds
5. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana, at 28 seconds
6. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge, at 37 seconds
7. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar, at 56 seconds
8. Mikel Landa (Esp) Astana, at 1-01
9. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin, at 1-15
10. Andrey Amador (Crc) Movistar, at 1-18