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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, May 17, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

You win the victory when you yield to friends. - Sophocles

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:

Giro d'Italia stage six team reports

We posted the organizer's & UAE-Team Emirates' reports with the results.

Bora-hansgrohe sent me this update:

The sixth stage of the Giro d’Italia consisted of 238 km from Cassino to San Giovani Rotondo. The first 190 km were contested on straight and well-surfaced roads with a few tunnels, which, however, did not present any significant climbing challenges. Afterwards, the route took in some quite narrow roads in the lead-up to the 15 km-long Coppa Casarinelle climb (Cat. 2), which came with 30 km left to race. Here, the riders also had to contend with several hairpin bends as well as gradients of around 4 per cent.

In a change to the previous days, the sun was out at the start of the stage, but the weather was fickle and the riders had to contend with some occasional rain on the way to San Giovani Rotondo. Only 35 km after the start, several riders, including Rafal Majka, Pascal Ackermann and Michael Schwarzmann were involved in a crash. However, the BORA - hansgrohe riders were paced quickly back into the main field by their teammates.

A breakaway of 13 riders did not form until a little later and the escapees were able to pedal out an advantage of 6 minutes during the day. The field was not in any particular hurry to reel in the escapees and so the race situation remained unchanged for most of some time. On the ascent of the only categorised climb of the day, the front group still had around 5 minutes on the peloton and it looked like the the winner of this stage would come from among the escapees.

When Fausto Masnada attacked out of the leading group on the ascent, a fellow escapee countered and caught up to him and together the duo crested the climb. Several chasers attempted to catch up to the two riders up front but eventually their efforts remained unrewarded and Masnada won todays's stage. The main field rolled over the finish line more than 7 minutes in arrears of the stage winner. At the end of the day, Pascal Ackermann retained the sprint jersey and his teammate Rafal Majka now sits in 17th place in the general classification. The squad also led the team classification for the past two days, until the current stage.  

Fausto Masnada

Fausto Masnada wins stage six. Sirotti photo

From the finish line:
“Today the breakaway stayed away, but we didn’t have anyone in there from the team. I think many of the teams were tired after yesterday’s stage. We slipped down in the GC, but there are still several stages ahead of us. My teammates did a good job to keep us relatively safe today, which is the important thing.”
- Rafal Majka

“Today there was yet another very long stage with fickle weather. Unfortunately, we missed the opportunity to make it into the 13-man breakaway group, which was actually our plan. At the beginning of the stage, there was a big crash, in which Pascal and Michael were involved, but they were able to make it back to the main field without too much difficulty. Afterwards, the break got away and we weren’t able to make the cut. However, in the end, we were able to bring our GC-riders to the finish along with the group of favourites. The result is not what he had hoped for, but the Giro has 21 stages, and we will have more chances over the next weeks.”
- Jens Zemke, Sports Director 

Here's the report from third-place José Rojas' Team Movistar:

Two days after their maiden stage success at this year’s Giro d’Italia, the Movistar Team spent most of stage six -one of the longest in this year’s race, 238km from Cassino to San Giovanni Rotondo- in the mix for a second one. José Joaquín Rojas and Andrey Amador were part of a thirteen-man break which turned the tables in the overall classification, with Fausto Masnada (ANS) taking the day’s victory ahead of the new Maglia Rosa, Valerio Conti (UAD).

The escape, formed 60km into the race after an eventful first hour -including a crash which affected Mikel Landa, with no physical consequence- reached the foot of the climb of Coppa Casarinelle (Cat-2), with a gap of nearly six minutes, enough to contest the win. The 15km ascent saw the two leaders opening half a minute’s gap over a three-man counter with Rojas, Rubén Plaza (ICA) and Giovanni Carboni (BRD). The Spaniard unsuccessfully worked hard to bring back a duo which crossed the line 38" before José Joaquín (3rd) and nearly a minute ahead of Amador (9th).

José Rojas and Ruben Plaza finish stage six. Sirotti photo

Rojas sits now in 4th place overall, as Amador also enters the top-ten with around two minutes over former leader Primoz Roglic (TJV), three days before the important San Marino ITT. The Giro will continue to seek for the climbs on Friday, with a tricky finish in L’Aquila (185km) featuring several short, steep ascents.

REACTION / José Joaquín Rojas:
“In the beginning, pretty much everyone wanted to get into the break. However, there was a crash including Roglic, Mikel and several more riders. The peloton eased off to let them rejoin, and so the real break was formed as they bridged back. There was an initial move with myself and five, six other riders, including Plaza and Conti, and later on Andrey made it across. Once the escape was formed, it was about building a gap before the Cat-2 climb, so we could fight for the stage win between ourselves.

“Seeing that there was a slight headwind into the climb, I thought I had to be more cautious, not spend all my bullets into a single burst, because there were so many strong climbs. I felt good, but I didn’t think it was enough to go on full steam from the foot of the climb. In the end, the first attack was enough. Seeing that they were leaving us behind, I tried to counter several times solo, but they always came after me. I later took advantage of Rubén Plaza making his move stick to bridge across and join him, together with Carboni. We were just full gas, giving our very best, but it wasn’t to be today. We didn’t react when we needed to, yet even if Conti and Masnada were strong, I don’t feel they were stronger than us, because the gap when I got to Plaza and the one at the finish were the same.

“It’s a bittersweet feeling. I had the legs, yet I don’t feel there will be many opportunities like this one for my in this Giro. My task here is to work for Mikel and Richard, and we will continue to do so. Overall, I’m happy, because I feeling strong in this Giro.”

Sunweb's Robert Power abandons Giro after crash:

The team sent me this: Team Sunweb’s string of bad luck continues at the Giro d’Italia as Robert Power is forced to abandon the race just one day after GC-man Tom Dumoulin. Power was caught up in a large crash in the peloton which came 40 kilometres into the stage, bringing down a significant amount of riders, including more from Team Sunweb. Initially trying to continue after assistance from the race doctor, Power was forced to abandon as a result of his injuries.

Japan Cup

Robert Power wins the 2018 Japan Cup.

Robert said: “This is a really disappointing day. I would have loved to continue. I went down hard in the big crash and tried to keep riding but had to pull out with lot of pain in my hip. Luckily there is nothing broken but I’m still really disappointed to leave the Giro.”

Team Sunweb physician Stephan Jacolino said: “Fortunately x-rays show no breaks or fractures for Robert. He has overstretched his gluteal muscle, which meant that he was unable to push on the pedals anymore and it was too painful for him to continue. After a week’s rest it’s likely he will be able to restart training normally.”

Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef said: “This is another blow to the team. Robert was in great shape and one of our main contenders to go for stage success. It’s even more bad luck and another setback for our team, but we need to move on and make the best out of it again. We’ll continue to take the same aggressive approach as we did yesterday and today with both Louis and Sam in the break, and search for a stage win with the other strong riders that we have here.”

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