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Friday, May 12, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

A good upbringing means not that you won't spill sauce on the tablecloth, but that you won't notice it when someone else does. - Anton Chekhov

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Giro d'Italia stage six team race reports

We posted the report from Remco Evenepoel's Team Soudal Quick-Step with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner Mads Pedersen's Team Trek-Segafredo:

With five kilometers remaining of the sixth stage of the Giro d’Italia it looked like the two-man breakaway of Simon Clarke and Alessandro de Marchi would claim the spoils, and it would have been a well-deserved victory. However, Mads Pedersen, and the whole Trek-Segafredo team were on a mission.

With stage wins in the Tour de France and Vuelta a España to his name already, Mads Pedersen was much-hyped to complete the set of Grand Tour stage wins, dubbed ‘The Pederslam’. Trek-Segafredo took on the bulk of the work over the hilly stage to keep the breakaway close, but even then it was looking like the breakaway might thwart their plans. Some last-minute pulls from Bauke Mollema and Toms Skujins proved enough to drag the peloton into contention for the win. From there, it was down to Pedersen who jumped on the wheel of Fernando Gaviria’s early sprint, catapulting himself to victory in Napoli.

Mads Pedersen takes stage six. Sirotti photo

Reaction from a very happy Mads Pedersen:
“The Team did really amazing today, they were working so hard to make this happen. It was a really tough day, a short day, but really tough. The two guys in front made it really hard for us and I feel sorry for them because they did so good today, but I’m also really happy that I could pay back the boys for their effort with the victory. For a long time I didn’t think we would catch them, but we did with like 300 meters to go. It was pretty close in the end. For a long time they had two minutes and we really had to use basically everyone, and not just us. All the sprinters had to use all the guys they had available, it was really not easy to catch them.

"It was pretty tough to catch to Gaviria, he came with a really good kick and got a good gap straight away, but I also know that I can do a long sprint so I hoped he would hit the wall at one point and I could come back. I wanted to open a long sprint because we still had to catch these guys [from the breakaway], but luckily for me Gaviria did it first, so I had someone in front to try to catch.

"For sure that was a nice race to watch in the end. I like the harder days like this, it’s good for the legs to push all day and then have a hard final. It’s really special to make a stage victory in each of the Grand Tours, and finally I could take one here in Italy as well.”

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Here's the Giro report from Primoz Roglic's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Team Jumbo-Visma has come through the sixth stage of the Giro d'Italia well. In the mostly narrow streets of Naples, leader Primoz Roglic crossed the line in the same time as stage winner Mads Pedersen. The black-and-yellow team will now focus on Friday's stage, which has an uphill finish.

Primoz Roglic picks up his bike before the start of the stage. Sirotti photo

On paper, the stage in and around Italy's third-largest city looked anything but easy. With more than 2,500 meters of climbing ahead, it was up and down all day. However, the course did not prove challenging enough to get rid of the sprinters. Two early breakaway riders came close to winning the race, but their chances quickly disappeared in the final kilometre.

Roglic was briefly shaken by equipment problems in the final. However, the Slovenian quickly changed bikes, and his teammates brought him back to the head of the pack. "I had a puncture while positioning myself at the front of the peloton. Luckily we were able to change bikes quickly. Thanks to the hard work of my teammates, we were soon back in the peloton", Roglic said.

The number five in the general classification was more excited about tomorrow's stage. The first uphill finish is on the programme. "I am ready for it. A lot of guys will be anticipating this stage. I expect it to be a nice battle. I am looking forward to it."

Sports director Marc Reef was also looking forward to tomorrow's stage. "The classification riders will test each other. They can no longer hide. We think the last five kilometres of the final climb will be decisive. Primoz is making a good impression, so we are confident about tomorrow's stage. He touched the ground yesterday but had a good night. We also managed the hectic stage today very well. We have a plan for tomorrow", Reef said.

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Here's the report from Geraint Thomas' Team INEOS Grenadiers:

A fantastic team reaction in the closing kilometres helped maintain Geraint Thomas' overall placing in a high octane sixth stage of the Giro d'Italia.

After controlling the race for large periods and driving the pace on the front on the rolling Naples terrain, a dropped chain for Thomas threatened to undo the INEOS Grenadiers good work.

The issue happened on a tight bend in the finale of the stage, with Filippo Ganna, Salvatore Puccio and Ben Swift dropping back to help the Welsh rider return to the peloton.

A high-speed chase ensued, with the quartet able to re-join the bunch and ensure Thomas retained sixth overall, with Tao Geoghegan Hart eighth, ahead of a mountain test on stage seven.

Geraint Thomas riding the stage one time trial. Sirotti photo

Geraint Thomas:
“The chain came off the front and of the cassette. It took me a while to realise it was off the cassette too, but I got it back on.

“The boys were great in getting me back and into position. Luckily, I have strong guys around me - Swifty, Ganna and Puccio - they were great support It could have been a lot worse, it was just a chain coming off and nothing else, it was all good in the end.

“We’ve been riding strong, hopefully we can continue that and we’ll see how the race develops.”

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And here's the Giro report from Pascal Ackermann's UAE Team Emirates:

Pascal Ackermann inched closer to his first win of 2023, with a third-place finish on stage six of the Giro D’Italia.

Pascal Ackermann riding the stage one time trial. Sirotti photo

Stage six started and finished in Napoli (162 km) with two classified climbs coming in the middle of the stage before the final 50 km flat into the city.

UAE Team Emirates were present at the front of the peloton for much of the stage, controlling things while keeping GC favourite João Almeida safe. With the break of the day only being absorbed at 300 m to go Ackermann hit out for glory but came up short against stage winner Mads Pedersen (Trek Segafredo).

Tomorrow marks the first Big Mountain test with a lengthy 206km day from Capua to the summit finish in Campo Imperatore.

Almeida remains 4th on General Classification heading into first big shake-up on stage 7.

Almeida: “Tomorrow will be the real test for the GC guys. It’s a pretty long climb to the finish. It’s not the hardest climb of the race but it’s going to be a long day with a cold finish at altitude. We’ll see how the legs are after the crash the other day but hopefully all will be fine.”

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