Stage 6: May 14 2010, Fidenza – Marina di Carrara 172 km
This hilly day threw 2380m of climb at the riders, and the course was ripe for a good breakaway, and that’s exactly what we got as a quartet of riders made their way off the front. Rubens Bertogliati (Androni Giocattoli) and Matthew Lloyd (Omega Pharma-Lotto) were the first to go away at about 30km into the race. Several caches of riders made attempts to bridge throughout most of the race, but none were successful.
Liquigas did their due work on the front of the race today for race leader, Nibali.
Lloyd was in the hunt for KOM points, and took them at will throughout the punchy course. Both were hurting badly from the day spent all alone off the front, but Lloyd looked the more comfortable of the two, as Bertogliati bobbed and weaved like a boxer on his bike.
In the group, Petacchi made a dig off the front. The Lampre boys had come under fire from the Italian press for coming up snake eyes this Giro, so he obviously as trying to make an impression – any impression.
Ahead, Lloyd shook Reubens from his wheel and went it alone up the final climb of the day, the Beddizzano.
There was some more crashing today, proving that crashing is not just a Dutch thing.
Behind, Liquigas did their due diligence and kept the pace high, but the alarms weren’t really going off yet with roughly 10km to go.
Nibali had an uneventful day in Rosa.
The gap from Lloyd to the chasing lads was about the same as hit had been over the last few k – 1’20”.
A quick Step rider made the bridge after a fantastic descent to join a tracing trio of Johann Tschopp (Bbox) and Cayetano Sarmiento (Acqua & Sapone), and Petrov (Katusha) and Cataldo (Quick-Step).
Lloyd sped alone under the 5km banner, now extending his gap to the chasing Bertogliatti, up to 32 seconds and behind the chasers inbetween the lead and the group lingered at 1’20 still.
Great day for Australia as Lloyd had the victory right in his palm at 3km to go. Bertogliati dangled behind, then the chasing quartet behind. The peloton steamed along, happy with the day as it played out. The pink jersey of Nibali stayed tucked in the green and blue train at the front, staying out of trouble and getting ready to enjoy another night in pink. Liquigas was having a great Giro so far.
Under 2k, and after the first hilly day of the Giro, Lloyd had victory sewn up, but he still kept his head down and barreled down the road into Marina Di Carrara. Straight down the center of the road, the former Australian national champ sat up, took a deep breath, and thrust his arms skyward in victory.
The peloton had swept up the chasing quartet, and were breathing down Bertogliati’s neck as he entered the final kilometer. The Italian hung on for 2nd place and the group sprint was winding up to snatch the remaining points. And Petacchi came good to get 3rd place over Danilo Hondo, who raised his arms …in….victory? Maybe just a little gesture for the press!
Danilo Hondo celebrates his 4th place on the day.
At Lloyd’s podium presentation, they played him AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell” – appropriate, wouldn’t you say? Well done Matty!
Stage 6 Brief Results
1 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Omega Pharma-Lotto
2 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Androni Giocattoli
3 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre-Farnese Vini
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
2 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
3 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo