PezCycling News - What's Cool In Road Cycling : Giro’15 St.6: Greipel Grabs It!

Giro d'Italia
Giro’15 St.6: Greipel Grabs It!
Race Report: A much more relaxed and predictable day in Italy; a flatish stage with one small climb at half way and a long flat lead up to the finish line. André Greipel wins, but the pink jersey of Alberto Contador hit the road, how bad we don’t know.

The stage went much to plan; the break of unimportant GC riders was allowed a 5 minute lead to show themselves on the TV screens and then they were slowly reeled in with less than 15 kilometers to go. Lotto Soudal had four riders on hand to lead Greipel to the line for his 112th career win. The only thing that didn't follow the plan was a big crash in the last meters, Alberto Contador was amongst those on the tarmac with injuries to his left shoulder and knee.

T15_MadonnaDC_2_altStage 6 from Montecatini Terme to Castiglione della Pescaia, 183 kilometers with one Cat 4 climb of Pomarance after 90.3 kilometers. The last 40 kilometers are downhill and then flat to the line. A day for the GC riders to sit back and leave it to the sprinters.

How the race unfolded
Five riders were soon up the road: Alan Margangoni (Cannondale-Garmin), Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Marco Bandiera (Androni Giocattoli) and Eduard Michael Grosu & Alessandro Malaguti (Nippo-Vini Fantini), the best placed of them was Marangoni at 56:06, so no overall problem. In the first hour they covered 36 kilometers and built up a lead of 5 minutes.

With 100 kilometers to go and as the break started the only climb of the day, Pomarance, the lead was still around the 5 minute mark. At the summit Malaguti was first ahead of Bandiera and Marangoni third. Joint King of the Mountains leaders Pavel Kochetkov (Katusha) and Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida) had nothing to worry about as they are both on 15 points.

The one climb
The KOM line at Pomarance was at 364 meters altitude, the course climbs Monterotondo a further 260 meters higher, the top is uncategorized, from there the road drops to the intermediate sprint in Ribolla. Then there are 34 kilometers to the finish in Castiglione della Pescaia.

At the highest point of the day the lead had come down to 4 minutes and the only question was: How long would the five stay out front?

Lotto Soudal and Giant-Alpecin moved to the front of the peloton to keep the speed up. Although the average speed was over 44 kph after 3 hours. The ‘Break Killer’ Giant-Alpecin’s Chinese rider, Cheng Ji, was sent to do the work for the chasers with 60 kilometers remaining and the lead continued to be reduced to under 4 minutes.

Giro d'Italia 2015 stage - 6We even saw Tom Boonen at the front

On the long, straight roads the peloton slowed to allow bottles to be brought up from the team cars and with 50 kilometers to go the gap to the five leaders grew to 4:10.

The two Lotto teams (LottoNL-Jumbo & Lotto Soudal) joined Cheng Ji on the front and again the lead was cut and so with 40 kilometers still to ride, the lead was 3:20.

At the intermediate sprint in Ribolla, with 34 kilometers to go, Bandiera took full points, but you couldn’t say it was hotly contested as the others just watched him go for it. The Sky team moved up in the peloton to bring Elia Viviani to the front for the remaining points. In the end; Giacomo Nozzolo (Trek) got the better of him for the 6th spot.

20 kilometers to the finish
Into the last 20 kilometers and Cheng Ji was still the engine of the peloton with the Lotto Soudal team on his wheel. Behind them, Tinkoff-Saxo and Sky moved to near the front for safety reasons. The lead was down to 1:30.

Tinkoff-Saxo threw their strength behind the work of Lotto Soudal which cut the lead to half a minute and put the peloton into a long straight line and there were some riders in trouble at the back.

The break was over with 14K’s to go. Tinkoff-Saxo, Astana, Lotto Soudal and Sky all had riders on the front, the wind was causing problems and anyone letting the wheel go was a lost man.

Under the 10K to go banner and the pink jersey of Alberto Contador could be seen in second wheel position and the peloton had shrunk in size with the speed being set along the flat coastal road to Castiglione della Pescaia with that tricky wind.

5 out
Sky had taken control with Eisel, but the sprinter teams were moving forward to replace the GC teams at the head of affairs. Lotto Soudal wanted to be in control, but Trek, Lampre-Merida and CCC Sprandi had other ideas. Into the last kilometer and Greipel had two lead-out men, Henderson and Hansen, to kept the speed up and launch the big German gorilla towards the line. The riders around him: Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling), Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) and the others just didn’t have the speed to get past Greipel.

After the finish André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) said: "It is what we were planning this morning in the bus: to stay in the front on the twisting route from 2km out until the finish line. It worked the way we said. It wasn't easy to keep position but the whole team was focused on keeping us at the front. To do the last 2km with 4 guys is impressive. Adam Hansen pulled from 1.2km to 600m, and Greg Henderson took over and took a really long pull to finish it off. The team did a really good job to keep me out of trouble and make a perfect lead out."

giro15st6-greipel-sprint-620André Greipel made it look easy, but he had great team work to thank for it

Crash for Contador
On the Right hand side of the road there was a big crash, Daniele Colli (Nippo-Vini Fantini) hit a camera zoom lense and crashed to the ground bringing down Alberto Contador and a load of others, most remounted except for the Nippo-Vini Fantini rider, who looked seriously injured. Contador rode to the finish, but had so much pain in his left shoulder he could not wear the pink jersey on the podium, but he still has the overall lead going into Friday’s stage 7. The team say he also banged his knee, we will have to wait to see how bad his injuries are.

giro15st6-contador-podium-620Alberto Contador could not put on the pink jersey due to the pain from his shoulder

Keep it PEZ for all things Giro.

Giro d’Italia Stage 6 Result:
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
6. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Southeast
7. Elia Viviani (Ita) Sky
8. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Alpecin
9. Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
10. Davide Appollonio (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
11. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
12. Kévin Reza (Fra)
13. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha
14. Juan Jose Lobato del Valle (Spa) Movistar
15. Grega Bole (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkwice
16. Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
17. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE
18. Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
19. Greg Henderson (NZ) Lotto Soudal
20. Patrick Gretsch (Ger) AG2R-La Mondiale
21. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Lampre-Merida
22. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
23. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky
24. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana
25. Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 6:
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo in 20:25:36
2. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:02
3. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:20
4. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:22
5. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana at 0:28
6. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:37
7. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar at 0:56
8. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana at 1:01
9. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin at 1:15
10. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 1:18
11. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 1:22
12. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step at 1:22
13. Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha at 1:24
14. Leopold Konig (Cze) Sky at 1:24
15. Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC at 1:46
16. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC at 1:49
17. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini at 2:12
18. Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE at 2:21
19. Jurgen Van Den Broek (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 2:27
20. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) at 2:33
21. Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 2:36
22. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Sky at 2:42
23. Jonathan Monsalve (Ven) Southeast at 3:02
24. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana at 3:31
25. Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo at 4:44.


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