Giro d’Italia 2020, stage six — live updates

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James Whelan (left to right), Filippo Zana (out of shot), Mattia Bais and Marco Frapporti — Giro d'Italia 2020, stage six — live updates - GETTY IMAGESJames Whelan (left to right), Filippo Zana (out of shot), Mattia Bais and Marco Frapporti — Giro d'Italia 2020, stage six — live updates - GETTY IMAGES

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James Whelan (left to right), Filippo Zana (out of shot), Mattia Bais and Marco Frapporti — Giro d’Italia 2020, stage six — live updates – GETTY IMAGES

02:28 PM

Thomas: ‘My season is over’

Geraint Thomas has been on the socials, and the Welshman posted the following on his Instagram account: “Minimum three weeks off the bike, means it’s now the off season.”

02:26 PM

16km to go

It’s only a matter of time before James Whelan is reunited with the peloton after spending four and-a-half hours in the breakaway.

02:25 PM

18km to go

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Jumbo-Visma have, for the first time all day, made themselves visible near the front of the peloton. In what will be a breakneck dash towards the finale now, the team in yellow and black will be desperate to protect their general classification rider&nbsp;Steven Kruijswijk. One false move here from any of the riders hoping to take home the maglia rosa and their race could be over.” data-reactid=”43″>Jumbo-Visma have, for the first time all day, made themselves visible near the front of the peloton. In what will be a breakneck dash towards the finale now, the team in yellow and black will be desperate to protect their general classification rider Steven Kruijswijk. One false move here from any of the riders hoping to take home the maglia rosa and their race could be over.

02:20 PM

20km to go

A very fast descent of this climb results in James Whelan’s advantage being whittled down to just 13sec.

02:17 PM

25km to go

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="James Whelan rolls over the summit of the category three Galleria Millotta and the Aussie remain the sole leader of this stage. Marco Frapporti was second over the top before Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) clipped off the front of the bunch to add a few points to his tally in the mountains classification.&nbsp;Domenico Pozzovivo (NTT) was fourth to take a solitary point.” data-reactid=”49″>James Whelan rolls over the summit of the category three Galleria Millotta and the Aussie remain the sole leader of this stage. Marco Frapporti was second over the top before Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) clipped off the front of the bunch to add a few points to his tally in the mountains classification. Domenico Pozzovivo (NTT) was fourth to take a solitary point.

02:15 PM

26km to go

Elia Viviani (Cofidis), the Italian sprinter who desperately needs a win, is labouring on this climb. Unless he can claw his way back, he could lose contact with the main protagonists who will be hoping to challenge for the stage today.

02:11 PM

27.5km to go

James Whelan is rolling on, the Aussie appears to be pushing a fairly big gear. Interestingly, back in the peloton Ineos Grenadiers have a couple of riders up near the front, including a certain Ben Swift. I did wonder earlier if today’s stage would suit the British national champion. Could he win his first grand tour stage here today? The Yorkshireman went close a few years ago . . .

02:06 PM

28.5km to go

James Whelan clips off the front. Again, hope his mum is watching.

02:05 PM

30km to go

Just before the road starts to rise up to this testing climb, Marco Frapporti  is rejoined by the Mattia Bais, James Whelan and Filippo Zana. The road is very wide and has a lovely looking road surface.

02:01 PM

32km to go — Frapporti attacks

Marco Frapporti has had enough and the Vini Zabu-KTM has clipped off the front of the breakaway. There is no reaction from the other three, and off he goes riding nose into the wind all on his lonesome. Yeah, good luck with that.

01:54 PM

Maglia rosa is down!

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="It appears that&nbsp;Joao Almeida had stopped at the roadside before&nbsp;Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) crashed into the back of him.&nbsp;McNulty appeared apologetic, Almeida wasted little time in getting back in the saddle. Both riders look okay, but the last time I said that was during stage three after Geraint Thomas went down in the neutral zone, and we all know how that played out.” data-reactid=”67″>It appears that Joao Almeida had stopped at the roadside before Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) crashed into the back of him. McNulty appeared apologetic, Almeida wasted little time in getting back in the saddle. Both riders look okay, but the last time I said that was during stage three after Geraint Thomas went down in the neutral zone, and we all know how that played out.

01:51 PM

37km to go

Not too far from the only categorised climb of the day, the category three Galleria Millotta which is 4.7km long with an average gradient of 6.9 per cent. It will be interesting to see if Bora-Hansgrohe or Sunweb attempt to apply the pressure on their rivals.

01:46 PM

‘Happy birthday mum!’

James Whelan makes the most of the cameras getting up close to him. The Australian that rides for the EF Pro Cycling team just shouted out “Happy birthday mum”. Hope she’s watching.

Bora-Hansgrohe are still controlling the pace on the front of the peloton, Deceuninck-Quick Step tucked in close behind, while the break’s lead has pulled out a little to 2min15sec with 40km of the stage remaining.

01:40 PM

45km to go

Minor delay back in the peloton as it hots a pinch-point in the road. Rafal Majka, the Bora-Hansgrohe climber and a potential general classification contender, is caught out at the back. The Pole appeared a bit annoyed and wasted little time in getting on the team radio, presumably asking his team-mates to knock it off by a click or two on the front.   

01:34 PM

50km to go

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="If you think Peter Sagan is enduring a drought having not won a race since last year's Tour de France, then spare a thought for breakaway rider Marco Frapporti. The Italian has not raised his arms in celebration — unless he has done what Julian Alaphilippe at Liège that I don’t know about — for 2,671 days. Frapportilast won a race at the Route du Sud back in 2013,&nbsp; and having lost another 20secs I can’t see him ending that barren run today.” data-reactid=”80″>If you think Peter Sagan is enduring a drought having not won a race since last year’s Tour de France, then spare a thought for breakaway rider Marco Frapporti. The Italian has not raised his arms in celebration — unless he has done what Julian Alaphilippe at Liège that I don’t know about — for 2,671 days. Frapportilast won a race at the Route du Sud back in 2013,  and having lost another 20secs I can’t see him ending that barren run today.

01:27 PM

Winning from breakaways and riding with panache — Ineos Grenadiers learn to reinvent themselves

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Following a decade of near metronomic riding, Ineos Grenadiers appear to have finally hit on a fan-friendly race winning formula. Unfortunately for the British team, that formula appears to involve losing&nbsp;a leader.” data-reactid=”87″>Following a decade of near metronomic riding, Ineos Grenadiers appear to have finally hit on a fan-friendly race winning formula. Unfortunately for the British team, that formula appears to involve losing a leader.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="A day after Egan Bernal quit the Tour de France it was the turn of Michal Kwiatkowski;&nbsp;on Tuesday it was time for Filippo Ganna to step unto the breach&nbsp;after&nbsp;leader&nbsp;Geraint Thomas had limped out of the Giro d’Italia.” data-reactid=”88″>A day after Egan Bernal quit the Tour de France it was the turn of Michal Kwiatkowski; on Tuesday it was time for Filippo Ganna to step unto the breach after leader Geraint Thomas had limped out of the Giro d’Italia.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="On what was another extraordinary day in the world of cycling — both at De Brabantse Pijl&nbsp;in Belgium where Julian Alaphilippe was almost pipped to the line by&nbsp;Mathieu van der Poel and in Italy —&nbsp;Ganna produced a masterful first in what has become the most unpredictable of seasons.” data-reactid=”89″>On what was another extraordinary day in the world of cycling — both at De Brabantse Pijl in Belgium where Julian Alaphilippe was almost pipped to the line by Mathieu van der Poel and in Italy — Ganna produced a masterful first in what has become the most unpredictable of seasons.

01:25 PM

55km to go

Another five kilometres clocked off by the breakaway, another 30sec lost to the peloton.

01:15 PM

60km to go

As predicted, the road twisted a little before the peloton reached another short bridge where there appeared to be a strong crosswind, blowing the riders to one half of the road. Although no echelons were formed, there was a small — and very brief — split midway down the peloton. There was a a little reshuffling of the pack, but nothing major to report. The breakaway’s lead, however, has dropped down to a shade over three minutes. I imagine the quartet will be hung out to dry, before the peloton finally pounces in the finale to today’s stage which will almost certainly be won by one lucky rider from the main bunch.

01:05 PM

68.5km to go

And the breakaway’s lead has just dropped to below four minutes for the first time in around 120km. The peloton has just passed through the feedzone so one imagines the break will get a little respite, but not too m uch. Bora-Hansgrohe and Sunweb will be wanting to make sure the quartet of Mattia Bais (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Marco Frapporti (Vini Zabu-KTM), James Whelan (EF Pro Cycling) and Filippo Zana (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) do not go all the way to the line.

12:55 PM

75km to go

Things are starting to look bleak for the breakaway. Their lead has dropped by another 30secs over the last five kilometres. Trek-Segafredo have moved toward the front, no doubt conscious of the threat of crosswinds. The riders have just passed over a very long bridge while there are number of wind turbines on the horizon, a tell-tale sign that things can get a little blustery around these parts.

12:46 PM

80km to go

The breakaway has lost another 30 seconds.

12:41 PM

85km to go

The breakaway’s advantage has dropped to below seven minutes following that injection in pace on the front of the peloton courtesy of the shift being put in by Peter Sagan’s Bora-Hansgrohe team-mates.

12:38 PM

Aldag: ‘Today’s finale is perfect for Sagan’

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Rolf Aldag, the former Telekom rider and directeur sportif&nbsp;at the likes of Omega Pharma-Quick-Step and MTN-Qhubeka has been speaking on&nbsp;Eurosport about today’s stage.” data-reactid=”113″>Rolf Aldag, the former Telekom rider and directeur sportif at the likes of Omega Pharma-Quick-Step and MTN-Qhubeka has been speaking on Eurosport about today’s stage.

“Stage six of the Giro, a sprinter’s stage, maybe a question mark over that though. What stands in the way? First, we have two climbs which the sprinters will have to climb and you need to be able to control the race with your team. We need a breakaway without too many riders and riders that aren’t that strong. A group that can give you an advantage of maybe four or five minutes but then you have to claw back time soon enough because the finale is very hard today.

“We have a category three climb, which might be hard for riders like [Elia] Viviani. But the finale itself is technically tricky and slightly uphill. Perfect for guys like Sagan, Matthews, Démare and Diego Ulissi.”

12:23 PM

Bora-Hansgrohe ready to go to work?

Before having a bite to eat, Peter Sagan and team-mate Pawel Poljanski had a little chat. Moments later they took over on the front of the peloton, presumably they will be thinking of starting to reel in the breakaway before setting up Sagan to challenge for the stage victory. Sagan has not won a race for over a year, but his form has been improving over the last month. Could today be his day? 

12:11 PM

106km to go

The leading quartet continue to work together, riding through-and-off having safely navigated their way down a twisty descent. The peloton, still led by Deceuninck-Quick Step, trails by 8min 45sec. The road on this descent may be dry, but there are numerous cracks and crevices that could end any of these riders’ races should their wheel get wedged into one of them.

12:00 PM

Démare gains on Sagan in points competition

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Bit of a slip-up by Bora-Hansgrohe ​at the intermediate sprint. After the breakaway took the lion's share of the points, Maciej Bodnar opened up the sprint but Peter Sagan was unable to hold his wheel. Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) followed Bodnar who sat up waiting for his team-mate when he should have probably continued in the sprint and tried to deny the Frenchman a point. The upshot of this is that Démare just added four points to his tally, two more than Sagan.” data-reactid=”125″>Bit of a slip-up by Bora-Hansgrohe ​at the intermediate sprint. After the breakaway took the lion’s share of the points, Maciej Bodnar opened up the sprint but Peter Sagan was unable to hold his wheel. Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) followed Bodnar who sat up waiting for his team-mate when he should have probably continued in the sprint and tried to deny the Frenchman a point. The upshot of this is that Démare just added four points to his tally, two more than Sagan.

11:54 AM

120km to go

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="It's a lovely looking day down in the south of Italy today. After reaching the mainland, the Giro is now riding over towards Puglia, along the arch of the foot of the country. Deceuninck-Quick Step, who may have wanted to set-up&nbsp;Davide Ballerini for the stage win today were they not busy protecting the maglia rosa&nbsp;on the shoulders of&nbsp;Joao Almeida, have their entire team up near the front.” data-reactid=”128″>It’s a lovely looking day down in the south of Italy today. After reaching the mainland, the Giro is now riding over towards Puglia, along the arch of the foot of the country. Deceuninck-Quick Step, who may have wanted to set-up Davide Ballerini for the stage win today were they not busy protecting the maglia rosa on the shoulders of Joao Almeida, have their entire team up near the front.

11:40 AM

130km to go

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="With the breakaway having increased its lead slightly to 8min 45sec,&nbsp;Iljo Keisse (Deceuninck-Quick Step) has positioned himself on the front of the peloton. The veteran Belgian will be monitoring things, while Astana are tucked in behind. Astana, as you&nbsp;will probably know, are already two riders down after&nbsp;Miguel Ángel López and Aleksandr Vlasov abandoned on the opening weekend. Their general classification hope&nbsp;Jakob Fuglsang cannot afford any further mishaps and will be keen to stay as near to the front as he can, staying out of harm’s way should there be any crashes.” data-reactid=”131″>With the breakaway having increased its lead slightly to 8min 45sec, Iljo Keisse (Deceuninck-Quick Step) has positioned himself on the front of the peloton. The veteran Belgian will be monitoring things, while Astana are tucked in behind. Astana, as you will probably know, are already two riders down after Miguel Ángel López and Aleksandr Vlasov abandoned on the opening weekend. Their general classification hope Jakob Fuglsang cannot afford any further mishaps and will be keen to stay as near to the front as he can, staying out of harm’s way should there be any crashes.

Iljo Keisse - GETTY IMAGESIljo Keisse - GETTY IMAGES

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Iljo Keisse – GETTY IMAGES

11:30 AM

As it stands . . .

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Having already put 50km into their legs, a four-man breakaway leads the stage.&nbsp;Mattia Bais (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Marco Frapporti (Vini Zabu-KTM), James Whelan (EF Pro Cycling) and Filippo Zana (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) wasted little time in going off the front and, as it stands, they lead the peloton by around 9min.” data-reactid=”154″>Having already put 50km into their legs, a four-man breakaway leads the stage. Mattia Bais (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Marco Frapporti (Vini Zabu-KTM), James Whelan (EF Pro Cycling) and Filippo Zana (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) wasted little time in going off the front and, as it stands, they lead the peloton by around 9min.

Giro d'Italia 2020, stage six — live updates - GETTY IMAGESGiro d'Italia 2020, stage six — live updates - GETTY IMAGES

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Giro d’Italia 2020, stage six — live updates – GETTY IMAGES

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="&nbsp;The highest placed rider on general classification in the break is&nbsp;Bais, though the 23-year-old started the day&nbsp;50min 23sec behind race leader&nbsp;Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick Step). I don’t think the Portuguese will be too worried about having to hand his maglia rosa to Bais later should he, against all odds, win the stage.” data-reactid=”175″> The highest placed rider on general classification in the break is Bais, though the 23-year-old started the day 50min 23sec behind race leader Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick Step). I don’t think the Portuguese will be too worried about having to hand his maglia rosa to Bais later should he, against all odds, win the stage.

11:03 AM

Afternoon all

And welcome to our live rolling blog from stage six at the Giro d’Italia, the 188km run from Castrovillari to Matera. Despite today’s stage being an undulating affair, there is just one categorised climb — the Galleria Millotta — where the first four riders over the summit will take nine, four, two and one point respectively in the mountains classification.

Giro d'Italia 2020, stage six profile — Giro d'Italia 2020 route: How to watch live TV coverage and follow the race stagesGiro d'Italia 2020, stage six profile — Giro d'Italia 2020 route: How to watch live TV coverage and follow the race stages

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Giro d’Italia 2020, stage six profile — Giro d’Italia 2020 route: How to watch live TV coverage and follow the race stages

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The final run-in to the finishing line would appear to favour those fastmen that are able to also climb, somebody in the vein of Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Michael Matthews (Sunweb) or&nbsp;Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), the Italian who won the second stage on Sunday on a similar looking profile.” data-reactid=”199″>The final run-in to the finishing line would appear to favour those fastmen that are able to also climb, somebody in the vein of Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Michael Matthews (Sunweb) or Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), the Italian who won the second stage on Sunday on a similar looking profile.

stage sixstage six

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Here are the various leaders in the four main classifications,&nbsp;those that are awarded jerseys — the&nbsp;maglia rosa (pink), maglia ciclamino (cyclamen), maglia azzurra (blue) and maglia bianca (white).” data-reactid=”220″>Here are the various leaders in the four main classifications, those that are awarded jerseys — the maglia rosa (pink), maglia ciclamino (cyclamen), maglia azzurra (blue) and maglia bianca (white).

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Today's stage got under way at 10.55 (BST), but&nbsp;Brent Bookwalter (Mitchelton-Scott) was a non-starter, leaving Simon Yates a man down. Here are the full details of teams and remaining 168 riders.” data-reactid=”221″>Today’s stage got under way at 10.55 (BST), but Brent Bookwalter (Mitchelton-Scott) was a non-starter, leaving Simon Yates a man down. Here are the full details of teams and remaining 168 riders.

Our liveblog will start at 12.30pm.