Trek-Segafredo has been hunting stages at the Giro d’Italia all week now and finally got one today with Mads Pedersen in a furious finish that almost saw the sprinters’ teams lose out entirely.
With a relatively short, tourist-friendly route around Mount Vesuvius and the Amalfi coast, and the sun finally out, the pack could enjoy the riding for a change from the rain of the past few days. But the pack almost eased off too much, leaving a desperate chase in the final 20 km to catch Alessandro De Marchi (Jayco-AlUla) and Israel-Premier Tech’s Simon Clarke, survivors of the early break.
Although the pair never had more than around two minutes’ advantage on the chase, the pack seemed unable to put much of a dent in the lead. Even with 15 km to go, the duo held 1:30. “It was not easy to catch them,” said Pedersen at the finish. “We had to use everyone – not only us but all the sprinters had to use all the guys we had available.”
Clarke and De Marchi might have hastened their demise every so slightly by easing up in the final 500 meters, and were caught only with 200 meters to go. Clarke was “devastated” to miss out on a Giro stage (a win here would give him the Grand Tour trifecta, which instead went to Pedersen), but refused to second-guess himself. “There’s always a moment you have to decide to stop pulling,” he said. “You can’t just pull until 10 meters to go.”
Pedersen was equal parts ebullient and relieved at the finish. “It’s what we came for so it’s nice to have the victory” he said after a few days of near misses. “It was not easy to catch them,” he added, noting “I felt sorry because those guys did really well.”
-Clarke’s point that every breakaway eventually has to think tactically about the finish is true, but with that kind of chase, was it the right call here?
-Both Geraint Thomas and Primož Roglič had tense moments in the final from mechanical issues. The race so far hasn’t seen any favorite lose serious time due to mishap (excepting possibly Jay Vine’s loss yesterday). How long can that continue?
-Mark Cavendish crashed hard again, his second in two days. Was yesterday’s sprint the sign of a rising Cav, or is he doomed to a quiet Giro and maybe an early exit in week 2?
-Tomorrow’s Stage 7 is the first proper summit finish in the race. Is Remco back in pink?
- Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo)
- Jonathan Milan (Bahrain Victorious)
- Pascal Ackerman (UAE Team Emirates)
- Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
- Fernando Gaviria (Movistar)
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