Priamo Wins Stage 6 of Giro; Visconti Takes Maglia Rosa
For the second consecutive day, a breakaway has won a stage of the Giro d'Italia.
For the second consecutive day, a breakaway has won a stage of the Giro d'Italia. Today, Matteo Priamo (CSF) turned the trick. Priamo powered away from Alan Perez (Euskaltel) in the last 200 m to win the rolling, 231-km run from Potenza to Peschici in 5:24:49. Perez finished second at 0:08, and Nikolai Trusov (Tinkoff) took third at 0:27. Giovanni Visconti (Quick Step) has taken the maglia rosa.
At the request of the riders, who objected to the long stage after the number and length of transfers in the first few days of this year's Giro, the stage was shortened from its planned 265 km. It is, however, still the longest stage in this year's Giro. The length might have inhibited the racers' aggression. It was not until the second hour of racing that a break formed. Twelve men--Visconti, Priamo, Rene Mandri (Ag2r), Perez, Jose Ochoa (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni), Maxim Iglinsky (Astana), Matthias Russ (Gerolsteiner), Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre), Daniele Nardello (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni), Magnus Backstedt (Slipstream), Jason McCartney (CSC), and Nikolai Trussov (Tinkoff)--escaped. The peloton did not chase, and the break's lead maxed out at 16 minutes. Barloworld and Saunier Duval went to the front with 45 km left, but a member of the break would win and the maglia rosa would change backs.
The stage ended with a 1.3-km climb and seven turns in the last km. Before the escapees reached the climb, McCartney attacked. Perez covered the move. With 10 km left, Priamo attacked, and only Perez could follow.
Perez led Priamo into the last 600 m. The two exchanged words before the Italian powered away from the Spaniard.
Behind, the battle for the maglia rosa was fought. Visconti began the day 0:13 behind Russ, but he made up time by winning the day's intermediate sprint and by pipping the German at the finish line. The two finished tied, but Visconti was awarded the jersey based on time differences going back to the team time trial.
At the end of the stage, controversy erupted. A police motorcycle crashed and split the peloton. A few riders fell, and others were delayed behind the mayhem. Because the crash occurred in the last three km, the riders did not rush to rejoin the peloton. The affected riders, however, were not awarded the same time as the bunch. Levi Leipheimer (Astana) lost 0:23, and Christian Vande Velde (Slipstream) lost 0:14. Several teams have asked the race jury to award the riders who crashed or were delayed by the crash the same time as those who were ahead of it. The race jury has agreed to decide on Friday.
In the overall, Visconti leads Russ, with Daniele Nardello (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni) third at 1:22. Stage 7 might not change the standings, but it will reveal who the serious contenders for victory will be. The 180-km ride from Vasto to Pestocostanzo will take the riders over a Category 3, a Category 1, and a Category 2 ascent, respectively, before the 2.8-km charge to the finish. Who will prevail? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!