Pedersen Wins Stage 6 of Giro d’Italia
Stage 6 of Giro d’Italia 2023 was a 162-kilometer roundtrip from Napoli (Naples) to Napoli on the Italian west coast. The route one category 2 climb and one category 3 climb later in the stage.
Naples is the third largest city in Italy and features the Roman ruins of Pompei. Pizza is said to have been invented in Naples and much pasta is produced near the city. Mount Vesuvius is located on the Gulf of Naples and is the only European mainland volcano to have erupted in the last hundred years.
Naples recently celebrated their local soccer club S.S.C. Napoli winning their national soccer league Serie A for the first time since 1989-90. S.S.C. Napoli was once the home of soccer legend Diego Maradona and now features stars such as Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. The recent soccer celebrations in the city, however, did not put a halt to fantastic celebrations today as Napoli was colored pink to welcome the start and finish of today’s Giro d’Italia stage.
The hostilities started early as many riders were eager to establish a breakaway group. Eventually a group was formed featuring Alexandre Delettre (Cofidis), Francesco Gavazzi (Team Eolo-Kometa), Simon Clarke (Israel-Premiertech), Charlie Quarterman (Team Corratec-Selle Italia), and Jayco-Alula’s Alessandro de Marchi. The group built a time gap of more than five minutes. Meanwhile, Alessandro Verre was chasing the front group in solo fashion, two minutes behind the front group and two minutes ahead of the main peloton.
On the Picco Sant’Angelo climb several of the heavy riders were dropped from the main peloton, while the front group got split up. Clarke and de Marchi established a front duo, while Delettre chased behind. Gavazzi and Quarterman carried on further back.
With 30 kilometers left, the Clarke and de Marchi duo carried on as front duo and had managed to maintain an advantage of 02:20 minutes. Meanwhile, the other escape groups had been swallowed by the aggressively chasing main peloton spearheaded by Bahrain-Victorious, Trek-Segafredo, and Team DSM.
With 11 kilometers left of the stage, Ineos-Grenadiers team captain Geraint Thomas suffered a mechanical and had to switch bikes. Three Ineos-Grenadiers teammates fell back to help him regain contact with the peloton, but it turned out to be a difficult task because of the fast speed in the main peloton and the many roundabouts on the roads leading the peloton into Naples.
5 kilometers from the finish the front duo had a 40 second advantage on the furiously chasing peloton where the sprinter aces were aiming for a stage victory. Bahrain-Victorious, Jayco-Alula and EF Education-EasyPost led the peloton.
Alpecin-Deceuninck and Bora-Hansgrohe sent riders to the front.
Trek-Segafredo’s Mads Pedersen won stage 6 in Naples in a sprint across the finish line. Jonathan Milan (Bahrain-Victorious) finished behind Pedersen and Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates) took third.
“I’m pretty happy. This is what we came for,” stage winner Pedersen told Roadcycling.com shortly after the finish. “It’s nice to have a victory now, it was a tough day for the team. It was pretty close in the end and it was not easy to catch the front duo in time. I feel sorry for those guys in the breakaway because they worked really hard today. Gaviria did a really strong sprint and it wasn’t easy to catch him.”
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