After a dramatic finish to the previous day, Team Ineos were more than happy to enjoy a transition day on stage 6 of the Giro d’Italia. Though there was a chance to seek out a stage win, the team decided to stay in the peloton and look after their general classification interests and recover from the crashes of the previous days.
The team’s two GC hopes Tao Geoghegan Hart and Pavel Sivakov slipped down the rankings along with all of the other contenders, as the peloton crossed the finish line over seven minutes behind the stage winner Fausto Masnada (Androni-Giocattoli) and new race leader Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates).
Stage 6 was the second longest of the whole Giro d’Italia at 238 kilometres, just one kilometre shorter than the longest on stage 8. With many of the general classification contenders caught up in the major crash at the end of stage 4 that would eventually force former race winner Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) to abandon and no opportunity for the sprinters, the peloton allowed the breakaway to take a large advantage. With that in mind, the team was happy to play it safe.
“It was a long day on the bike, but the guys were happy as some of them were recovering from crashes, Tao is feeling better and better and Salvatore [Puccio] too,” said Team Ineos directeur sportif Nicolas Portal.
“On one hand you can say there was a chance to get in a break and try to win the stage, but everything was pretty clear that we should stay with Tao and Pavel and everyone has one more day to recover. It was a perfect day in that regard.”
Sivakov and Geoghegan Hart sit 28th and 38th at 6:48 and 7:43 back in the general classification respectively. The general classification battle is unlikely to light up until the final stage of the opening week with the uphill time trial to San Marino on stage 9. Geoghegan Hart, in particular, did well in the opening time trial effort, which also included an uphill ride to the line. In the meantime, the coming stages should be more opportunities for the breakaway.