Welcome to live coverage of stage 6 of the Giro d'Italia.
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Good morning and welcome to our live coverage from the Giro d'Italia. It's stage 6 and the first mountain top finish of this year's race - the first climbing showdown of this year's race with the finish at Roccaraso.
We're at the start with the rollout set to take place in around 30 minutes from now. The riders are signing on at the moment.
We'll be talking to Matt White (Orica GreenEdge) later today. So please Tweet your Giro questions to us at #AskMatt.
@PBijzet Thu, 12th May 2016 09:11:00
For now, lets have a look at the GC standings coming into the stage:
1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 19:40:48
2 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:16
3 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida 0:00:20
4 Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-Alpecin
5 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:24
6 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:26
7 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:27
8 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 0:00:35
9 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
10 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky 0:00:37
Tom 'I'm not here for GC' leads the overall but today is a test for the Dutch rider. He's been faultless so far in the race and has talked about going on the attack today too - if the opportunity comes.
Here's what the Giant-Alpecin rider said after pulling on pink again yesterday afternoon: “Tomorrow will suit me because it’s an uphill finish but it’s not too hard,” Dumoulin said. “But it all depends on my legs. Yesterday my legs were very good, today they were not very good. Maybe today was a good day to have a bad day. But if I have the same legs as yesterday, I will look at the possibilities and not only ride defensively.”
Full story, right here.
Sitting in second place is Etixx QuickStep rider Jungels. He has gone under the radar somewhat in this race but don't forget he was third in Tirenno earlier this spring - and although the Giro another level - he's been riding like a GC rider during this first week. There's still a long way to go in this race but today should test his mettle and pedigree. Has he been too prominent so far? We'll have to wait and see.
That's the profile for today's stage, with climbing really throughout. The second category climb shouldn't cause any problems but it will soften up the peloton for later in the race. There's hardly a meter of flat roads before the final climb to the finish.
What do you think of Chaves's chances in this year's race. He had a fine Vuelta last year and is improving as a GC rider. Do you think he should be targeting stages, the GC or both? Head on over to Twitter to let me know.
The riders are rolling out. There's a headwind for them at the moment. Matt White will be joining us on the phone shortly to answer your questions. Live from the Orica team car.
@nhall444 Thu, 12th May 2016 10:22:15
Matt White: He's handling the Giro well. There's no doubt that it's a big step up for him but it's a great experience and he's enjoying it. Today is all about survival and then tomorrow is another opportunities for the sprinters. His race is going okay. We would have obviously liked some better results in the sprints but it's a big step up and he's 21. There are still opportunities though and we'll be backing Caleb all the way.
@joeycycle Thu, 12th May 2016 10:20:05
Matt: That's an easy one. The Boks.
@pownutrition Thu, 12th May 2016 09:43:23
Matt: We have a variety of coaching staff and full time people. Then there are the coaches who are directly in control and woking with the athletes. And then I talk on a regular basis with the coaching staff about how the riders are doing, schedules and race plans. It's a real team effort that goes on, both on the road and behind the scenes.
@BicycleFred Thu, 12th May 2016 09:17:56
Matt: I'm really looking forward to this. It's been a while since I've been to Japan and know that the boys are excited too. It will be good if we can iron out the rest days and all the details but it will be huge to have the Giro there. I think it could really work.
@PBijzet Thu, 12th May 2016 09:11:00
Matt: Rob is on his bike but he's waiting on certain tests, which he has to do every six weeks. He needs those tests before he can get the all-clear. He's on his bike at the moment but with regards to when he comes back to racing, that's really in the hands of the medical staff.
As for Chaves, we know he's good. You don't finish top five in a Grand Tour unless you're class. We won Avenir a few years ago but I think the Giro will show us where he is. It's a really hard race. Today suits him, and he's in good form so the stage win is up for grabs.
@liezlhenrich Thu, 12th May 2016 09:09:13
Matt: It's early in the contract season so I've not got anyone on the radar at the moment. I know that there are a couple of good young ones out there and floating around but they may not be ready for WorldTour level just yet.
@garethrees9 Thu, 12th May 2016 08:56:12
Matt: The update is that he's on his bike and he is training for the Dauphine.
@dineshschleck Thu, 12th May 2016 09:04:55
Matt: They're professionals but they're also people, and that's how I treat them. You get to know your riders and you have relationships with them that are built up over time. That's how you really manage them.
That was Matt White, live from the Orica GreenEdge team car. We'll bring you more Twitter Q&As during the race, and thanks of course for your questions. Sorry we couldn't get through all of them. As we talked to Matt he was also on the radio, giving his riders instructions.
Speaking of Valverde, he was one of the riders who had their bikes checked by the UCI this morning.
The race has gone through the neutralized zone, and there have been a number of attacks from the front of the field. Five riders have just jumped clear. Can they create a gap?
133km remaining from 157km
The peloton are climbing at the moment and it's been a furiously fast start. The race has broken up and then reformed several times.
The five riders, according to race radio, have been brought back so it's all back together.
Race radio has just crackled through that three riders are actually up the road and that they have three minutes on the peloton. We'll just wait for confirmation on that and then we'll try and bring you the names.
Alessandro Bisolti (Nippo - Vini Fantini), Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Trestina-Southeast), Alexandr Kolobnev (Gazprom-Rusvelo) are the three riders off the front with 131km to go. The last time check we had was of three minutes and the peloton appear to have sat up. There's no GC danger from these front three.
Kolobnev took 10 points at the intermediate sprint. The ex-Katusha rider racing for Gazprom these days.
Cunego's teamamte Bisolti is in the break, so mission accomplished so far for the Italian squad. The pace is the peloton has eased since the frantic start earlier this morning.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 12th May 2016 11:28:08
@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 12th May 2016 11:26:05
No real pressure in the break but they continue to share turns. The peloton have switched off so there's a chance for the trio to really build up a decent lead before the climbs come. 127km to go.
124km remaining from 157km
The break now have 6'06 over the bunch. Fabian Cancellara is at that the front for Trek, while Lampre are also represented. There's no single team on the the front of the bunch as we tackle the lower slopes of the first climb of the day.
Uran is near the front, being helped along by his Cannondale teammates. Close by is Dumoulin, in pink, and with several of his Giant-Alpecin teammates around him. And just like that it's the German team that take control and start the set the pace. The gap is at 6'10.
Tinkoff and Team Sky have also positioned a man near the front, just off the Giant train. Cancellara and Valverde catch up in the bunch - the Spaniard many peoples' favourite for the stage today.
Catch on stage 5 with our race highlights from yesterday.
Back to the front and the three man move have 6'40. The 18km climb the riders are on now averages out at 4 per cent but there is a section of 12 per cent.
The entire Giant team are on the front, controlling the pace for race leader Tom Dumoulin. The Dutch rider had been playing his chances down in the race earlier but that facade cracked slightly last night when he said he might try and attack today if there was the opportunity.
Weather update: At the finish we have dry roads on the final climb. The sun is out but there are dark clouds gathering overhead.
Nibali is moving up towards the front of the race. He's the number one favourite for the GC and here's what he had to say when asked about today's stage:
“The Roccaraso stage could tell us something and it could tell us nothing.
“After Roccaraso, there’ll be a lot of other big mountaintop finishes to come,” Nibali continued. “We’ll just keep trying to ride like we’ve ridden up to now. We’ve been going well as a team.”
The break are still sharing the workload at the front of the race with Kolobnev currently leading. The gap to the peloton is still at around six minutes.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 12th May 2016 12:24:23
The latest episode from InCycle is a cracker by the way. It's based around the Giro and features at least a dozen riders, including Marcel Kittel. You can check it out here.
A reminder of the riders in the break. We have Alessandro Bisolti (Nippo - Vini Fantini), Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Trestina-Southeast), Alexandr Kolobnev (Gazprom-Rusvelo). They have around six minutes on the peloton.
The rain is now starting to fall on the riders as they start to descend. No time checks at the moment as Bisolti leads the break. Giant-Alpecin are still on the front and controlling the peloton.
Bisolti was first over the climb but Cuneno, his teammate, was fourth and therefore retains his KOM jersey for now. It's Movistar who now move up towards the front of the bunch too as they seek to position Valverde at the head of affairs for the long descent.
89km remaining from 157km
Rojas is doing the work for his team leader, with the gap to the break down to roughly four minutes. At the start of the climb it was nearer to seven. A few gaps appearing in the bunch on the wet descent.
1:50 is the gap to the break now as we see Zhupa creep around a corner at a snail's pace.
The gap is down to just 1'06. The break are through most of the descent with only really Zhupa out there willing to continue. Movistar are still leading the peloton.
Astana and Giant both have men on the front as the peloton snakes down the descent, with Rojas doing the work. He's been there since the summit of the climb. It's a very technical descent, made even harder by the wet conditions, although the roads are starting to dry out.
@Lotto_Soudal Thu, 12th May 2016 13:06:12
Nibali is holding court at the front of the peloton with Scarponi, the 2011 winner of this race. Valverde is doing the same with his Movistar men. We're off the descent now and back onto dry, flat roads.
A few rain jackets will be lost in the next few minutes as the bunch spread out over the wide roads.
Yesterday's stage winner Greipel is scoffing a gel as Roche drifts back to the team car for a chat and some new bottles.
74km remaining from 157km
The bunch have switched off and that's going to allow the break to push the gap back out. It's just Zhupa and Bisolti left now and they have 1'41 with 75km to go.
Boswell another rider on the front of the bunch and enjoying a spot of lunch.
With the pace in the peloton easing the break have moved out to 3'00. There's still 72km to go and the major ascent to the finish. The bunch are just toying with them, allowing them to hang out there until the final climb.
Interesting: There's been a counter attack with Wellens, Ligthart and Didier going clear. The two Lotto Soudal riders sniff an opportunity here and they're perhaps anticipating the later moves. There's still such a long way to go though. The counter attacking riders are not in contention for the GC, so it's all about the stage.
@inCycleTV Thu, 12th May 2016 13:25:15
The counter attack has already put two minutes into the peloton. The first group on the road are four minutes clear.
The Wellens group hit the feedzone and continue to pull back time on the leading pair.
The leading pair have 1'11 on the Wellens group so they should merge to make a five man break. The peloton are nearly five minutes down.
62km remaining from 157km
And so the two breaks have merged, giving us five leaders at the front of the race. The bunch are still five minutes back and Wellens has a teammate with him. Could the Belgian spring a surprise and win the stage?
Two riders down, one of them is Agnoli for Astana. He's back on his feet and should be riding again soon. Just a touch of wheels there and no real harm done.
59km remaining from 157km
The gap is at 5'19. Realistically Wellens needs at least five minutes at the foot of the climb if he is to take the stage.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 12th May 2016 13:46:14
Well it's Lampre who have decided to take up the chase as we see Valverde pull over due to a mechanical. It seems to hold him for an age but he's now chasing back to the peloton. Lampre have ever rider on the front, all for Ulissi.
Ulissi has already won a stage in the race and must be confident that he can live with the best climbers on the final ascent. The break, meanwhile, have 5'25.
Lampre have been replaced on the front by Giant, with 50km to go. The Wellens group have 5'50 on the bunch.
Giant, of course, looking to protect Dumoulin but the race leader has also talked about attacking today. The climb does suit him and we saw in the Vuelta that he can perform in the high mountains. Today should also see the likes of Landa, Majka, Valverde and Nibali on the front foot.
A few more GC teams, Tinkoff and Sky are starting to organise their troops at the front of the peloton. The break though extend their advantage to 6'15 with 44km to go.
The gap continues to rise, and the break have 7'08 as Giant pull off the front and take on food. Team Sky are near the front but no team look interested in pulling the peloton along. Dumoulin had gone back to the team car, so that's why his team stopped work.
39km remaining from 157km
A reminder of the riders in the break:
Alessandro Bisolti (Nippo - Vini Fantini)
Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Trestina-Southeast)
Laurent Didier (Trek-Segafredo)
Pim Ligthart (Lotto Soudal)
Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal)
Peloton at 7'25.
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8'19 for the break with 35km to go.
Didier takes a turn on the break. He rode for Riis a few years ago before finding his way at Trek. Decent rider, and workhorse but never really taken a major win. Could today be his day? Lotto will need to watch him on the final climb. Interviewed him back in 2010. The story is here. Engineer graduate, he is.
8'51 now for the break so the stage win will come from this five. There are just 33km to come.
30km remaining from 157km
Into the final 30km and Orica GreenEdge push up to the front of the peloton and string the peloton out. The chase is on but really it's all about the battle for GC, the stage win should come from the riders in the break. The gap is at 8'31.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 12th May 2016 14:30:30
Nibali, jersey open, is sitting with his teammates near the front of the bunch. So much pressure on the Italian in this race, especially given that his contract is up and he failed to really deliver last year in the Tour de France. And there's been a crash.
Just one rider down, he's from Bardiani but no confirmation on the name yet. The fall happened near the back of the peloton. It's Bongiorno.
Lampre are back to the front, along with Nibali's Astana squad. The gap to the break is down to 8'00 with 27km go to as the break hit a bit of a false flat section. Zhupa and Bisolit have been out in front since the first 20km off the race.
Orica leading the bunch on behalf of Chaves, who has talked up his chances already ahead of today's stage. The climber was one of the revelations at the Vuelta last year and is targeting the GC and stage wins once again.
A few riders already going out of the back of the peloton, and they include Ewan. It's all about survival for the sprinters today. The five leaders have 7'11 with 22km to go.
We're into the final 20km of the stage, and the gap is at 6'54. Perhaps the peloton could still content the stage win?
Rapid pace setting from Lampre Merida as we head towards the first summit finish of the Giro d'Italia. Wellens and his companions have 6'42.
The road kicks up and Ligthart has pulled off at the front of the break, his work done. Wellens takes over and drives on as he knows that the responsibility to lead the break rests on his shoulders.
15km remaining from 157km
And Astana start to take over at the front with Lotto and Lampre there too. Up the road and Didier takes a long pull for the break. They have 6'12 with 15km to go.
And Didier has attacked. That's a bold move from the Trek rider and it looks like that's the end for Zhupa.
Nope, he makes it back but Didier still has a small gap. Wellens is forced to lead the chase.
And Zhupa has attacked. They're back together but only for a moment as Welllens attacks with 14.9km to go.
Didier has gone after the Lotto rider as the gap drops to 5'42. Lampre lead the peloton onto the climb with Astana.
Wellens is riding this like a mountain TT, his hands over the bars in a TT position. He's spinning his legs but losing time on the peloton. Didier hasn't given up but he's around 15 seconds down already.
Out of the saddle or Wellens as he hits a 8 per cent section of the climb. Still 13km to go and Astana take over at the front of the peloton. Cunego has been dropped by the peloton. That's somewhat of a surprise to see him lose ground so early.
@EdwardPickering Thu, 12th May 2016 14:58:39
13km remaining from 157km
Attack from Astana and it's Fuglsang That's a bold move and one that others need to react to.
And it's Sky who react by sending Lopez up the road to try and mark Fuglsang. Astana had shed the bunch to under 40 riders just before the Dane attacked.
Wellens is holding on though, 4'37 with 12.7 to go. Didier still chasing as Lopez is caught.
Kanstantsin Siutsou moves out of the bunch as Fuglsang goes past Ligthart like he's not moving.
Wellens though just continues to spin the gears as the road briefly flattens. It allows the Belgian rider to once more arch over the bars as if he's riding a time trial.
Now Giant move to the front of the peloton. They have lost 20 seconds to Fuglsang. Movistar, meanwhile, can just watch and wait. They still have Betancur, Amador and Valverde waiting in the wings.
Kanstantsin Siutsou has made it up to Fuglsang, and they have 30 seconds on the Giant-led peloton. 10.7km to go.
The maglia rosa group hit a 12 per cent stretch of the climb and that sees a few more riders slip off the back. And to think, they said this climb wasn't hard enough to make a decent selection.
Wellens though still has 4'55 with 10.km to go. The Belgian is putting in a hugely impressive ride but there's still a long way to go.
The road has dipped and that will help Wellens. Back down the road and Giant continue to lead the peloton with Dumoulin neatly tucked in. So far, so good for the race leader although Fuglsang has asked questions with his attack.
Kanstantsin Siutsou and Fuglsang have never been on the same team but they're working well together at the moment, as up the road Bisolti links up with Didier.
@TeamDiData Thu, 12th May 2016 15:11:35
Fuglsang is now the virtual leader on the road. He started the stage 35 seconds down on Dumoulin.
Uran is near the back of the bunch on the climb. That's not where the climber wants to be. He does have support around him though.
Wellens is still holding his own, wit 6.4km to go he has 4'00 on Fuglsang as Movistar come to the front and set the pace at the the front of the peloton.
@Movistar_Team Thu, 12th May 2016 15:10:39
Almost the perfect situation for Astana who have Fuglsang riding towards the pink jersey. Nibali can just sit back as the other teams lead the chase.
5km remaining from 157km
Just 5km to go for Wellens, and he has 4'16 on the Dumoulin group. He moves out to the saddle for the first time in what seems like an age. The Tinkoff team now lead the bunch.
Hesjedal, Landa, Uran, Chaves all in the main field still.
Wellens is looking good for the stage win but we've still not seen any attacks from the GC men.
Movistar line the pack out once more and Fuglsang and Kanstantsin Siutsou will be caught soon.
Into the last 4,000 m for Wellens. The stage win is surely heading to the Lotto Soudal rider.
Didier has been caught by Fuglsang and Kanstantsin Siutsou, who actually still have around 30 seconds on the Movistar led peloton. Wellens though is being cheered on by the fans as he moves into the drops.
3km remaining from 157km
Now just 3km for Wellens. Landa has moved up in the peloton and sits near Nibali but Nibali attacks.
Nibali goes for it but he's about to be caught by Sky. Dumoulin has attacked just as the Italian has been caught.
The race leader is joined by Zakarin and Pozzovivo.
Just 1km to for for Wellens though. The stage is in the bag.
Dumoulin has made it up to the Fuglsang group. Where is Nibali? Where is Valverde?
Dumoulin waited and waited and there was no response from Nibali.
Dumoulin is leading the chase group behind Wellens. The race leader is in total control today.
And here comes Wellens to take the stage win.
Fuglsang is leading Dumoulin to the line.
He must be aiming for the bonus seconds.
Nibali has no response as more riders attack from the bunch
Fuglsang takes second, then Zakarin, then Dumoulin.
Uran and Chaves are with the next riders down but Nibali has lost a handful of seconds there.
No huge time gaps there but a real warning sign for Nibali today. He was the first to attack but he had no response when Dumoulin attacked. He couldn't even follow the other GC riders when they sprinted clear in the last kilometre.
We already have a race report, right here. It's packed with race photos from the stage.
@TeamSky Thu, 12th May 2016 15:33:31
A fine opportunistic ride from Wellens today, who makes it back to back wins for Lotto Soudal.
@Etixx_QuickStep Thu, 12th May 2016 15:36:09
1 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 04:40:05
2 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 00:01:19
3 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha
4 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 00:01:22
5 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data 00:01:24
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
7 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge 00:01:29
8 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling 00:01:33
9 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team
10 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:01:39
And here's the GC standings after the stage:
1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 24:22:15
2 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 00:00:26
3 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 00:00:28
4 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step 00:00:35
5 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 00:00:38
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:00:41
7 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida
8 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge 00:00:44
9 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:00:47
10 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data 00:00:49
Certainly not huge time gaps but the move from Dumoulin certainly symbolises a lot in the context of this race. Who still think he's just here for the time trials?
Dumoulin has spoken at the finish:
“I hadn’t planned to attack. If I see a possibility I go for it. This was a climb that suited me. You need to have the legs but I had them today.”
“When Nibali attacked I suffered but then when he came back I went for it. You’ve got to follow the moment. I noticed that Nibali was struggling on the flatter section and so I thought I’d go for it. I really surprised myself today. Now I’m riding for the GC but we’ll see what happens. I honestly didn’t really think to go so well.”
@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 12th May 2016 15:55:20
What did you make that stage? Let us know via Twitter.
Stage winner Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal)
"It’s a very, very special win for me. I’ve got thank the belief of the team and thanks to Dumoulin who lets us get away. Tom came to me and said it was an ideal moment to attack. Pim then came to me and we pulled through. We were all well down overall and we so got plenty of space. That surprised me, but sometimes you need a little luck. On the final climb I felt that I was the strongest and I so I went for it.”
A strong rid from Pozzovivo today. He went with Dumoulin's move late on and moved up on GC:
“There was a strong headwind all stage and that’s why the stage was kind of blocked all day. The climb doesn’t allow for a big selection but then it kicked off. Dumoulin looked good and it was really hard for me to get across to him, I had to m
And the rider we mentioned earlier in the stage, who has gone under the radar, Bob Jungels.
"I think today a lot of things changed. It was the first real mountain stage where I think all of the favourites were on the limit. It was a tough day with the rain. Everyone was freezing on the downhill, so it’s been a tough day.
“I’m really happy to still be in this [white] jersey and to be up front in the GC, of course.
“It was the plan to work and stay safe. When you are riding in front then it is more safe than being behind. We’ve shown great things from the first day until now. I think we will just continue like this.
“Feeling-wise, I didn’t have my best day but when I looked at the results, I was not that bad. I’m happy right now."
Thanks for joining us today. You can find our complete report, results and photos from today, right here.
Check back later for race video highlights from stage 6 of the Giro d'Italia.
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