Full live coverage of stage 6 of the Giro d'Italia.
Buongiorno and welcome to live coverage of stage 6 from Reggio Calabria to Terme Luigiane.
Today's 217km stage is a day for a breakaway and then a hectic uphill finish.
We'll have full live coverage of all the action.
We're 30 minutes or so from the start of the stage.
The riders are gathering in Reggio Calabria overlooking the Straight of Messina.
The stage will follow Calabria coast for much of the 217km stage, with only a short visit inland to cover two early climbs.
The first climb cones after 38km and so is a perfect launch pad for the break of the day.
The weather has changed today, with some cloudy skies and a strong wind blowing. It meant for an interesting ferry ride across the straight for the teams that slept in Sicily.
The wind is blowing from the south-southeast and so will be a tail/side wind for much of the stage before becoming more of a tail wind for the final 90km.
Before then the open roads near Lamezia plain could be a great place for an echelon attack if the wind is strong enough.
Two riders from Lotto Soudal are celebrating theor birthdays out on the rad at the Giro d'Italia today.
Adam Hansen is celebrating his 36th birthday and is riding his 17th consecutive Grand Tour.
Jelle Wallays is celebrating too. It's his 28th birthday.
Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) won the sprint in Messina yesterday and could win again today in Terme Luigiane.
His teammate Bob Jungels is leading the overall classification and so wears the pink jersey today.
This is the current top ten overall:
1 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 23:22:07
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:06
3 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:00:10
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
5 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
6 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb
7 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
9 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
10 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team all same time.
Hansen was given a special birthday cheer at the sign on.
At the podium area, riders are signing on.
With everyone signed on, the riders are ready to roll out for the 6.7km of neutralised riding.
Jungels is in pink, Gaviria wears the Cyclamen points jersey, Adam Yates (Orica) wears the best young rider's white jersey because Jungels is in pink and Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) wears the blue mountains jersey.
They're off! The riders roll out of Reggio Calabria.
The riders were slightly worried about the wind today. It could cause for a nervous ride north up the Calabria coast.
In his preview of today's stage, Alasdair Fotheringham described the finish to Terme Luigiane as 'punchy'.
He suggests the final 2km up from the coast to the centre of Terme Luigiane is 'tricky and technical'.
"On paper, at least, the finish of Thursday's lengthy 217km stage from Reggio Calabria to Terme Luigiane along the northern Calabria coastline looks very tricky, to the point where the bunch sprinters' teams will not be willing to help the GC squads control the race. The likelihood of a break going clear, then, is high."
With the flag dropped, we've had some first attacks as riders to get in the break. They think they could have a chance of staying away today so taking the pink jersey.
Postleberger, Pederson and Stuyven amongst those trying their hand.
The peloton is not letting the trio go clear.
The Italian riders missed the break ysterday and their teams won't want that to happen today.
Indeed, the three are caught and a newc nove goes away with Barbin, Mohoric and Busato.
It seems that Nicola Boem is also in the move but the break is not gonig clear. The climb of Barritteri will be the key to the break gonig away.
Now Andreetta and Dillier have gone off the front in pursuit of glory.
It seems we finally have the break of the day as the different attacks join forces: Pedersen & Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) are with Postlberger (Bora)
Andreetta (Bardiani-CSF) and Dillier (BMC).
They have a lead of 3:00 as the peloton eases up and lets the gap grow.
188km remaining from 217km
@ammattipyoraily Thu, 11th May 2017 10:18:23
The thoughts are mostly on the finish today and the 2km climb to the line.
"It's definitely not one for the bunch sprinters," said Katusha-Alpecin directeur sportif Dimitri Konyshev, winner on the same finale in 1993 with a lone attack, noting that "if he were here, it'd be perfect for a guy like Diego Ulissi."
"We don't have anybody here who can do something on it, this year is all about Ilnur Zakarin," Konyshev said, before adding with a grin, "so maybe he'll have a go."
Although most of the stage is fairly flat, a short, steep climb of Fuscaldo 24 kilometres from the line acts as a curtain-raiser for the complicated finale.
There's a fast run-in along the coast, and then suddenly, after a sharp-right hand bend inland, the last eight kilometres consist of constantly twisting, roller coaster roads. The road book warns that one section of descent includes a series of hairpin bends, potentially stretching out the peloton even further - and it could see an attack go clear.
The final climb, though with few changes of direction, is steadily rising and some two kilometres long, averaging five percent but with a ten percent ramp 500 metres from the line.
Although not so twisty or narrow as some of the previous roads, after such a long stage, it could well see some splits in the peloton.
"It's a good little climb," Konyshev says, "I got away on one of the descents before and I got there. Thursday is the same finish, but there's a longer, harder circuit beforehand, a climb and then a descent and then up again."
Konyshev refuses to call the finish difficult, arguing - with another smile - that "when you win, nothing is complicated."
Certainly amongst the GC contenders, the differences will likely be minimal, although they will have to be sure they are on the right side of last-minute splits in the bucnch.
But for uphill finishers like Luís León Sánchez (Astana Pro Team), Ben Hermans (BMC Racing Team) and Enrico Battaglin (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), Terme Luigiane could be an opportunity that is too good to miss - win or lose.
To read all of Alasdair Fotheringham's stage 6 preview, click here.
This image shows the peloton soon after the roll out.
Fernando Gaviria spoke briefly to Italian television before the start. He played down his chances for the finish but could also be playing mind games with his rivals.
I don’t know if it suits me. It could be a complicated day," he said.
"There’s a lot of wind and so we’ll need to see what happens in the second half of the stage and on the final climb."
"We’ll wait for the final kilometres and see how I feel. I’ll follow my instinct."
Pedersenm Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Postlberger (Bora), Andreetta (Bardiani-CSF) and Dillier (BMC) are no on the first climb of the day. It will be important for them to gain as much time as possible.
We've updated the 'Situation' on the right of our live updates.
Check it out for the time gaps and riders in the breakaways and on the attack.
186km remaining from 217km
After 31km the five attackers have extended their lead to over 5:00.
This is the fifth time a Giro d'Italia stage finished in Terme Luigiane. The last time in 2003, Stefano Garzelli won the rush to the line, managing to better the likes of Alessandro Petacchi.
This indicates that the finish today will be a battle between the attackers and the sprinters.
The finale will be vitale and also hurt, with some short climbs and rollnig roads on a loop north of the finish, with the spectacular hairpins backdown to the coast for the final sprint uphill to the line.
There was a special guest at the start of today's stage: Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme.
Here he is with Giro d'Italia race director Mauro Vegni (centre) and French journalist Jeff Quenet, who is working for RCS Sport at the Giro d'Italia.
The gap for the break is up to 7:20.
Andre Greipel got a huge cheer at the start. The German national champion is in fine form and could be a contender today if the race stays together.
@quickstepteam Thu, 11th May 2017 11:01:27
160km remaining from 217km
The riders are near Gioia Tauro and heading inland for the climb to Mileto and Vibo Valentia.
153km remaining from 217km
Susan here for a short spell.
153 km still to go, and the gap is over 8 minutes.
Apparently this is the first stage of this year's Giro that does not have a rider from Gazprom-RusVelo in the break group!
Interesting to note that most of the riders in the break group are from large teams -- Trek, Bora, BMC. Usually the break group is made up of smaller teams who are out there to get their sponsors some TV time.
@Ride_Argyle Thu, 11th May 2017 11:25:25
Cannondale better work a bit harder to catch the break. The gap is now at 8:48.
No apparent wind at the moment. Too bad it is not expected to stay that way.
The gap of 8:32 means that there is 4.8 km between the lead group and the peloton.
136km remaining from 217km
The gap is now under 8 minutes. Just barely, as it is 7.59.
The five leaders are working well together, calmly riding along.
The work of the Cannondale team and other riders has pegged the gap to 8:00.
However the peloton will up the pace soon if it wants to stay in control for the finish in Terme Luigiane.
Also helping with the chase are Wilier Triestina, who are riding for Pozzato.
Cannondale are perhaps riding for Woods' chances. His power and aggression could be perfect for the testing finiale and uphill finish.
115km remaining from 217km
@Lotto_Soudal Thu, 11th May 2017 12:10:07
The average speed is 39.9km/h after two hours of racing. It's a steady day out there before the expected hectic finale.
The Wilier Triestina team is chasing the break with Cannondale to hopefully set up Pozzato for the rising finish.
The veteran Italian spoke at the start of the stage.
"It’s a difficult finish and it could suit me. The climb could be a bit tough but I’ll try to go for it," he the French website Velopro.
" The problem will be the fight for the start the climb. It’ll vital to be in the top 10 or 15 places. The team is all for me, not for Jakub, because the finisah is too tough for him."
@BMCProTeam Thu, 11th May 2017 12:33:36
The gap is down to 5:45 now, with the peloton lined out as the speed is kept high by Cannondale and Wilier Triestina.
This is a great photo of the break of the day.
The five riders are working together in the hope of staying away all the way to the finish.
@Laura_Meseguer Thu, 11th May 2017 12:39:49
The break is passing through the feed zone near the Lamezia Terme airport.
@WilierSelleIta Thu, 11th May 2017 12:44:20
The main peloton is also feeding now, slowing the speed of the chase for a while.
Riders have their musettes over their shoulders as they check what the team has given them for lunch today. Most will have small sandwiches, rice cakes, bars and gels for a late boost of energy.
Each musette usually contains at least one bidon too.
87km remaining from 217km
The riders are enjoying a tail/cross wind, which is helping to push them along today.
Bora, Astana and CCC have grabbed their musette now.
The Cannondale team has seven riders on the front now, lining out the peloton.
The list of potential stage winners for today is very long.
The gradual two kilometre climb up to the line and the rollning 8km finale could suit the likes of Adam Yates (Orica), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida), Davide Villela (Cannondale), Lars Bak (Lotto Soudal), Iljo Keisse (Quick-Step Floors), Nathan Haas (Dimension Data), Enrico Battaglin (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Sacha Modolo (UAE).
The Lotto Soudal team and FDJ teams are also helping with the chase.
Alex Howes and Joe Dombrowski are doing some big licks on the front for Cannondale.
They're trying to bring the break of the day back under control. But the five riders are working smoothly together.
Pedersen is doing extra turns to help his Trek-Segafredo teammate Stuyvens.
@TrekSegafredo Thu, 11th May 2017 13:07:55
Villela is also doing some big turns, that could mean that Michael Woods is Cannondale's leader for the finish.
For some reason the Cannondale riders take their musettes now. The feed zone was with 90km to go but perhaps their staff missed it.
The important thing is that they get their food for the final two hours of the stage.
The huge crowds in the south of Italy have been a pleasure to see but have also caused some problems.
Bob Jungels spoke out about people taking selfies and standing in the roads.
Kristian Sbaragli revealed via social media that he hit a fan standing in the road trying to take a selfie. He called on fans to pay more attention.
Click here to read our story about Sbaragli.
60km remaining from 217km
The Wilier Triestina team is now helping Cannondale, with their red and yellow jerseys mixing in with the bright Cannondale green.
However the gap is still over 5:00, with 60km to go.
The race is still on the mai coast road. That should help the chase but the gap remains at over 5:00.
It will be fascinating to see if the Cannondale stops leading the chase to force other squadsto do their shre of the work.
@quickstepteam Thu, 11th May 2017 13:26:40
Adam Yates is wearing the best young rider white jersey. Watch out for him on the uphill finish.
He could go for the win and the 10-second time bonus to help his overall classification chances.
If Bob Jungels finishes out of the top three, then Yates could even take the race lead.
Today is the fifth time the Giro d'Italia has visited Terme Luigiane.
Back in 1993 Dima Konychev won the stage. Maurizio Fondriest won in 1995, Laurent Jalabert won in 1999 and Stefano Garzelli won the rush to the line in 2003.
To read what Konychev said about today's finish, click here.
@BMCProTeam Thu, 11th May 2017 13:36:31
45km remaining from 217km
As we enter the final hour of racing, some riders are taking bottles for a final feed before the race explodes.
Andre Greipel is one of the riders in the cars.
Dimension Data are helping the chase now but the break has the pyschological upper hand.
They lead by 5:00 with 44km to go. The peloton can usually pull back a minute in every 10km left to race.
Considering the rolling 8km finale and the descent before the last climb to the finish, a break and especially Stuyvens could have a great chance.
Astana has also sent two riders to the front but ot could be too late. The gap remains at 5:00.
The five up front are fighting for a chance of a stage victory. None are well placed in the overall classification, with Dillier best placed 16:58 behind.
The fight for the pink jersey will no doubt be behind, with os many of the GC contenders at just 10 seconds behind Jungels.
The stage is hugged close to the Calabria beach, with the mountains offering a backdrop on the right.
40km remaining from 217km
40km to go now but the gap is still 4:45.
The peloton has left the five attackers gain too much time. They could have blown it.
Team Sky DS Dario Cioni has spoken briefly to Italian television, confirming that they will ride to protect Geraint Thomas and Mikel Landa on the testing finish.
Thomas could try to grab a time bonus and stage win if the break is caught but the DS in the race are more and more pessimistic about the five-rider attack being caught.
We have some great shots of the break. Here Jasper Stuyven leads the move.
He could go on to win today.
The Movistar team has moved up in the peloton to keep Nairo Quintana safe. The little Colombian is tucked inbehind his body guard riders Rory Sutherland, Daniele Bennati and Jose Rojas.
26km remaining from 217km
The gap to the break is down to 4:00 but there is only 26km left to race. The peloton seems to hae lost hope and Cannondale has stopped working on the front.
25km remaining from 217km
The last short 4th cat climb is up next and Simone Andreetta (Bardiani CSF) seems to be suffering in the break.
The 2km climb will hurt everyone today. It is at 6.8% and should spit out some of the sprinters before the finale.
Riders in the break grab a last bidon from team staff on the clumb.
The break is down to down to four. Pedersen has been distanced after doing a huge chunk of work for Stuyven to make sure the break stays away.
As the peloton hits the climb, the pink jersey is up front to stay out of danger.
The GC riders and finisseur riders are all near the front.
Jungels looks strong on the wheel of Eros Capecchi.
However the peloton remains 3:00 back on the break.
On the descent Pedersen has got back up to the break and is ready to help Stuyven again.
Rojas flats and that will hit his chances for the finish.
Quick-Step is leading the peloton now but the peloton will be slowed by the twisting, narrow road.
15km remaining from 217km
The break is back on the main road. The five will now surely fight for the stage victory.
Quick-Step Floors and Jungels does not need to risk his pink jersey for another stage win.
It was up to the other teams to chase. Cannondale tried hard but few others helped them when it mattered, when the gap was voer 5:00.
The race will soon go past the turn for Terme Luigiane for a loop along the coast and in the hills.
Buckle up. Things are about to get going.
Movistar is near the front, with Quintana tucked behind Bennati. He clearly wants to avoid any problems or crashes.
10km remaining from 217km
Pedersen is likely to be dropped soon but who is the strongest of the other four? Stuyven? Dillier is also a strong rider. While Simone Andreetta (Bardiani CSF) cannot be ruled out.
Nobody should forget Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) after his stage 1 win in Sardinia.
7km remaining from 217km
With the break fighting for the stage victory, behind the fight will be between the GC riders to avoid crashes and any gaps in the line.
We may also see someone try a late attack.
The break is now on the hillside road that twists and turns with a view across the sea.
Mads Pedersen is still working hard for Stuyven. The 22 Dane has played a huge role in the break staying away.
It'll be a big day for Trek is Stuyven can finish it off.
Pedersen has pulled off after one last big turn. Now the break is down to four.
Behind Team Sky has positioned Thomas near the front, while Gaviria works to protect Jungels.
Gaviria will also no doubt try to score points for the Cyclamen jersey.
5km remaining from 217km
Attack by Stuyven. But Dillier goes after him.
Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) goes after them, leaving three up front. The strongest three.
Now its time for the spectcular curves of Acquapesa.
@quickstepteam Thu, 11th May 2017 14:36:15
The peloton will soon hit the hairpins for a spectcular moment of racing.
Then there is still the climb up to the finish.
The three are back on the coast. It's time for the 2km climb up to the finish line.
Behind the peloton is lined out with some gaps.
Here we go. 2km to climb up to the finish!
The trio upfront are working together but watching each other.
1km remaining from 217km
It's going to be an uphill sprint. Who of the three is strongest?
Dillier is at the back of the trio.
They're playing games.
Postlberger leads the trio.
The trio are still watching each other!
Behind Rui Costa attacks.
Dillier kicks first.
Dillier leads it out, Stuyven matches him but can't get past at the line.
Adam Yates and Cannondale rider lead the pack home.
All the GC riders seem to be together.
Silvan Dillier won it well. He jumped first and then had the power to hold off Stuyven on the line.
It wa close but he got it.
The finish area is packed with riders and team staff.
Dillier gets the chance to celebrate with several BMC teammates.
Stuyven banged his bars in anger and frustration.
Michael Woods won the sprint for fourth, leading home the peloton. But they were 39 seconds down on Dillier.
Simone Andreetta (Bardiani CSF) bravely hung on to finish fourth at 26, seconds, so Woods was actually fifth.
Woods edged out Yates and Jungels, who kept the pink jersey.
This is the stage result:
1 Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team 4:58:01
2 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
3 Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:12
4 Simone Andreetta (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:00:26
5 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:00:39
6 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott
7 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb
8 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
9 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
10 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
This is the overall classification after the uphill finish on stage 6.
Jungels stays in pink.
1 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 28:20:47
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:06
3 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:00:10
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
7 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb
8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
9 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
10 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team
Silvan Dillier (BMC) spoke brielfy before the podium ceremony.
"The stage started bad for me because I flatted at kilometre zero. I chased back and then got in the break straight away," he said.
"It was hard to stay away but to beat Jasper Stuyven is crazy. I still can’t believe it.”
"For sure this is the biggest victory of my career so far. It’s difficult to describe. It’s fantastic to have won."
@TeamSky Thu, 11th May 2017 14:56:36
Dillier walks out on the podium and takes the cheers and the prizes.
He deserves them after a superb finishing effort.
Now Jungels is on the podium and opens the spumante after pullnig on a new pink jersey.
Most of the overall contenders have quickly headed to the team buses to recover from the stage.
Nairo Quintans refused to speak to Italian television as he continues to keep a low profile but not lose any time to his rivals.
Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) spoke briefly after his third place.
“I can keep a high speed at the finish but the other guys are better sprinters. I should have tried an attack in the last kilometre but you never known how things can go after 200km in the break."
"I tested my legs, I’ve tested my limits but I'll try again in the days to come. You never know what can happen in the Giro.”
@quickstepteam Thu, 11th May 2017 15:09:56
There is a lot of debate about who should have chased down the break today and who didn't.
Filippo Pozzato (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) talked about the peloton's failure to catch the break.
“We worked hard to chase the break but the other teams didn’t want to help. Quick-Step Floors didn’t want to work because they had the jersey and have worked hard already in the Giro," he said.
"Unfortunately we let the break get too much time and it was impossible to pull them back. Other teams came to work but it was too little too late. Teams like Dimension Data and UAE should have done more."
"Some teams have a team leader for the GC and so the other teams should have helped us chase.
"The break rode cleverly today.I think the first mistake was to let the break gain more than five minutes."
"I sat up on the climb when we knew we wouldn’t catch them. Gaviria sat up at the same time."
Bob Jungels explained why Quick-Step Floors did not chase the break today.
"We cannot take things too far and hope to win every stage. The final in the end was maybe a bit too hard for him [Gaviria]. For us it was a perfect situation with the breakaway gone. We were hoping the breakaway would go until the end so the bonuses were gone. I just had to keep an eye on my opponents, so it worked out in the end," he explained.
Compatriot Charly Gaul held the pink jersey for 20 days. Can Jungels match him?
"No, I think we live in different times now. As I've said already before, I hope to keep it until Sunday and then on Blockhaus we'll have to see how far I can go, how much time I lose, and then Tuesday is another opportunity for me to gain back time on the climbers."
Jungels also explained his love for Italy and the pink jersey.
"The Giro d’Italia is one of biggest races on the planet," he said.
"I love the passion in Italy and the emotions people show here, the atmosphere is different to other races."
"I’ve raced here since I was very young and always like to come back. I hope to keep the pink jersey as long as possible.”
This photo shows the two Trek riders with Lukas Postlberger of Bora. It was a hard fought finale and stage, with the break holding off the peloton thanks to a great ride.
Cannondale worked hard for a long part of the stage as they chased the break. Their only pay back was Michael Woods fifth place and also that they kept the lead in the team competition.
Jasper Stuyven tried hard to win the stage but lost it in the sprint. Losing like that was naturally hard to take.
This early photo says it all. Dillier celebrates as Stuyven bangs his bars in frustration.
This is a great photo of Silvan Dillier as he wins the stage to Terme Luigiane.
Dillier did a lot of work in the break of five riders today.
The 217km stage showed off the Calabria coast after crossing from Sicily to the mainland.
To check out our full stage report, huge photo gallery and full results, click here.
Join us tomorrow for full live coverage of stage 7.
The riders face another long day in the saddle, with 224km from Castrovillari to Alberobello.
The stages cross the instep of the Italian peninsular. It descends from the hills to the coast and then heads inland again near Taranto for a loop in Puglia.
Alberbello is the home to many of the best trulli or round stone houses. It is the first time Alberobello hosts a stage finish.
The stage includes some rollnig roads in the final 80km but it seems a perfect day for the sprinters.
We'll sign off today with some great finish photos from Bettini.
Dillier could hardly believe he had won on the line.
Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) enjoyed collecting another pink jersey.
Thanks for joining us for live coverage. We'll be back tomorrow for more.
One last thing... don't forget to check out our video highlights from the stage. You can find them right here.
This really is goodbye... see you tomorrow for stage 7 of the Giro d'Italia.
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