Thursday 15th May 2015
Montecatini Terme to Castiglione della Pescaia
183km (1 KOM, 2 Sprints)
1st – André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 4:19:42
2nd – Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling
3rd – Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
Pink Jersey – Alberto Contador, Tinkoff-Saxo
King of the Mountains – Jan Polanc, Lampre-Merida
Sprint – André Greipel – Lotto Soudal
Best Young Rider – Fabio Aru, Astana
Team Competition – Astana
Stage 6 had all the ingredients for a fast finish and the fast men knew it.
An early break of Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC Sprandi), Eduard Grosu (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Marco Bandiera (Androni Giocattoli), Alessandro Malaguti (Nippo-Vini-Fantini), and Alan Marangoni (Cannondale-Garmin) formed after 20km.
Working smoothly together the break held up to a 5min advantage, and worked hard to hold their advantage. However the sprinters teams kept them under control and eventually brought them back into the fold.
The peloton would now finish the stage ‘gruppo compatto’ or all together.
The final 10km saw teams Astana, Tinkoff-Saxo and Team Sky work to protect their leaders and general classification interests.
Giant-Alpecin lead to the early charge to the line. Lotto Soudal and Lampre-Merida swooped passed them. Lotto Soudal lead the peloton in to the finishing shoot with Kiwi Greg Henderson delivering Gripel to within launching distance of the line.
André Greipel made good on his team’s effort, dominating a hectic sprint finish in Castiglione della Pescaia.
With a relatively smooth stage profile little gain was offered for any General Classification contenders. However one can never be sure how a Grand tour stage will play out. In the closing stretch a suspected spectator caused crash that took out Daniele Colli (Nippo - Vini Fantini) and lead to Contador, the current pink jersey wearer, to go over his front wheel. Reports suggest that Contador has injured both his left hip and left shoulder. The damage caused prevented him from pulling on the Pink Jersey on the podium.
Only the coming stages will confirm just how much damage Contador has suffered.
Thanks to Graham Watson for his image.