(Scalea) Bis repetita for Arnaud Démare: the French took his second success in two days on the Giro by winning the 6th stage, Thursday, in Scalea, on the coast of Calabria (south).
The rider from the Groupama-FDJ team, author of a dizzying sprint, narrowly outstripped the Australian Caleb Ewan. The finish photo was necessary to decide between them due to the gap of a tubular on the line.
The Spaniard Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek) kept the leader’s pink jersey won on Tuesday at Etna.
Démare, 30, took his seventh stage victory in the Giro. He became the French rider most often victorious in this classification of stages, ahead of two legends, Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault (6 stages).
The 192 kilometer long stage was reduced to a sprint after the long breakaway of the Italian Diego Rosa, alone in the lead over 141 kilometers.
Rosa, who started at the front at… 169 kilometers from the finish, was left at the front by the peloton led by the teammates of three of the main sprinters candidates for success (Cavendish, Démare, Ewan). But, on the long straights hugging the Costa Tirrenica, the outcome was inevitable: the Italian, second in the 2016 Tour of Lombardy, was caught at the entrance of the last 30 kilometers.
In the sprint, Démare, overpowered, overtook Ewan in extremis. Briton Mark Cavendish, winner last Sunday in Hungary, this time took third place in a monumental sprint after a very long straight.
“It was really hot, it’s insignificant, but today it’s in my favor,” commented the Picard. “The team did a huge job, I couldn’t have had better.”
On Friday, punchers and climbers find favorable ground in the 7th stage on a grueling 196-kilometre course between Diamante and Potenza. Four climbs are listed between the Calabrian coast and the prefecture of Basilicata, the former Lucania, where the arrival is judged at the top of a small wall (350 m at 8 %).