MONTECASSINO, Italy, May 15, 2014 (AFP) – Heavy rain made for a slick surface and there were two falls in the final
12km, 8.7km of which was a steep climb. Race leader Michael Matthews of
Australia won the gruelling sixth stage of the Giro d’Italia on Thursday as
compatriot Cadel Evans lurked on a day’s racing marred by a nasty crash.
Matthews, 23, surged home in a sprint finish to the 257km stage from
Sassano to Montecassino, the longest on the Tour, ahead of Belgian Tim Wellens
The leading peloton had a 49sec advantage over the main chasing pack that
included a host of rivals to Evans, the big beneficiary of the day’s racing.
“It was all for the win today,” said Matthews. “Fair play. It was me
against him (Cadel Evans) for the jersey and the stage, and I was lucky enough
to have really good legs in the final after my team put me in the perfect
condition at the bottom of the climb.
“On this sort of terrain, it’s definitely my best win, and totally a dream
come true. Winning a hilltop finish over Cadel Evans while wearing the Maglia
Rosa in the Giro d’Italia: it doesn’t get much better than that.”
Evan’s BMC teammate, Switzerland’s Steve Morabito, accelerated away to
build up a lead that the fallen riders were unable to reel in.
In the general classification, Matthews has a 21sec lead over Evans, with
Colombian Rigoberto Uran at 1min 18sec.
“Everyone wanted to be in the front because of the wet conditions,”
Matthews said of the lead-up to the worse crash.
“The road narrowed before the roundabout, we were riding at 60 kph, and
everyone wanted to be in the front. If you’re lucky enough to be in the right
place at the right time, you’re OK. That’s racing these days. It’s all about
Friday’s seventh stage is a 231km ride from Frosinone to Foligno, and
Matthews vowed no let-up.
“We’ll try again for the win tomorrow. We have a really strong team for the
lead-outs, as we showed in the opening team time trial,” he said.
“We’re not going to back down now: we have two stage wins now. We’ll push
all the way and see how far we can get.”
Results in the Giro d’Italia on
Thursday, after the 257km sixth stage from Sassano to Montecassino:
1. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI) 6hr 37min 01sec, 2. Tim Wellens (BEL/LTB)
same time, 3. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC)s.t., 4. Matteo Rabottini (ITA/NRI) s.t.,
5. Ivan Santaromita (ITA/ORI) at 13sec, 6. Steve Morabito (SUI/BMC) 23sec, 7.
Wilco Kelderman (NED/BKN) 49, 8. Mauro Finetto (ITA/NRI), s.t., 9. Diego
Ulissi (ITA/LAM), 10. Fabio Duarte (COL/COL),
11. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM), 12. Diego Rosa (ITA/AND), 13. Fabio Aru
(ITA/AST), 14. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/ALM), 15. Rigoberto Uran (COL/OPQ), 16.
Daniel Moreno (ESP/KAT), 17. Michael Rogers (AUS/TIN), 18. Pierre Rolland
(FRA/EUC), 19. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV), 20. Francesco Manuel Bongiorno
(ITA/BAR) all 49sec
28. Ivan Basso (ITA/CAN) 49sec … 35. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) 1min 29sec
… 171. Nicolas Roche (EIR/TIN) 15:08
1. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI) 24hr 18min 14sec, 2. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) at
21sec, 3. Rigoberto Uran (COL/OPQ) at 1min 18sec, 4. Rafal Majka (POL/TIN)
1:25, 5. Steve Morabito (SUI/BMC) 1:25, 6. Matteo Rabottini (ITA/NRI) 1:25, 7.
Ivan Santaromita (ITA/ORI) 1:47, 8. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) 1:51, 9. Tim Wellens
(BEL/LTB) 1:52, 10. Ivan Basso (ITA/CAN) 2:06
11. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 2:08, 12. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BKN) 2:11, 13.
Maxime Bouet (FRA/ALM) 2:11, 14. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/ALM) 2:11, 15. Diego
Ulissi (ITA/LAM) 2:22, 16. Robert Kiserlovski (CRO/TRE) 2:24, 17. Michele
Scarponi (ITA/AST) 2:28, 18. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/BMC) 2:34, 19. Dario Cataldo
(ITA/SKY) 2:36, 20. Gianluca Brambilla (ITA/OPQ) 2:46
26. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) 3:13 … 39. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) 4:39 …
80. Nicolas Roche (EIR/TIN) 15:55