Low profile for ORICA-GreenEDGE on stage six of Giro d'ItaliaThu 14 May 2015
Transitioning into the second phase of its Giro d’Italia campaign, ORICA-GreenEDGE played a low-key role in today’s stage six into Castiglione della Pescaia.
With just once category four climb, the 183km was bound for a bunch sprint, Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) the victor.
Stage three winner Michael Matthews was positioned by his teammates in the final, but withdrew from the sprint to finish 17th. Meanwhile, the remainer of the outfit stayed out of trouble behind a nasty crash that took down race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo)
“The stage was actually harder than the profile suggested, but for us it’s been a very big start to the Giro and you can’t race the same level everyday,” sport director Matt White said.
“We had very good information in the final today, it was a technical run in with crosswinds so we had our sprint group, including Sam Bewley and Brett Lancaster, position Michael whilst the other boys kept safe.
“Michael lost the wheel in the concluding stages of the sprint, but the main thing out of today is that we got through unscathed and are ready to fight for another day.”
The profile of the sixth stage offered up one of the few opportunities for the pure sprinters at this year’s Giro d’Italia.
The day’s break of Aduard Grosu (Nippo – Vini Fantini), Alessandro Malaguti (Nippo – Vini Fantini), Marco Bandiera (Androni Giocattoli - Sidermac), Alan Marangoni (Cannondale – Garmin) and Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) never threatened to alter that prediction.
The sprint outfits of Lotto-Soudal, Giant-Alpecin and LottoNL-Jumo assisted race leaders Tinkoff-Saxo at the head of the bunch and a once five minute advantage was shut down with 14km remaining.
As full sprint trains came to the fore, the pace was fierce and the final particularly technical due to crosswinds. ORICA-GreenEDGE had riders to assist Matthews but as a large crash unfolded behind them, the Lotto – Soudal train proved too strong for the rest.
Tomorrow’s stage seven is the longest stage of the 2015 Giro d’Italia, a 264km stage from Grosseto to Fiuggi. Whilst only one classified climb, a category four with 80km remaining, the stage is reasonably lumpy for the second half.