Super close second for Stannard on stage six in ItalyWed 13 Jun 2018
Mitchelton-BikeExchange animated stage six of the Giro d’Italia U23 with Rob Stannard jumping out of a leading group to take second on the stage and lay the foundations for a positive final three days of racing.
Stage six got underway in more wet conditions and a high pace was set immediately with the first 40/50kilometres covered on a long descent before hitting classics style terrain and some sharp climbs before the finishing circuits.
Stannard had positioned himself well at the front of the bunch and launched a race splitting attack on the first of the third category climbs, pushing on into the open roads ahead the 19-year-old was joined by three others and the quartet instantly started to work well together.
Rotating their efforts into the closing kilometres the four leaders began thinking about the stage win and it came down to a two-up sprint between Stannard and Sean Bennet (Hagens-Berman-Axeon) with Bennet taking the win by a whisker and Stannard in second.
Alejandro Osorio of Colombia now leads the general classification with Stannard now up to
“Because we ran straight into a long descent from the start the pace was really high from the start today and by the time we hit the climbs I found myself at the front and decided to have a go.”
“Initially I wasn’t thinking that we would make it to the line, but the group worked well together and the time gap kept going out, we basically team time trialled our way to the finish and we were all interested in gaining some time overall.
“There are three hard stages to come now and tomorrow and Friday are both mountains stages and we can see some of the other riders starting to flag a little, so we will keep trying to ride on the front foot and move back up the general classification.”
Sport director James Victor:
“Rob felt good today and it wasn’t planned that he should go from so far out, but with the nature of the parcours and how the stage started it was the right move and it worked out well.”
“There’s still plenty of tough racing to come and after going so hard on the earlier mountains stages I think some tiredness is starting to creep into the peloton and some of the other GC guys and we will be trying to build on our momentum and out the pressure on.
“The boys are feeling confident and that’s growing everyday not only Rob, but Sam Jenner is feeling good also and we’ll see how we go on the big climbs tomorrow, it’s nice to get back into the top ten overall and we came close to that stage win today.”
Giro d’Italia U23 stage six results:
1. Sean Bennet (Hagens-Berman-Axeon) 02:32:52
2. Rob Stannard(Mitchelton-BikeExchange) ST
3. Mark Donovan (Team-Wiggins)+0:01
General classification after stage six:
1. Alejandro Osorio (Colombia)
2. Mark Donovan (Team-Wiggins)
3. Stephen Williams (SEG-Racing-Academy)
Rob Stannard (Mitchelton-BikeExchange)
Photos courtesy of Giro d’Italia U23.