Dubai, UAE, May 12, 2018: UAE Team Emirates’s Fabio Aru fought hard up one of the tour’s most challenging climbs today, earning a well-deserved 9th place finish. The impressive ride also pushed the Italian Champion higher up the General Classification (GC) standings, and he now sits in 10th position, just 1:12 behind the race leader.
The 169km route was designed for climbers and featured the first summit finish of the Giro. Starting in Catlanissetta, the race moved through the middle of Sicily as it made its way to Mount Etna, with a number of punchy inclines along the way. After an hour of cycling a group of 28 riders kicked, with UAE Team Emirates’ Diego Ulissi, Jan Polanc and Manuele Mori going up the road with the breakaway and keeping the peloton at bay until the foot of Mount Etna.
As the breakaway reached the final 15kms on the slopes of Mount Etna, Ulissi remained at the front of the group and Aru had kept his position at the head of the Peloton, riding well with a select bunch of GC contenders. With less than 5kms left to go, the peloton swallowed up all but one of the breakaway group as they increased the pace with a series of attacks. After a gruelling final climb along a 150m stretch of road, Aru crossed the line - under the shadow of the Etna Astrophysical Observatory - with the main peloton, just 26 seconds behind race winner Johan Eseban Chavez (Mitchelton Scott). In second place was Simon Yates (Mitchelton Scott) who moved into the top spot of the General Classification.
Commenting on his race, Aru said: Day by day I'm feeling better and better. I appreciate that there are some riders who are stronger than me now, but the Giro is very long and it's still only the 6th stage. Today the goal was to avoid losing seconds and I put in a good performance, so I'm satisfied.'
Tomorrow the team will head to mainland Italy for Stage seven, a relatively undemanding 159km route between Pizzo and Praia a Mare. The race follows Italy’s eastern coast, travelling north along a wide, but winding roadway. With around 20kms to go the peloton will pass through Scalea and begin a long, but mild climb to the -10km mark. The final route goes through a number of well-lit tunnels and - with only two significant bends before the finish line – will pose little problem for any remaining lead out trains. The home straight runs for 1,900m along a wide flat road, ideal for the sprinters.
Stage Six Results:
1. Johan Esteban Chavez (Col) Mitchelton-Scott 04:16:11
2. Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott s.t.
3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) +0:26
9. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates +0:26
General Classification after six stages:
1. Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 22:46:03
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb +0:16
3. Johan Esteban Chavez (Col) Mitchelton-Scott +0:26
10. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates +1:12