Giro d’Italia 2024 – Stage 6

Sometimes it is great to see a breakaway win. What I really do enjoy about it is what I’ve mentioned a lot. So many teams wish to save their lead-out before the sprint is ensured. B. Thomas had the legs to finish it off, and Valgren had a very touching interview. Such a humble rider now on his second wind.

We had crashes again, it is a natural part of the sport. Laporte and Woods are the biggest profiles who hit the deck. I can’t tell you much from the sprint, I think LIDL-Trek once again did their part fantastic. I think they will be happy from now on to defend the sprinters jersey. Milan didn’t seem very content with the other teams and he shouldn’t be. A very sports directors should have a long nose tonight, what a wasted chance.

Stage 6

You’ll notice something different. It is gravel. It happens fairly late and honestly, I doesn’t look too bad. The two first sections are long the gradients are not very tough. A few sprinters will be able to cling on, remember this is about seated power and the big men posses that.

A day where they head inland and race in Tuscany.

The sectors

First one. Almost intertwined. From 45.25 – 43.75 km is on tarmac, rest is gravel. They will refer to the climb as Grotti. It is a seven minute effort. Enough to put a lot under pressure. Especially most of the sprinters if UAE or INEOS decide to enhance the speed.

You can more or less say, that we have 9.2 km sector here, they are that close together.

There is one sector left, but before we get to it, the organizers have come up with a brilliant sector.

As they get off the main road with 38.3 km left, it turns countryside very quickly. Narrow roads. Twists and turns. Double-digits. That means the race doesn’t stop after Grotti, the racing is still difficult.

  • Urška Žigart did this as training the 28th of February 2024. I wonder if it was a ride with Pogacar? I do think that, yes.

Then it just continues. Up or down. Left or right. You can’t organize a chase. You’d want to be out in the front here. Then the last gravel sector.

Then you just let the anticipation build up, as they approach the last climb of significance of the day.

You don’t have a lot of distance left to cover from the top. There are a few bumps approaching the line, and the last 150m are 5%.


A headwind in the finale, which is more or less the last 45 km. We had a headwind in Strade-Bianche too and Pogacar still attacked on Muro di Monte Sante Marie 79.5 km from the line. It ultimately makes two thing happen. 1) you spent more energy out front. 2) chasers spent more energy chasing you.

So, on a stage likes this, if we see a split, it favors the attackers as they usually are the strongenst.

How will the race unfold?

1800 climbing meters. Three gravel sectors. I have nothing to compare it too. It was a tougher gravel stage in 2021 and that day, we saw the breakaway take the win. When we see cobblestones in the Tour de France, we see the breakaway win too. I think a lot of teams won’t worry too much about the gravel but the teams with sprinters will worry about the last climb. They know their sprinter can’t make that.

Furthermore, we only had Alpecin-Deceuninck and LIDL-Trek working for their sprinter yesterday, and I think LIDL-Trek are pissed. Alpecin-Deceuninck blew away everyone on the climbs and then just handed the responsibility over.

So, INEOS and UAE will be keen to take time on their rivals. I doubt they can put too much pressure under Martinez. They should try to put time into Uijtdebroeks, Rubio, Fortunato, Lopez, Hirt, Chaves and O’Connor. Are they real threats? Not really but you still don’t want them breathing down your neck.

This will happen in the last 50 km. That doesn’t mean the breakaway doesn’t stand a chance. There is also the outcome where they want to save just a bit before the time trial and Prato di Tivo in the upcoming days. So, I think we will see a bit of both. The GC action happens on the first large sector and then we will see, if they can cooperate. The breakaway may or may not be caught, in any case, they should have a free ride to the finale.


Pogacar – Does he want another stage win just yet? He seems a bit more calculated in this Grand Tour. I think he comes prepared for this stage, as I mentioned they (him and his wife) in February, meaning he likely have an advantage over most. I think he wants to attack, it is part of his nature. The question is then, can they catch the breakaway?

Thomas – a good rider for this type of stage. It will be difficult for him to win but he will be one of the few who won’t lose a lot to Pogacar.

Narvaez – can he follow Pogacar tomorrow? I think there is a slim, slim chance. He has a 6th in Strade-Bianche on his palmeres.

Lutsenko – usually a good gravel rider, he will hope to jump up a few places today.

Martinez – I think he can handle the terrain. Remember that his 38th place in Strade-Bianche this year does not tell the whole story, as he had a crash that day. I think he will do as well as Thomas.

Alaphilippe – breakaway hope #1. Former Strade-Bianche winner.

Vendrame – breakaway hope #2. Tour de Romandie form, and usually decent on gravel.

Q. Hermans – breakaway hope #3. Did he burn one match too many yesterday? Maybe.

Piccolo – breakaway hope #4. I like his form.

A. Valter – breakaway hope #5. Minor crash on stage 5. Only minor wounds.

Who will win?

I will go for the breakaway. I don’t think UAE Team can control the stage. And I don’t think INEOS should help them, they will need the power for later.

A stage win for Andrea Vendrame.

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