The peloton were charging behind and had taken nearly a minute out of the gap, and the break was down to three when Stuyven’s acceleration proved too much for Andreetta.
Stuyven, Dillier and Postlberger worked well together, down the beautiful, twisting, hairpin-laden coastal descent, however, and the gap consequently held at 1’35” under the 3km-to-go kite.
The pace in the peloton – on both the preceding climb, and the twisting descent – caused gaps to open up and thinned the peloton out as Team Sky hit the front.
Up the road, the three leaders began eyeballing each other as they rolled under the flamme rouge, none of them willing to commit to the front.
Dillier finally opened up his sprint inside the final 200m, just as the peloton appeared in the distance behind – a marker of how much they had slowed up.
It was too much for Postlberger, but Stuyven followed and looked like it was going to come around the BMC Racing. Dillier had timed his move to perfection, however, to claim the stage honours.
Giro d’Italia 2017: stage six – result
1) Silvan Dillier (SUI) – BMC Racing – 4.58.01hrs
2) Jasper Stuyven (BEL) – Trek-Segafredo – ST
3) Lukas Postlberger (AUT) – Bora-hansgrohe +12”
4) Simone Andreetta (ITA) – Bardiani-CSF +26”
5) Michael Woods (CAN) – Cannondale-Drapac +39”
6) Adam Yates (GBR) – Orica-Scott – ST
7) Wilco Kelderman (NED) – Team Sunweb
8) Bob Jungels (LUX) – QuickStep Floors
9) Bauke Mollema (NED) – Trek-Segafredo
10) Geraint Thomas (GBR) – Team Sky
1) Bob Jungels (LUX) – QuickStep Floors – 28.20.47hrs
2) Geraint Thomas (GBR) – Team Sky +6”
3) Adam Yates (GBR) – Orica-Scott +10”
4) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Bahrain-Merida – ST
5) Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale
6) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar
7) Ton Dumoulin (NED) – Team Sunweb
8) Bauke Mollema (NED) – Trek-Segafredo
9) Tejay van Garderen (USA) – BMC Racing
10) Andrey Amador (CRC) – Movistar