Silvan Dillier (BMC Racing) outsprinted Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) to win stage six of the 2017 Giro d’Italia after more than 200km in the break together.

Dillier and Stuyven were two of five men to form the day’s break, as the race reached mainland Italy for the first time, and the Swiss rider timed his winning sprint to perfection on the uphill finish at Terme Luigiane.

Stage one winner Lukas Postlberger (Bora-hansgrohe) came in third, while Bob Jungels (QuickStep Floors) in the pink jersey, finished in the top ten – as did Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) – as the GC men all finished together.

Silvan Dillier outsprinted Jasper Stuyven to win stage six of the 2017 Giro d’Italia (pic – Sirotti)

After a series of attacks failed to stick at the flag, the main instigators of those moves joined forces to form the day of the break.

Postlberger and Trek-Segafredo duo Mads Pedersen and Stuyven were joined by Simone Andreetta (Bardiani-CSF) and Dillier and their lead quickly rocketed to three minutes.

Over the first climb of the day, they stretched their advantage to five minutes but with no threat to the maglia rosa, QuickStep Floors were happy to extend the leash.

It reached nearly nine minutes, before Cannondale-Drapac and Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia put riders on the front to begin eating into the advantage.

With Trek-Segafredo boasting the numerical advantage in the break, Pedersen did the bulk of the work on the front and as the kilometres ticked down it soon became apparent the break were not going to be brought back.

Pedersen was finally distanced on the run-in to the final categorised climb, but he showed great resolve to fight back to the front and continue putting a shift in for Stuyven.

QuickStep Floors and Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia continued to lead the chase, while the GC teams brought their riders forward, but those with stage aspirations were realising their chance may be gone – the break still leading 2’40” with ten kilometres remaining.

Their hopes largely rested on the headwind breaking the escapees, and Dimension Data lent firepower to the chase, but the quintet continued to work well together.

Pedersen almost ground to a halt up the road, as he finally paid for his efforts with 6.5km to go, and discord struck the four remaining escapees immediately afterwards.

Bob Jungels finished in the top ten to successfully defend his pink jersey (pic – Sirotti)

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

General classification

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


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