Slovakian Peter Sagan (Cannondale) won the sixth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico around Porto Sant’Elpidio (208 km), over Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) on Monday.
Nibali is the new overall leader with 34” ahead of Chris Froome and 37” on Rodriguez.
The win marked Sagan’s second stage win in the Italian stage race and the sixth WorldTour win of the season for his Cannondale Pro Cycling squad.
The irrepressible Slovak broke clear of the pack on the descent of the day’s penultimate climb alongside Vincenzo Nibali and Joaquim Rodriguez, before sprinting to a victory in a rain-soaked Porto Sant’Elpidio.
Froome and fellow general classification contender Alberto Contador were both dropped on the last of three ascents of Sant’Elpidio a Mare, a climb that ramps up to more than 27 per cent in gradient and saw many riders forced to dismount their bikes and push.
Although Contador managed to join the lead chase group and crossed the line 44 seconds behind the three leaders, Froome suffered more serious damage.
Contador was in the chase group from which Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) jumped away and bridged the gap to the front duo. In a chase group further behind, Froome was chasing Contador and his companions.
Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador was fighting intensely in the finale and finished 7th on the stage and is now 4th overall:
“It was a crazy and somewhat chaotic stage. Roman (Kreuziger) had a flat at a crucial time in the finale and he didn’t make it back to the favorites. Alberto’s strong but he couldn’t close the gap with his chase group. Now, it’s going to be difficult to catch Nibali in the GC but everyone knows that Alberto never gives in and he’ll give what he’s got on tomorrow’s time trial and we’ll see how far that takes us,” said Team Saxo-Tinkoff sports director, Philippe Mauduit.
Stage 6 Brief Results:
- Peter Sagan (Slovakia / Cannondale) 5:45:17″
- Vincenzo Nibali (Italy / Astana) +2″
- Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain / Katusha)
- Mauro Santambrogio (Italy / Vini Fantini) +44″
- Samuel Sanchez (Spain / Euskaltel)
- Chris Horner (U.S. / RadioShack)
- Alberto Contador (Spain / Saxo – Tinkoff)
- Juergen Roelandts (Belgium / Lotto) +50″
- Thor Hushovd (Norway / BMC Racing)
- Simon Geschke (Germany / Argos)
General Classification After Stage 6:
- Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) 27:57:26″
- Chris Froome (Britain) +34″
- Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain / Katusha) +37″
- Alberto Contador (Spain) +48″
- Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland) +58″
- Chris Horner (U.S.) +1:05″
- Mauro Santambrogio (Italy) +1:20″
- Przemyslaw Niemiec (Poland) +2:54″
- Andrey Amador (Costa Rica) +2:58″
- Wout Poels (Netherlands) +3:08″