After the shock to the system that was the first summit finish, the riders take on the slightly less strenuous stage 6 of the Giro d’Italia and the sprinters have just a little glimpse of a chance at another stage victory. Two climbs will be in their way though, but in theory it should be a day for the fast finishers.
Stage 7: Sulmona – Foligno. 210km
Make no mistake, the first 170km of racing are far from a walk in the park for the field as the race rocks and rolls its way up Le Svolte di Popoli after 20km and then the Valico Della Somma. Once at the top though it is 40km of downhill and flat to the finish line in Foligno; a sprinter’s dream and time for the battle of the fast men to resume.
Don’t expect too much from the GC contenders today, because although the first 170km aren’t easy, they’re also not difficult enough to make anyone try and break the race up. Nevertheless I wouldn’t be surprised to see a team or two of the maglia rosa challengers opting for the tactic that the best form of avoiding time loss is to be as close to the front as possible.
Andre Greipel will be one to watch. The star of the 2015 Tour de France, where he took four stage wins, he was also on hand to take his third career Giro d’Italia stage win last year in Castiglione della Pescaia earlier that year. But this year he has been a little shy of his former self, having taken two wins so far in all; and on no occasion so far this year has he managed to get the better of Marcel Kittel or Mark Cavendish, the two riders who – together with Greipel – can claim to be the fastest in the world.