Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 6: Dennis Remains Third on GC After Fast and Furious Finale13. March 2017, Civitanova Marche (ESP) — Road Team
A change to Tirreno-Adriatico stage 6 saw riders race 168km from Ascoli Piceno to Civitanova Marche with Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team) sprinting for the stage the win and Rohan Dennis crossing the line safely to maintain his podium position on the General Classification heading into the final individual time trial.
Seven riders went clear as soon as the flag was dropped on stage 6 and with an eighth rider bridging the gap, their advantage began to rise before settling at 2’45” after 25km of racing.
As the route dipped gently downhill on the approach to the only categorized climb of the day and the final of the race, the breakaway’s advantage continued to jump around 2 minutes with the peloton keeping a watchful eye on the front of the race.
With 86km to go, the main bunch was forced to stop at a level crossing, and as they waited for the train to pass, the breakaway’s advantage increased to over 5 minutes. Consequently, race organizers took the decision to hold the breakaway before the summit of the climb and reinstate the previous time gap.
The breakaway’s advantage began to fall steadily, and with the peloton in hot pursuit, they crossed the finish line for the first time and headed onto the final 15km lap with a gap of less than 30 seconds.
Inside 9km to go, the race hit the slopes of a short, steep climb and various riders tried their luck at escaping off the front of the main bunch.
However, it wasn't meant to be, and the race came back together for a fast and furious showdown between the race's top sprinters. In the end, it was Gaviria who was able to find a clear path to the line to take the stage win.
After being protected by his BMC Racing Team teammates, Dennis crossed the line safely in the bunch behind and heads into tomorrow's final 10km individual time trial, 1'06" behind current race leader, Nairo Quintana (Motistar Team).
Quotes from the Finish Line
"It was relatively tame at first today, but then there was a little bit of wind and nerves in the peloton. Everyone knew that it was going to be a sprint but that it also could be pretty hectic. The team did a great job, they kept me out of trouble all day and ensured that I didn't lose any time on the line."
"I feel good going into tomorrow's time trial, and I should have a good ride. I felt really strong today, especially in the finish. I could move up really easily, so I am aiming for the best possible result tomorrow. Obviously, first I want to go for the stage win and then I can look towards hopefully moving up on the GC."
"I've spent a lot of time in front of the bunch this week especially over the first three days to defend the jersey and then on the other days I have tried to work as much I could for the team. I think I have had a good Tirreno-Adriatico. I have done my job, and I can be pleased with my work. I like to come to this race and use it as a chance to improve my form and prepare for the Flemish Classics. So, we will see how much I have benefitted from being here in the next few weeks."
Stage 6: Ascoli Piceno > Civitanova Marche, 168km
Top 3: 1. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team) 2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 3. Jasper Steven (Trek-Segafredo)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 20. Rohan Dennis 32. Jempy Drucker 46. Damiano Caruso
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 3. Rohan Dennis 13. Damiano Caruso 21. Tejay van Garderen
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See photos from the race.