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by Dane Cash
October 9, 2020
Photography by Cor Vos
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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,
For the second time in three days, Thursday’s stage 6 at the Giro d’Italia offered the fast finishers another opportunity to battle for victory.
When all was said and done, a rider who has already stood atop a podium at this race took another victory, and with it, swapped his national champ’s jersey for a new look. We’ll see if he can hold onto it as the race rolls on…
Read on for more, and until next time, readers.
| Démare sprints to victory on stage 6 of the Giro d’Italia
Arnaud Démare won stage 6 of the Giro d’Italia, nabbing his second victory so far in this year’s race in a sprint finale in Matera.
The 29-year-old Frenchman was well-placed just a few riders off the front as the race rounded the final corner and he was the first of the marquee speedsters to launch on the finishing straight. Once he went, no one could match his speed, and he held on at the front to take a convincing win at the line with Michael Matthews taking runner-up honors and Fabio Felline in third on the day.
Race leader João Almeida finished safely in the peloton to retain his overall race lead with all of the major pink jersey contenders also arriving on the same time.
The 188-kilometer stage from Castrovillari had a handful of climbs early that helped spring the day’s breakaway. A quartet of escapees built a big gap in the early goings that topped out at around nine minutes before the peloton began bringing the move back.
The gap steadily came down once the pack organized its chase with multiple teams interested in bringing things back for a sprint, and as the riders entered the last 40km, the advantage was down around two minutes. With around 37km to go, Almeida and Brandon McNulty crashed, but both riders were able to rejoin the pack before long.
Marco Frapporti attacked out of the break on the run-in to the third-category Galleria Millotta climb, but his breakaway companions reeled him back in. Then, on the climb itself, James Whelan jumped, pulling clear of the rest of the escapees, who were soon caught by the peloton. Whelan spent a few minutes solo out front before too was caught to set up a sprint on the uphill run to the finish.
Jakob Fuglsang led Felline around the final corner but Démare, who had done an impressive job making his way through traffic to get to the front, surged clear on the finishing straight. No one came particularly close to catching him as he rolled across the line to take the stage win and maglia ciclamino to boot.
Top 10, stage 6
1 DÉMARE Arnaud (Groupama – FDJ) 4:54:38
2 MATTHEWS Michael (Team Sunweb)
3 FELLINE Fabio (Astana Pro Team)
4 MOLANO Juan Sebastián (UAE-Team Emirates)
5 CIMOLAI Davide (Israel Start-Up Nation)
6 VENDRAME Andrea (AG2R La Mondiale)
7 HONORÉ Mikkel Frølich (Deceuninck – Quick Step)
8 SAGAN Peter (BORA – hansgrohe)
9 BATTAGLIN Enrico (Bahrain – McLaren)
10 NARVÁEZ Jhonatan (INEOS Grenadiers)
Top 10, GC
1 ALMEIDA João (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 22:01:01
2 BILBAO Pello (Bahrain – McLaren) 0:43
3 KELDERMAN Wilco (Team Sunweb) 0:48
4 VANHOUCKE Harm (Lotto Soudal) 0:59
5 NIBALI Vincenzo (Trek – Segafredo) 1:01
6 POZZOVIVO Domenico (NTT Pro Cycling) 1:05
7 FUGLSANG Jakob (Astana Pro Team) 1:19
8 KRUIJSWIJK Steven (Team Jumbo-Visma) 1:21
9 KONRAD Patrick (BORA – hansgrohe) 1:26
10 MAJKA Rafal (BORA – hansgrohe) 1:32
| Kopecky signs with CCC-Liv
Lotte Kopecky will join CCC-Liv next year after five years with the Lotto-Soudal organization.
“This choice for my new team was made fairly quickly,” Kopecky said. “I can count on the guidance of experienced people who have performed at the highest level in cycling in the past. I also get the freedom to work towards the Olympic Games. A trajectory is being mapped out so that I can be important to both the team and the country.”
Kopecky has enjoyed a particularly strong 2020 season, defending her Belgian national time trial title, winning a stage at the Giro Rosa, and taking the Belgian national road title too.
| Bernal’s season reportedly over
According to Cyclingnews, Egan Bernal has called it a season.
After the 2019 Tour de France winner pulled out of this year’s race in the third week, there was some question as to whether he would make the start at the upcoming Vuelta a España. According to Cyclingnews, that won’t happen, leaving Chris Froome and Richard Carapaz to take on the Vuelta as team leaders for the Ineos Grenadiers.
| Freeman says he destroyed testosterone
As BBC Sport Reports, as former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman gave evidence at the tribunal assessing his fitness to practice medicine on Wednesday, he said that he destroyed the package of testosterone that he ordered to British Cycling headquarters in 2011.
Freeman is accused of ordering the testosterone “knowing or believing” it would be used to enhance an athlete’s performance, but he has claimed that he ordered it for Shane Shutton to treat erectile dysfunction. Wednesday marked the first time during the lengthy tribunal process that he has mentioned destroying the testosterone.
When the lawyer cross-examining Freeman for the General Medical Council, Simon Jackson, pressed Freeman on why he had not spoken of destroying the testosterone before, Freeman responded, “I don’t have an answer for that. I took it home that night. This is my regret, which I keep replaying again and again. I regret it. I had no thought of an audit trail.”
When Jackson suggested that Freeman’s options had included returning the testosterone to the supplier, giving it to Sutton, or keeping it to help an athlete dope, Freeman called the third option “offensive in every respect.”
| Specialized S-Works Aethos shuns aero, embraces low weight and ride quality
As James Huang writes, the new S-Works Aethos is less focused on aerodynamics and more on weight, stiffness, and ride quality.
| Bike marketing has no business being this good
As Iain Treloar writes (and speaking of Specialized), a promotional video for the Stumpjumper EVO is pretty entertaining.
| Ineos is putting on a hell of a show – let’s enjoy it while we can
With the Ineos Grenadiers no longer fighting for the overall win at the Giro d’Italia, Matt de Neef suggests we enjoy the chance to see the typically dominant team in stage-hunting mode.
| Schwalbe promises performance and durability with new Aerothan inner tubes
As James Huang writes, the new Aerothan inner tubes are quite light, and Schwalbe says they are durable too.
Today’s featured image of Arnaud Démare winning stage 6 of the Giro d’Italia comes from Cor Vos.