Three consecutive stage wins for Lotto Soudal, four out of seven for German riders Top of General Classification remains unchanged.
André Greipel took a second bunch sprint win in Foligno and completed a hat trick of wins for Lotto Soudal after his own stage victory at Benevento in stage five, and the uphill victory of Tim Wellens at Roccaraso (Aremogna) yesterday. What was on paper a sprinters’ stage was in reality a highly demanding one. Early on, yesterday’s stage winner Wellens took the lead in the King of the Mountains competition from Damiano Cunego. Then swashbuckling breakaway rider Stefan Küng made off alone and led the race for 30 of the final 35 km. Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick-Step) had a puncture 7 km from the finish and was unable to participate in the sprint.
André Greipel said at the press conference: “Three stage wins are more than we expected. We have already won three stages out of seven. It’s impressive for us. We are just trying to enjoy the moment. I always try to do my best. I have a good background for my team-mates to set me up before the sprints. Hard work is the key to success. I’m glad I’ve managed to remain competitive since I started winning at Grand Tours in 2008.”
Tom Dumoulin said at the press conference: “Tomorrow I don’t think the weather conditions will make a huge difference. We might look dirtier if it rains. We only climb on the gravel road, we don’t descend, so I’m not worried. I don’t want to be a cyclist who is away from home all the time. I’ll go on altitude training camp after the Giro as a preparation for the Olympics. Maybe I’ll be riding the Giro for GC anyway. I’ll take it day by day and we’ll see. But home time is the reason why I didn’t train in the mountains. I’m not scared of the last week in terms of the quality of my team. I wouldn’t have been in the Maglia Rosa so long if I didn’t have a good team around me. I’m sure that Georg Preidler and Tobias Ludvigsson will be up there to help me.”
King of the Mountains Tim Wellens: “As three riders had gone before the climb, I thought there was nothing to do in the KOM competition today but [Damiano] Cunego’s team chased and I followed. I did a little bit of work and took enough points to take the Maglia Azzurra but this is less of a goal for me than a second stage win. It’s a bonus. I intend to break away again to repeat yesterday’s beautiful victory. I hope that my legs will be better tomorrow. They weren’t fantastic today…”