- I felt quite good today on the final climb. We had a good plan with the team leading the group to the foot of the Etna and me to attack in the final part. I tried several times, but it was not possible for me to make the difference, some rivals were always on my wheel. But it was a good test in the mountains for me. I’m happy with this stage and with the way our team performed. I thank my teammates for the huge support today. We wanted to check our conditions on a hard stage as well as the conditions of the rivals. I liked the stage we did today, so let's see in the next days, - said Miguel Angel Lopez.
A spectacular start of Stage 6, with a lot of attacks and attempts for creating a breakaway, but without any success until a group of 30 riders split from the peloton. One man of this breakaway made it to the finish: winner Esteban Chaves. The gap with the breakaway was 3 minutes halfway the stage, but from that point the riders of Astana Pro Team took the initiative to chase. Especially Jan hirt and Luis Leon Sanchez created a hard pace on the first part of the final climb. Riders of the break were caught while the peloton was reduced to a select group of GC favorites while climbing the Etna.
In the final kilometres, only Esteban Chaves was still in the front. His teammate Simon Yates attacked from the group with Miguel Angel Lopez, and finished together with Chaves. 26 seconds behind the two, the group of Lopez with the top of the GC finished.
- I think we can be happy with this stage. It was important for us to do it active and to make the final climb as hard as possible to check the rivals and to help Miguel Angel to get a good position before the decisive kilometers of climbing. It was a good first test in the big mountains and our team showed itself really strong. The whole team did an amazing job and after this stage we are looking forward to the next weeks. Miguel Angel Lopez showed he is coming to his best shape stage by stage, looks like he is ok,- said sport director Alexandr Shefer after the finish.
Photo credit: Bettiniphoto