No one stops him anymore. Arnaud Démare won his second success in two days on the Giro by winning the 6th stage, this Thursday, in Scalea, on the coast of Calabria (south). The rider from the Groupama-FDJ team, author of a dizzying sprint, narrowly outstripped the Australian Caleb Ewan. The photo-finish was necessary to decide between them because of the gap of a gut on the line. The Spaniard Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek) kept the leader’s pink jersey won on Tuesday at Etna.
Arnaud Démare, 30, won his seventh stage victory in the Giro. He became the French rider most often victorious in the Tour of Italy, ahead of two legends, Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault (6 stages).
The 192 kilometer long stage was reduced to a sprint after the long breakaway of the Italian Diego Rosa, alone in the lead over 141 kilometers. Rosa, who started at the front at… 169 kilometers from the finish, was left alone in the lead by the peloton led by the teammates of three of the main sprinters aspiring to success (Cavendish, Démare, Ewan). But, on the long straights hugging the Costa Tirrenica, the outcome was inevitable: the Italian, second in the 2016 Tour of Lombardy, was caught at the start of the last 30 kilometers.
“It was really hot, it’s easy to play”
In the sprint, Démare, overpowered, overtook Ewan in extremis. Briton Mark Cavendish, winner last Sunday in Hungary, this time took third place in a monumental sprint after a very long straight. “It was really hot, it’s insignificant but today it’s in my favor, commented the Picard. The team did a huge job, I couldn’t have done better”.
This Friday, punchers and climbers find favorable ground in the 7th stage on a grueling 196 kilometer route between Diamante and Potenza. Four climbs are listed between the Calabrian coast and the prefecture of Basilicata, the former Lucania, where the arrival is judged at the top of a small wall (350 m at 8%).