Giro d'Italia Stage 6: Boonen 18th in Group Arrival
Etixx - Quick-Step rider Tom Boonen finished 18th after launching his sprint from the middle of the road near the front of the peloton at Giro d'Italia Stage 6 on Thursday. Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) won the 183km Stage, from Montecatini Terme to Castiglione della Pescaia, with Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) 2nd and Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) 3rd.
There was a crash a 200 meters to go behind the sprint that took down a number of riders, including Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) in the Maglia Rosa. Rigoberto Uran, the top GC rider for Etixx - Quick-Step, also crashed. He crossed the line in 65th place.
Boonen and Fabio Sabatini took to the front with 10km to go in the midst of crosswinds in the approach to the finale. Boonen was able to keep himself positioned to contest the sprint despite the efforts in the wind before the finale.
The race came back together ahead of the group arrival with 14km to go. The gap to the original five-rider breakaway was always well controlled by the peloton.
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to 264km Stage 7, the longest stage of the Giro, on Friday. The stage from Grosseto to Fiuggi is flat for about the first 80 kilometers before being consistently up-and-down all the way until the finale. The finish is uphill.
"I was behind Contador when suddenly he crashed," Uran said. "I was behind him and to avoid him I also crashed. Fortunately I have no consequences, so I am okay. But as I always say, in a three-week race the danger is always around. We have to keep our eyes open at all times to avoid any bad luck such as today. What was supposed to be a normal stage and yet there was a big crash at the end. So, we will stay focused and we will see what can happen in the next days. Tomorrow is 264 kilometers, so it will be the longest stage of the Giro. It will be important to be there and be supported by my teammates. But they are perfect for this job, and I will try and stay out of trouble tomorrow and day-by-day."