A last-second catch of the breakaway opens the door for Mads Pedersen to sprint to his first Giro stage win
How it happened
With five kilometers remaining of the sixth stage of the Giro d’Italia it looked like the two-man breakaway of Simon Clarke and Alessandro de Marchi would claim the spoils, and it would have been a well-deserved victory. However, Mads Pedersen, and the whole Trek-Segafredo team were on a mission.
With stage wins in the Tour de France and Vuelta a España to his name already, Mads Pedersen was much-hyped to complete the set of Grand Tour stage wins, dubbed ‘The Pederslam’. Trek-Segafredo took on the bulk of the work over the hilly stage to keep the breakaway close, but even then it was looking like the breakaway might thwart their plans. Some last-minute pulls from Bauke Mollema and Toms Skujins proved enough to drag the peloton into contention for the win. From there, it was down to Pedersen who jumped on the wheel of Fernando Gaviria’s early sprint, catapulting himself to victory in Napoli.
Reaction from a very happy Mads Pedersen:
“The Team did really amazing today, they were working so hard to make this happen. It was a really tough day, a short day, but really tough. The two guys in front made it really hard for us and I feel sorry for them because they did so good today, but I’m also really happy that I could pay back the boys for their effort with the victory. For a long time I didn’t think we would catch them, but we did with like 300 meters to go. It was pretty close in the end. For a long time they had two minutes and we really had to use basically everyone, and not just us. All the sprinters had to use all the guys they had available, it was really not easy to catch them.
It was pretty tough to catch to Gaviria, he came with a really good kick and got a good gap straight away, but I also know that I can do a long sprint so I hoped he would hit the wall at one point and I could come back. I wanted to open a long sprint because we still had to catch these guys [from the breakaway], but luckily for me Gaviria did it first, so I had someone in front to try to catch.
For sure that was a nice race to watch in the end. I like the harder days like this, it’s good for the legs to push all day and then have a hard final. It’s really special to make a stage victory in each of the Grand Tours, and finally I could take one here in Italy as well.”
Credit – Sprint Cycling