Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka fought hard to get in the mix on stage 6 of Giro d’Italia but despite a courageous effort, the team ended up emptyhanded.
With its 217 km and lumpy profile, today’s stage was a very good chance for a strong break to fight for the win. Therefore, several riders attacked right from the beginning of the day, hoping to make it into the morning breakaway. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s Omar Fraile was very active but the peloton never let the 26-year-old Basque climber get away. Instead, a small group of only five riders managed to distance the pack.
The quintet quickly built up a gap of over eight minutes and already halfway through the stage, it seemed given that the breakaway would make it all the way. The peloton started to up the pace towards the end of the stage but it was already too late. Silvan Diller (BMC Racing Team) took the win, while Bob Jungels (Quick Step Floors) kept the pink jersey for another day. Natnael Berhane finished in 44th place as our best rider on the stage, just under one minute behind the winner.
Oli Cookson – sports director:
“Today, we had a couple of options, one of which was to put Omar [Fraile] in the break. However, the other teams didn’t allow him to get away as they wanted us to pull later on, thinking we would try to set up Nathan [Haas] for the final. Unfortunately, for the last couple of days, Nathan has started to feel sick so we made the call early on the stage to let the others have a chance. We had a few guys helping out in the chase but without Nathan it wouldn’t be sensible to burn all our matches to bring back the break only to hand the victory to somebody else. Cycling is always a bit of a lottery and you have to manage your workload carefully. Now, we have to regather our forces and look forward to tomorrow and the next day. Nathan is a tough guy and a world class rider and we hope he will recover within the next few days”.