16/05/19 - 10:25
Cassino - San Giovanni Rotondo
Giro d'Italia • Stage6

Cassino - San Giovanni Rotondo
Giro d'Italia - 16 May 2019

Giro d'Italia – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 10:25 on 16 May 2019. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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And we'll leave you with this GIF of Fausto Masnada's boss Gianni 'The Silver Fox' Savio running to see his man on the podium. What a legend!


And here's today's entirely new-look top 10 with Conti dethroning Roglic, who is now in 11th place at 5'24".


Reminder of today's top 10 in the stage...


Grande Fausto!


The peloton come home 7'17" down on Fausto Masnada, the winner. So Conti will have five minutes or so as race leader. What a day for him.


Here come the peloton, being led by Primoz Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team, and it's going to be all change in the top 10 tonight after that breakaway going the distance.


Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF) took fifth place and he'll be the new white jersey at the expense of Miguel Angel Lopez, who is still riding seven minutes back in the peloton with the pink jersey and all the rest.


Sam Oomen comes in with the other chasers and the Dutchman will zip up the standings tonight, which will be a boon for his beleaguered Sunweb team after the withdrawal of Tom Dumoulin yesterday and Rob Power today.


Masnada took an easy win there ahead of Valerio Conti of UAE Team Emirates, who sat up towards the end in the knowledge that he is the new maglia rosa. It's Jose Rojas who takes the sprint for third place ahead of Ruben Plaza 38 seconds down.


Victory for Fausto Masnada of Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec!


Under the flamme rouge for our two Italian wins - and this could be Androni Giacattoli's first Giro win since 2012.


No changes in the lead so it's looking increasingly assured for the two leaders - although Plaza has just attacked from the trio behind in pursuit of the stage win he needs to complete his grand slam.


The sun is finally out as this stage draws to an exciting finale. Behind, Serry has dropped the second chasing group - but surely it's too much, too late.


This is a really fast finish - and could have been very hectic had the race been together. As it is, it looks like only a catastrophe will deny Masnada the win and Conti the maglia rosa.


That heart-in-mouth moment from earlier...


It does look like there's an agreement between the two leaders - with Conti happy to take as much time and the pink jersey, and Masnada the stage win.


The three chasers have not given up yet and still trail the leaders by 30 seconds. If Conti is guaranteed the pink jersey then Carboni is also in line to take the white jersey. So it's going to be an Italian bonanza today.


There's another sharp rise which the leaders are now on before the road drops down for the fast run-in towards the finish. They have 35 seconds on the chasers and 7'30" on the pack, which is still being led by an indifferent Jumbo-Visma team.


It's Conti who wins the intermediate sprint and pockets an extra three bonus seconds. There's a great understanding between these two riders and it looks like they will go all the way.


So, it looks like we might see the first Italian stage win in this year's Giro today - and with it an Italian in the maglia rosa. Whether it will be the same person remains to be seen. Fausto Masnada will do his best to ensure this doesn't happen...


The two leaders have 32 seconds now over the three chasers and a huge 7'27" over the pack. So Conti could well have a five-minute lead in the overall standings tonight at this rate...


Even despite the dog sideshow, it was correct for Conti to let Masnada take those 18 KOM points seeing that it was the Androni rider who did all the pacing on the climb. It was Carboni who came third ahead of Plaza and Rojas when the chasers came over.


Pieter Serry puts in a dig behind in the third group. By the way, it was Masnada who took the points over the top of that climb ahead of Conti.


A near miss there for Conti who has to dodge a dog as the leaders pass under the 20km banner.


Still 28 seconds for the two leaders over the chasing trio, who themselves have about 20 seconds on the other escapees, who are being paced by Madouas and Oomen.


It's not Amador but Rojas, who joined Plaza with Carboni to form a trio in pursuit of the leading duo of Masnada and Conti. The peloton is now at six minutes and so Roglic is happy to concede his maglia rosa to Valerio Conti, it seems.


It comes back together for the chasing group before Ruben Plaza digs in and darts off. The old man of this break was always going to give it a go. He's opened up a gap but has Amador in pursuit.


Now Oomen decides to up the tempo behind with Carboni, Antunes and Madouas.


Amador now leads the chase - stringing out the break and shedding some bodies. The pack, meanwhile, is still 5'25" down.


Masnada has tried to shed Conti on a couple of occasions, which is odd because surely they're stronger together than on their own. Behind there's some hesitation as the gap strings out to 30 seconds.


Our two leaders have 15 seconds on the rest of the breakaway now. Masnada won two stages of the Tour of the Alps last month so is clearly in good form. Meanwhile, that man Conti - a stage winner from the 2016 Vuelta - clearly wants both the stage win and the maglia rosa.


ATTACK: Fausto Masnada looks around and decides that now's the time to go for it. The Italian zips clear with 10km to go until the summit and takes compatriot Valerio Conti with him.


Some early pacing on the climb by the likes of Oomen, Plaza, Masnada and Amador - the kind of guys you expect will enjoy this test flexing their muscles.


We're onto the Cat.2 climb of Coppa Casarinelle (15km at 4.4% with a maximum gradient of 9%). Time to see how it feels to climb after 200km in the legs...


Still five minutes for the leaders so it's looking good both for Conti for the pink jersey and one of these 13 riders for the stage win.


The biggest climb so far of the Giro is right ahead - literally. The race approaches it head-on and so the break can now see it looming not so much on the horizon but right there, almost in the foreground. The prolonged moment of truth beckons...


Pascal Ackermann, who is near the back of the pack, has a tear in his maglia ciclamino and so he must have also come down in that earlier crash today - although it doesn't look like he has any visible wounds. The gap is 4'48" for the 13 leaders now.


Many of the riders are taking off some layers in anticipation of the climb. The trouble is that there may be rainfall after the climb and before the finish according to forecasts. It's a difficult one to gauge. Elsewhere, in the break, the riders are stocking up on energy bars. They may need it.


Some more back country roads again - and the surface is traditionally south Italian, that's to say, potholes and corrugated. The gap is still 5'20" so it looks like the break may stay out today - provided they can find their climbing legs on this approaching climb.


Not too long to go until that Cat.2 climb. A reminder that Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) leads the maglia azzurra standings on 24pts with Francois Bidard (Ag2R-La Mondiale) in second place on 6pts.


Still 5'30" for the 13 leaders so the peloton is not really showing any real appetite to reel this one in just yet. Movistar have two cards to play today in Rojas and Amador as they look to add to Richard Carapaz's victory from two days ago. They're the only team with two representatives in this break.


Remember, the Bradley Wiggins Show will be back on Monday so stay tuned for more of Sir Wiggo's frank insight and witty banter.

Video - Wiggins - 'Ackermann has paid Bora back with that win'


Still 5'10" for the 13-man break. A reminder who's here: José Joaquin Rojas and Andrey Amador (Movistar), Nans Peters (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Pieter Serry (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Ruben Plaza (Israel Cycling Academy), Nicola Bagioli (Nippo-Vino Fantini-Faizanè), Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates), Fausto Masnada (Androni Giacattoli-Sidermec), Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF), Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ), Sam Oomen (Team Sunweb) and Amaro Antunes (CCC Team).


Should Valerio Conti, the virtual maglia rosa (+1'59)70km, fade between now and the finish there are some other riders in this 13-man break who could have an eye on Roglic's pink jersey: Giovanni Carboni (+2'53"), Nans Peters (+3'07"), Valentin Madouas (+3'20"), Jose Joaquin Rojas (+3'33") and even Andrey Amador (+4'25") are all in with a shout.


The break leave behind the wide main road and are now on a narrower country lane. The peloton is back together after that momentarily split while a Bora rider takes advantage of a front wheel change to answer a call of nature in the general direction of a grassy verge.


The gap is down to 5'20" now for the 13 leaders - and the increase in tempo in the peloton on this exposed plain appears to have caused a split in the pack, with around 30 riders battling to fight back in the wind.


Simon Yates is also sporting a plaster on his left knee - not from today's crash, which he avoided, but from Tuesday's spill that ended Tom Dumoulin's chances. The British rider is 35 seconds down on Roglic in the overall standings after limiting his losses both in the opening time trial and two days ago when that crash split the peloton. Roglic hadn't put a foot wrong in the race until today's crash.


Our leaders are on a zippy descent after completing the fourth and last of this series of uncategorised climbs that have peppered this stage. Their gap is down to 6'10" and a lot will now depend on whether they can maintain their advantage over the next flat 60km before the Cat.2 climb and that spicy finale.


A hundred clicks to go! And the gap is up to 6'30". Amazingly, this is the fourth stage (out of five) that is over 200km long. There are five more between now and the end of the race. Could this be one of the longest Grand Tours in recent memory? Actually, no, I just checked: this year's Giro is a total of 3,518km long while last year's was 3,572km (even though it only included seven stages - and not nine - longer than 200km).


Almost six minutes now for the 13 leaders. If someone from the peloton wants to go for today's stage, they're going to have to get their team to start riding soon.


This break is combining well but their fate depends on whether Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team are prepared to concede the maglia rosa (probably to Conti) or if some of the teams of the sprinters think that their fast men can keep in touch on that Cat.2 climb near the finish. Who do you think will win? Let me know @Saddleblaze on Twitter.


The lead's up to over five minutes now for our 13 leaders. If this was in Rome or Ancient Egypt, where superstition reigned supreme, wouldn't they have to prop up a stuffed cat or something on a bike to up the number to 14?


Video - Roglic receives treatment on nasty injury following crash


Video - The Breakaway - Nico Roche talks about riding in adverse conditions


The break plough through the feed zone with Amador on the front and a gap of 4'45" over the pack. On that cue, I'm going to head off and get my lunch. Back shortly... To keep you entertained, I'll upload some videos.


Other obvious danger men in this break are Valentin Madouas, the young French puncheur, Fausto Masnada, the Italian who won twice on the Tour of the Alps, Valerio Conti, the Italian who could be in the maglia rosa tonight, Ruben Plaza, the Spanish veteran who has won stages in both the Tour and Vuelta before, and Andrey Amador, the Costa Rican who is a tidy all-round package.


It's good to see Sam Oomen in this break. The Dutchman will look to bring a smile back to the face of Sunweb following the successive withdrawals of Dumoulin and, today, Power. He's a decent climber and now finds himself in a leadership role for the first time. He was 5'49 down this morning so would rise up the standings if this group stays out.


And here's Mikel Landa, who also went down. He's been in the wars, has the Spaniard: he went down in that crash which effectively ended Tom Dumoulin's race two days ago.

Team Movistar rider Spain's Mikel Landa (R) reacts after a crash during stage six of the 102nd Giro d'Italia 2019

We're getting some photos through the wires of the earlier crash which saw many riders - including the race leader - hit the deck. It looks like it came in an enclosed bit of road where there was really nowhere to go to avoid a sprawling rider in front of you.

Riders crash during stage six of the 102nd Giro d'Italia 2019

Ruben Plaza is in this group - and if the Spanish veteran wins today he'll complete his grand slam of Grand Tour wins. The gap is 4'10" and the clouds look really, really ominous and grey.


The gap is 4'25" with 150km remaining. Looking back to the intermediate sprint, it was Jose Joaquin Rojas who took the spoils ahead of Sam Oomen and Valentin Madouas.


More bad luck for Team Sunweb: they lost Tom Dumoulin yesterday and they're now down to six riders following the withdrawal of Rob Power. The Australian was involved in that earlier crash which saw Roglic hit the deck.


The riders are now approaching the next uncategorised climb - the third of four leg-stretchers ahead of the main test of the day, the Cat.2 climb which kicks off the finale. Jumbo-Visma control the tempo of the peloton, which trails the 13-man break by 3'47".


And after that sunny start, it's returned to form with the rain starting to fall on the peloton. Just a drizzle for now so let's hope that doesn't get worse.


Jumbo-Visma are on the front of the pack with their man Roglic, who seems to be fine despite that road rash on his right butt cheek. The gap is up to 3'40" for the 13 leaders. Bora also have some riders on the front, too.


The leaders have passed through the intermediate sprint with a gap of three minutes over the pack. The best-placed rider in this break is Valerio Conti of UAE Team Emirates who started the day 1'59" down on Roglic. So, the Italian is in the virtual maglia rosa right now...


It looks like this 13-man move could stick. They have two minutes over the peloton, who have now caught Wyss after the Swiss was dropped from the break. The leaders are: José Joaquim Rojas and Andrey Amador (Movistar), Nans Peters (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Pieter Serry (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Ruben Plaza (Israel Cycling Academy), Nicola Bagioli (Nippo-Vino Fantini-Faizanè), Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates), Fausto Masnada (Androni Giacattoli-Sidermec), Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF), Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ), Sam Oomen (Team Sunweb) and Amaro Antunes (CCC Team).


We now have 13 riders together on the front with a lead of two minutes on the pack and one rider - Danilo Wyss of Dimension Data - stuck in between. They're approaching Bojano and the first intermediate sprint.


The six leaders have about 25 seconds on a six-man chase group of Amador, Masnada, Carboni, Antunes, Madouas and Oomen. The peloton, which includes Roglic after that earlier crash, is 55 seconds back. The splits came near the top of that last uncategorised climb, with the riders now on the short descent towards the first intermediate sprint.


There's another move in the making as Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar), Nans Peters (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Pieter Serry (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Ruben Plaza (Israel Cycling Academy), Nicola Bagioli (Nippo Vini Fantini) and Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) zip clear.


It's all back together on this uncategorised climb with the peloton rolling along leisurely following that earlier crash which brought down the maglia rosa. Expect things to get going again properly soon - with a second breakaway attempt surely on the cards after that earlier move came to nothing.


Meanwhile, Nicolas Roche has been joining the Eurosport team for the TV coverage this week - but he's had to keep his training up ahead of the Tour de France, where he'll be supporting Sunweb team-mate Tom Dumoulin, so he's been getting up early to do laps in Richmond Park.


We're hearing that Mikel Landa and Ilnur Zakarin were also involved in that crash which saw Roglic and Majka hit the deck. The peloton has eased up to allow everyone to return. That would have played into the hands of the break, but the incident happened just as that move was neutralised. Let's hope the race leader can get a new pair of shorts. 200km is a long way to have to ride with half your ass hanging out like that...


Cracking photo of the maglia rosa with a bit of his backside hanging out after that earlier crash...


The Trek rider in this break is not Nicola Conci but Will Clarke. In any case, it looks like they will be taken back by the peloton very soon...


CRASH: The pink jersey is down! Primoz Roglic takes a tumble in the pack along with Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) and some others. But it's not serious and they're back on their bikes in no time...


Another reason for the Dutch journalists to pack their bags and go home: Laurens ten Dam (CCC Team) has called it a day. He crashed, I think, on that crazy finale two days ago where his compatriot Tom Dumoulin hit the deck. Ten Dam was the last rider to cross the line yesterday.


Another new arrival to the break: Jasha Sutterlin of Movistar has bridged over. So we're up to seven, but still only around seven seconds to play with. Surely this won't last?


Another Italian has joined the leaders - it's Nicola Conci of Trek-Segafredo. So we have six out ahead now but the gap is under 10 seconds and still very precarious.


Just to introduce myself, it's Felix Lowe at the helm here again. I'll be bringing you live coverage of 17 out of 21 stages in this year's Giro - taking two weekends off to spend time with the newly expanded family. Apologies if you saw my bumbling debut on The Breakaway last night with Orla, Nico and Smithy. If they'll have be back on the couch, I should be back tonight after today's stage...


Those five riders have come together but their advantage over the pack is only 10 seconds so it's far from decided. Seeing that the break is heavily tipped to go all the way today, it's no doubt going to be a prolonged battle for many teams to ensure they get someone in the mix.


Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates), Lorenzo Rota (Bardiani-CSF) and Nans Peters (Ag2R-La Mondiale) are trying to bridge over to the leaders.


Fausto Masnada (Androni Giocattoli) and Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy) have opened up a small gap.


No move is yet to stick after the first eight kilometres - although it's been very active with numerous riders trying their luck.


There's been talk that today could be the day that Primoz Roglic lets someone else take over the pink jersey: not one of his big GC rivals, mind, but a plucky journeyman prepared to get into the right break. All will be revealed shortly...


They're off! The remaining 169 riders rolled out of Cassino to get this stage under way after a short neutralised zone of 2km.


And here's what's on the menu today: a rolling stage with numerous uncategorised bumps before an exciting finale that features a Cat.2 climb, a steep wall, a fast run towards the line, and a slightly uphill kick.

Giro d'Italia 2019 stage 6 profile

After all that rain yesterday, the sun has returned to the Giro. Here's a snap of race leader Primoz Roglic chewing the morning fat with the maglia ciclamino Pascal Ackermann, who extended his lead in the points competition with that second win yesterday.


The finish was neutralised yesterday at the first crossing of the line owing to the atrocious conditions and so there's no change in the GC.


Ciao ragazzi! Welcome to live coverage of stage 6 of the Giro d'Italia - a massive (and yet not the longest) 238km schlep from Cassino to San Giovanni Rotondo.