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Tadej Pogačar cruises to sixth Giro d’Italia stage win on penultimate day

Tadej Pogačar cruises to sixth Giro d'Italia stage win on penultimate day

It’s been utter domination from Tadej Pogačar at the 2024 Giro d’Italia, the Slovenian underscoring his mastery with a sixth stage victory on Saturday’s last GC day. In his first try, Pogačar has amassed as many career Giro stage wins as Ivan Basso (nine editions), Bernard Hinault (three editions) and Jacques Anquetil (six editions).

Winning the Giro by almost 10 minutes.

The Course

The final GC day of the 107th Giro was all about the double climb of 18.1-km, 8.1-percent Monte Grappa, their peaks 47 km apart and the final crest 31 km from the line in Bassano del Grappa.

There wasn’t the expected huge breakaway on Saturday, UAE-Emirates riding with intent for the pink jersey. By the midway point of the tifosi-rich slopes of Monte Grappa I, there were seven riders 2:14 up the road. Ninth place Filippo Zana was the first man in the top-10 to fade off the back. Four escapees slipped over the peak a minute clear and then had 30 km to descend, with steep little Il Pianaro breaking up the drop.

The trio started up Monte Grappa II with a 2:40 head start on the peloton. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the question was, when would Pogačar launch?

The youngest rider in the race, Giulio Pellizzari, had attacked from the peloton to the breakaway on Monte Grappa I to snaffle up maximum KOM points and pull within 42 points of Pogačar. He shook loose of his breakmates. Seventh place Romain Bardet couldn’t hang anymore.

In a telling move, Pogačar swung out from Position 4 to tell Felix Grossschartner to let Domen Novak wind up the pace.

Pogacar puts Novak on the front.

When Rafal Majka took over in the engine room, the favourites group split. Geraint Thomas started to struggle. Majka’s workload made him foam at the mouth. With 5.3 km to climb, the pink jersey attacked. When he reached Pellizzari, he told the young Italian to get on his wheel. The Slovenian went solo 3.5 km from the peak.

As Tadej Pogačar rode through the frenzied tifosi, Thomas was fighting for his podium spot, fifth place Antonio Tiberi up ahead climbing with Einer Rubio and second place Dani Martinez. However, the Brit got back on equal terms. Rubio jumped up to seventh place, Jan Hirt stepped over two riders to eighth and Michael Storer fought into the top-10; he’s the…

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