The two-man breakaway was so close to the finish when they were caught by a storming peloton on stage 6. Simon Clarke and Alessandro De Marchi were caught with only 250 m to go. Former world champion Mads Pedersen took the win, who has now won stages in all three Grand Tours. Clarke and De Marchi broke clear of the early break in the 162-km stage from in Napoli. Clarke, who has won stages of both the Tour and Vuelta, was being very cagey in the final kilometres.
The journalist and former cyclist Robert Chapatte posited that a pack that is chasing a break would need 10 km to put a minute into a breakaway. And turns out, Chapatte’s Law was pretty accurate this time.
The two riders were playing cat and mouse, but their timing was off this time. Neither rider wanted to race for second.
Teams with sprinters will be quite precise when it comes to reeling in breakaway riders, and it worked out perfectly. With 25 km to go, the duo had over two minutes to go, which meant the squads with sprinters needed to up the pace to the very end.
And that they did, with Pedersen coming out of the draft at the very end, stealing the victory from the early escape.
Heartbreak for the breakaway! 💔
The escapees were caught inside the final kilometre as Mads Pedersen powered to the win to complete a Grand Tour grand slam. 🇩🇰
Watch the stage highlights over on GCN+ 👉 https://t.co/YlDJpEQgQ6 or on the GCN Racing YT channel 📺#Giro pic.twitter.com/8iZ0QyeLkl
— GCN Racing (@GcnRacing) May 11, 2023
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