UAE Team Emirates’ Valerio Conti claimed second place on stage six of the Giro d’Italia, a result that moves the Italian to the top of the General Classification and into the pink jersey.
Conti was part of the 12-man breakaway who made their move early on the 238-kilometre route from Cassino to San Giovanni Rotondo, and the youngster helped dictate the pace for much of the day, with the breakaway having a solid lead on the peloton for the majority of the race.
As the leading group approached the final climb, riders were looking on in anticipation of who would make the first attempt to break clear and it was Fausto Masnada (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec), who jumped clear but he was quickly caught by Conti. The pair gained 35 seconds on the chasing group and over 7 minutes on the peloton with less than 20 kilometres to go. The pair gained an even larger time advantage on the peloton as they came into the closing kilometre.
With just metres to go, Masnada pulled away to take the stage win, but it’s Conti who will go into Friday’s Stage seven wearing the pink jersey – the first time ever a UAE Team Emirates rider has worn the leading jersey at a Grand Tour.
Commenting on the achievement, Conti said: “It’s a dream come true for me. Before the start we thought it could be possible to get the jersey but it’s never easy to do something like this. It certainly didn’t come by chance. We had a goal, and we worked hard for it. I know it won’t be easy but I’ll try to keep the pink jersey for as long as possible. Every stage is hard so we have to be ready and ride as a team to be at our best.”
Stage seven could be another day for the breakaway; with a hilly parcours in the opening half of the race, before riders contest a largely uphill battle in the final 70 kilometres with a short, punchy climb to the finish.