Eneco Tour (st. 6) / Giro dell'Emilia
Traditional 'Wall' of Geraardsbergen set to decide GC outcome at Eneco Tour after surprise breakaway rewards Pibernik (LAM) in Lanaken. Jasha Sütterlin now sits 12th, with all Dowsett, Ion and Oliveira within a minute of Rohan Dennis (BMC)
In a situation growingly less natural to modern cycling, a five-man breakaway -led by Slovenian youngster Luka Pibernik (LAM)- caught the peloton out of timing and succeeded on stage six of the Eneco Tour. The 197km route between Riemst and Lanaken, with a series of little climbs in the outskirts of Liège, barely reduced the main field -Jasha Sütterlin won a place overall and now ranks 12th, as Kittel (EQS) dropped-, with Rohan Dennis (BMC) in the lead before Sunday’s big showdown.
The 198km stage seven will offer no less than 15 ascents -most of them cobbled- between Bornem and Geraardsbergen, with a final loop that features four climbs of the Denderoordberg and three each of the Bosberg and, above all, the Kapelmuur, whose opening slopes in the Vesten will hold the finish. Jasha, still 39” down; Alex Dowsett, at 43”; Ion Izagirre, 44” back; and Nelson Oliveira, 47” in arrears, will all fight to enter the GC top-ten, with Sagan (TNK) looking to reduce the 27” gap he has on the white jersey.
Giro dell'Emilia: Good legs, yet no luck, for Giovanni Visconti (29th)
Over at their second race of the day, the Giro dell'Emilia (213km) with its five climbs of the grueling San Luca climb, the Movistar Team worked to protect Giovanni Visconti in search for a success that again neglected him. As described by the Italian veteran, a puncture into the penultimate descent dropped him out of the lead group and forced him to unfruitfully pursue the line of team cars, ultimately finishing in 29th spot at 1'50" from Esteban Chaves (OBE). The other man from the Blues to complete the race was an in-form Richard Carapaz, on the front until the second-to-last lap (47th, 4'53" down).