May 14, 2015 – Spaniard Alberto Contador fell in the final dash for the line but held on to the Giro d’Italia leader’s pink jersey after the sixth stage, which was won by Germany’s Andre Greipel on Thursday.

AFP/Yuzuru Sunada

Lotto rider Greipel won a sprint finish ahead of Italians Matteo Pelucchi and Sacha Modolo after the 183km ride through the Tuscan countryside. Contador, the 2008 winner, was left slightly battered after hurting his left shoulder in a collective fall in the sprint for the line.

The Tinkoff rider attended the victory ceremony, but looked visibly shaken and signaled he could not pull on the pink jersey over his painful shoulder. Television replays showed that the crash was caused by a spectator holding out a camera over the barrier.

“Alberto needs to undergo tests,” Tinkoff team manager Stefano Feltrin said, adding that the Spaniard was notably suffering with his left shoulder and knee.

“First he has to be examined by our doctor Piet Daneels,” added Feltrin, who declined to comment on the possibility that the race favorite could be forced to withdraw with Friday’s stage, the longest of this year’s race, covering 264km from Grosseto to Fiuggi, south of Rome.

Contador, the 2008 champion, is attempting to become the eighth rider to achieve the double of the Giro and the Tour de France in the same year. He holds a two-second lead on Italy’s Fabio Aru with Sky’s Richie Porte of Australia third at 20sec in the overall standings. Contador crashed 200 meters from the line, along with other riders who were brought down in a wave provoked by Italy’s Daniele Colli’s fall on the other side of the road, which resulted in the Nippo rider suffering a broken arm.

Colli came a cropper when he struck by a spectator holding a camera zoom lens over the barrier, once again raising questions about security after the race was also interrupted by a collective crash on Sunday provoked by a spectator on a bicycle.

The rules state that the time differences are neutralized in case of a fall or accident in the final three kilometers, except for the summit finishes.

Lotto rider Greipel won a sprint for the line ahead of Italians Matteo Pelucchi and Sacha Modolo after the 183km ride through the Tuscan countryside. The German champion managed to cross the line just after the fall following 4hr 19min 42sec in the saddle, to finish ahead of the pursuing Pelucchi and Modolo.

A breakaway of five riders in two groups — first Eduard Michael Grosu and Marek Rutkiewicz, and then Marco Bandiera, Alessandro Malaguti and Alan Marangoni — opened the race from the first hour. The peloton however did not let the five build up a lead of more then five minutes and caught up 14 minutes from the line.

It was the third Giro stage win for Greipel, nicknamed the ‘Gorilla’, after 2008 and 2010, and his fourth victory of the season. Greipel, 32, has also notched up six stage wins on the Tour de France and four on the Vuelta a Espana.

“I now have the points leader’s red jersey but it’s not my main objective. What I want is to win stages,” said Greipel, who is not among the favorites for Friday’s seventh stage which finishes with a climb.
 

Final 10 Kilometers of Stage 6

Results Stage 6:
1. GREIPEL, André (LOTTO SOUDAL) 4:19:42
2. PELUCCHI, Matteo (IAM CYCLING)
3. MODOLO, Sacha (LAMPRE – MERIDA)
4. BELLETTI, Manuel (SOUTHEAST)
5. NIZZOLO, Giacomo (TREK FACTORY RACING)
6. PETACCHI, Alessandro (SOUTHEAST)
7. VIVIANI, Elia (SKY)
8. MEZGEC, Luka (GIANT – ALPECIN)
9. RUFFONI, Nicola (BARDIANI CSF)
10. APPOLLONIO, Davide (ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI)

General Classification:
1. CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (TINKOFF – SAXO) 20:25:43
2. ARU, Fabio (ASTANA) + 2
3. PORTE, Richie (SKY) + 20
4. KREUZIGER, Roman (TINKOFF – SAXO) + 22
5. CATALDO, Dario (ASTANA) + 28
6. CHAVES RUBIO, Jhoan Esteban (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 37
7. VISCONTI, Giovanni (MOVISTAR) + 56
8. LANDA MEANA, Mikel (ASTANA) + 1:01
9. FORMOLO, Davide (CANNONDALE – GARMIN) + 1:15
10. AMADOR BAKKAZAKOVA, Andrey (MOVISTAR) + 1:18