Pelayo Sánchez claimed an impressive victory on stage 6 of the Giro d’Italia, outpacing heavyweights Julian Alaphilippe and Luke Plapp in a thrilling finish to the race’s dirt road stage to Rapolano Terme. The Movistar rider’s win marks a significant milestone in his burgeoning career, taking the stage honours with a formidable sprint finish.

The day’s racing unfolded over a route laden with gravel sections, reminiscent of Strade Bianche, challenging the riders with a blend of rolling hills and technical descents. Despite early breakaway attempts being quickly reeled in by an alert peloton, the action heated up as Alaphilippe, Plapp, and Sánchez formed a leading trio, driving hard to stay ahead of the chasers.

Alaphilippe and Sánchez were particularly active, pushing the pace and ensuring the breakaway’s success. Kaden Groves, who initially joined the front group, eventually dropped back, allowing the trio to solidify their lead. Their cooperative effort saw them entering the final sectors with a slim but sustainable gap over the main group.

Julian Alaphilippe
(Photo credit: Zac Williams)

In the latter stages of the race, the trio managed their lead expertly despite a hard-chasing peloton spearheaded by Ineos Grenadiers. Sánchez, with remarkable composure, launched a decisive attack in the closing metres, securing his victory ahead of a fast-closing Alaphilippe and Plapp.

Post-race, Sánchez shared his disbelief at the day’s outcome. “This is unbelievable, truly a crazy day for me,” he said. “I knew today could be good for a breakaway, and though I doubted our chances against the strong peloton, winning here, now, it feels like a dream.”

Luke Plapp, who rounded out the podium in third place, reflected on the race’s intensity, “It was a brutal day right from the start. The pace was relentless, but breaking away felt right. We worked well together, but in the end, Pelayo had the edge. Still, I’m pleased with how we managed to stay out front.”

Pelayo Sanchez leads

The stage also saw Tadej Pogacar maintain his grip on the Maglia Rosa, navigating the gravel roads without incident and finishing comfortably within the main group. Pogacar commented, “Today was about staying out of trouble and maintaining the jersey. The team did a great job, and I’m pleased to keep the lead without any mishaps.”

As the Giro d’Italia continues, the riders now face more challenging stages ahead, but for Sánchez, Alaphilippe, and Plapp, today’s results provide a significant boost, both in confidence and standings. With the Maglia Rosa still in contention and the mountains looming, the race is far from decided.

2024 Giro d’Italia Stage 6 result

Results powered by FirstCycling.com