Giro: Ackermann misses victory – blood stain on top favorite


Professional cyclist Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates) narrowly missed his first win of the season in the sixth stage of the Giro d’Italia.

In the mass sprint of the 162 km long, demanding section with start and finish in Naples, the 29-year-old from Kandel finished third, the stage victory went to Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) ahead of Jonathan Milan (Bahrain-Victorious).

“I want to win my stage here at the Giro,” said Ackermann at Eurosport after the race: “I’ll keep fighting.”

Worry about Evenepoel
The breakaway duo Alessandro de March and Simon Clarke, who managed to break away in the hilly middle section, were only caught by the peloton of almost 100 riders about 300 meters from the finish.

Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM) from Norway successfully defended the pink jersey of the overall leader, and the German hopeful Lennard Kämna (Bora-hansgrohe) was also in the peloton. Marius Mayrhofer (Team DSM) rounded off a strong German result in eighth place.

World champion and top favorite Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) finished 41st, 28 seconds behind Leknessund in the overall standings. After his two falls the day before, the 23-year-old got on his bike despite “some pain in his back” and “some big bruises”. According to the team doctor, the Belgian has a muscle hematoma and an injury to the sacrum.

Good feeling despite big blood stain
“I have a big black spot on my back made up of blood,” said Evenepoel. The former Belgian national youth soccer player juggled the ball easily before the start of the race. Despite the pain, he felt “pretty good, I’m happy with the feeling.”

On Friday, the drivers will face an impressive backdrop and, with more than 4000 meters of altitude difference, a lot of work. The 218 km long seventh stage starts in Capua and ends with the mountain finish on the Campo Imperatore plateau. The final climb is 26.5 km long, but it only gets really steep in the last part.


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