The Israel Start-Up Nation team leader, Dan Martin, put on an impressive performance during the mountainous stage 6 of the Giro d’Italia, finishing in third place. Unfortunately, Alessandro De Marchi lost the pink jersey.
The first mountaintop finish of the Giro turned out to be just as challenging as expected – or even more so, with countless attacks in the opening kilometers and horrible weather conditions throughout the day.
After several breakaway attempts, eight riders managed to distance the peloton. The group quickly opened up a gap of over five minutes with the ISN guys setting the pace in the pack for De Marchi.
Unfortunately, in a crosswind section between two climbs, the peloton split up and De Marchi got caught out in the second group, ultimately losing the pink jersey.
Team leader Martin, on the other hand, was on a very good day, following the attacks from the top GC contenders with ease on the final climb. In the end, Martin crossed the line in third place, as the last remaining rider from the breakaway, Gino Mäder (Bahrain) took the win.
Martin is now ninth in the general classification, 47 seconds down on the new leader, Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ).
Dan Martin: “With the cold, the rain, and the wind, this turned out to be a big test. The last 65-70 km were really difficult. On the descent, I was so cold I could barely control my bike. It was a big help for me that the guys did such a good job for me, always keeping me in a good position. Just before we started the final climb, one of the BORA riders crashed right in front me and I couldn’t avoid going down as well. However, I got up quickly, and Paddy [Bevin] did a great job to bring me back to a good position near the front of the group.
“I didn’t really plan to do anything today, I just wanted to stay in the wheels and watch the other guys and that’s basically what I did. I felt pretty good though. Usually, these are not really conditions that suit me, so when I have good legs in these conditions, it also shows how good my shape is. This gives me a lot of comfort going forward; and now, we just want to continue this amazing start to the Giro we have had.”