Giro d'Italia 6: Ventoso sprints to stage win in Fiuggi

Weening remains in maglia rosa

Francisco Ventoso (Movistar) won his first career Giro d'Italia stage, timing his sprint to perfection on the taxing uphill grind to the finish in Fiuggi. The 29-year-old Spaniard topped points leader Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) and Roberto Ferrari (Androni Giocattoli) to take his fifth victory of the season.

Overnight race leader Pieter Weening (Rabobank) finished in the bunch to retain the maglia rosa for another day.

Stage six was dominated by a five-man break comprised of Sacha Modolo (Colnago-CSF Inox), Jussi Veikkanen (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Kristof Vandewalle (Quick Step), Yaroslav Popovych (RadioShack) and Frederik Veuchelen (Vacansoleil-DCM).

The quintet pushed out a maximum advantage of 5:15, but the peloton gradually chipped away at their lead with the Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli team doing much of the work to close the gap.

With 42km remaining, Modolo was dropped from the break and 20km later, on an unclassified climb, Veikkanen came unglued.

Stefano Pirazzi (Colnago-CSF Inox) attacked from the peloton with 19km remaining in hopes of bridging to the lead trio, but was given a short leash and soon caught.

On another of the stage's unclassified ascents and as their lead fell beneath one minute, Vandewalle dropped Popovych and Veuchelen at 9km to go in a bid for solo victory.

Popovych and Veuchelen were soon caught, while Vandewalle fought hard to keep the peloton at bay, but was ultimately absorbed 1.5km from the finish in Fiuggi.

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