Copyright: LaPresse – D’Alberto / Ferrari
Silvan Dillier claimed the first UCI WorldTour and first Grand Tour stage win of his career when he sprinted to victory from the breakaway on stage 6 of the Giro d’Italia.
 
Dillier battled for the victory against Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) and Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), the remaining three riders of the original five-rider group, in a tough 1.5km uphill finish to Terme Luigiane.
 
As soon as the flagged drop to signal the start of the 217km stage, Dillier had a flat tire and was forced to chase the peloton for 10km, just in time to make his way back through the bunch and chase down the breakaway.
 
The five riders forged on and quickly gained an advantage of more than eight minutes as they tackled the first categorized climb of the day.
 
By the time the race entered the final 100km the advantage had come down to 5’40” but despite an increase in pace from the peloton, the breakaway continued to stay in front.
 
Approaching the final 25km, Dillier’s group still had a three-minute advantage and as they hit the final categorized Fuscaldo climb, Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and Simone Andreetta (Bardiani CSF) both dropped.
 
Stuyven attacked over the summit but Dillier and Pöstlberger were able to follow his wheel and stick together down the tricky hairpin descent that would lead the trio into the finale.
 
Aware of the peloton closing in, the trio kept a high pace and as they rode under the flamme rouge they began to look at each other, waiting for the first attack.
 
It was a stalemate until the final 250m when Dillier launched his sprint from the third position and managed to hold on, despite Stuyven chasing hard, to take the biggest win of his career.
 
The Winner’s Interview with Silvan Dillier
 
Silvan, congratulations! Tell us how the stage was for you.
 
“Basically the stage started pretty bad for me. I had a flat tire at KM 0. I chased back and I could go straight away in the breakaway. At the end, it was pretty hard to stay away. To beat Jasper Stuyven in a sprint like this is crazy. I still can’t believe this. I know the harder the race, the better it is for me. The final was really hard and Jasper Stuyven is a really strong rider. I had some concerns about him. To win a stage against him is crazy. It feels great.”
 
How does this win compare with your previous results?
 
“For sure it is the biggest victory so far for me. I can’t describe it. It’s fantastic. Actually how I did it, I do not know. I know when it is a hard sprint, I have power, I can push a big gear. I just tried to believe in myself and try to find some more energy. I could finish it in the end. I was chasing for a victory for almost two years now and it’s unbelievable that I get this one today. I had some nice victories and moments before, but this is for sure the biggest.”
 
How has the opening week of the Giro d’Italia been for you?
 
“The first few days which were meant to be pretty easy, weren’t. As the race gets harder, the better I get compared to other riders so I could use this to my advantage today. This is really important for the team to get a stage win here. It gives us some confidence and a good spirit, and we want to keep this up.”
 
Who do you dedicate this victory to?
 
“I want to give this victory to my team as they give me a lot of confidence and support, but also my family and my wife back home because they always support me. They give me a really solid base and I’m really happy to be in this whole environment.”
 
Maximilian Sciandri, Sports Director:
 
“On my pre-race report that I did last night I went through the stage and the riders, and Silvan Dillier was the guy with a chance today. In the meeting this morning we talked about it. It started out quite rough for him as he had a flat at KM0 and chased straight through the peloton and into the breakaway, so he took the opportunity 100 percent. The gap went up to eight and a half minutes at around the 50-60km mark. Cannondale-Drapac started to pull but there were five strong guys in front, including the two Trek-Segafredo guys with one of the guys committing to the other, so they were promoting the breakaway. Cannondale-Drapac had about five guys on the front so it was really five against five, and the gap wasn’t coming down as they probably expected. Towards the final other teams came up but it was hard to pull time back. The hope was high that they would stay away.”
 
“It’s fantastic. We lost Rohan Dennis a few days ago which was hard for us. Winning a stage is always good. It pays back the work from the staff and the other riders. Silvan hasn’t ever found a win in a Grand Tour so this is excellent for him. We’ll be looking for more stages from here to Milan, and obviously we have the General Classification in mind.”
FINAL RESULT
1 – Silvan Dillier (BMC Racing Team) – 217km in 4h58’01”, average speed 43.688km/h
2 – Jasper Stuyven (Trek – Segafredo) s.t.
3 – Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora – Hansgrohe) at 12”
Full results here:
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/823d3a40b51c82f60f316baa5/files/6eb75d3b-b5e8-4cb6-8c97-099ecadac725/Giro_d_Italia_2017_tappa_6_stage_6.pdf