Eddie Dunbar looking very solid on six-hour 238km Giro stage

Posted on: May 16th, 2019
Eddie Dunbar has looked very solid so far, though his team’s lack of presence in the breakaway suggests they are riding more conservatively than hoped.

A breakaway took the honours on Giro d’Italia stage 6 today, with the peloton behind being trimmed on the undulating finale.

However, while the bunch numbered just over 90 riders of the 167 men left in the field, Ireland’s Eddie Dunbar was present.

He may not be the type to be content to ride around in the bunch, but on a 238km stage that took over six hours and took in lumpy terrain for the final 35km, it was a solid ride by Dunbar.

Now still aged just 22 years, Dunbar has rarely raced that kind of distance. And to do so in a Grand Tour and look comfortable is a good sign for the rest of the race.

One slightly more pessimistic note for him was the lack of Team Ineos riders in the large breakaway today.

Dave Brailsford had said in the absence of intended team leader, Egan Bernal, the young riders who make up the Giro selection would have a chance to animate the race.

That has not happened so far and with a climb coming near the end of today’s stage into San Giovanni Rotondo, and the race leader clearly intent on relinquishing his pink jersey, it seemed like a missed opportunity for Team Ineos to have a go.

However, there remains a long way to go and Dunbar will hopefully get to show himself before the race is over.

Fausto Masnada, left, and Valerio Conti looked like they came to an agreement;’ the stage win for the younger man and the race leader’s jersey for Conti
Roglic suffered and early crash but came through it in one piece and looked content to let the race lead pass to another rider’s shoulders for now.

Today Fausto Masnada (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) were the big winners.

They got clear of the 13-man breakaway, with Masnada taking the stage win and Conti the race lead.

They had a gap of almost one minute on the rest of the early breakaway on the line and just over seven minutes on the peloton containing Dunbar.

The result means Conti now leads by 1:41 from Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF), with Nans Peters (Ag2r La Mondiale) in 3rd a further 28 seconds back.

In the end Dunbar was 33rd on the stage and Irish road race champion Conor Dunne (Israel Cycling Academy) in 126th.

Dunne finished some 23:08 down and in a very large group of men thinking long term and riding the survival game on this Giro.

Tomorrow’s stage takes the riders some 185km from Vasto to L’Aquila.

It is not dissimilar to today’s finish; a late climb followed by very little descending and a 40km run in to a short sharp ramp at the finish.

The man in the pink race leader’s jersey this morning, Primoz Roglic of Jumbo Visma, is now 11th overall at 5:24.

However, the riders in the breakaway who gained time on him today do not pose a real threat for the overall.

And so Roglic will be happy to give up the race lead and give himself and his team a rest from the work associated with Grand Tour race leadership.