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BMC Racing Team's Steve Morabito (right) was in a breakaway for more than 170 kilometers. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
BMC Racing Team's Steve Morabito (right) was in a breakaway for more than 170 kilometers. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Tirreno-Adriatico, Stage 6: Morabito's Escape

17. March 2014

BMC Racing Team's Steve Morabito was part of a four-man breakaway Monday at Tirreno-Adriatico while teammate Philippe Gilbert also briefly made his own escape. But neither move ultimately proved successful and Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won a sprint disrupted by a late crash.

The Course:
Starting uphill out of Bucchianico, the 189-kilometer race featured two climbs en route to two laps of a 13.8-km finishing circuit in Porto Sant'Elpidio.

The Day's Breakaway:
Morabito was joined by Jack Bauer (Garmin-Sharp), Cesare Benedetti (NetApp-Endura) and Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) in the breakaway immediately from the start. The quartet saw its advantage peak at nearly six minutes after 45 km before Morabito and Bauer – the last survivors from the break – were swept up with 10 km to go.

A Final Attack:
Gilbert launched an attack on a small uphill section of the finishing circuit not long after Morabito and Bauer were caught. But after gaining a 10-second advantage, the former world champion was brought back with three kilometers left.

The Finish:
A crash within sight of the red, one-kilometer-to-go kite split the front end of the peloton and led to Cavendish winning the stage ahead of teammate Alessandro Petacchi and Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling).

In The Overall Standings:
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) takes a 2:08 advantage over Nario Quintana (Movistar Team) and 2:15 over Roman Kreuziger (also of Tinkoff-Saxo) into the final day of the race.

What Morabito Said:
"It was a good start for me, with the uphill start. Today, I wanted to take my chance. I went quite easily to the group (the breakaway). It was a long, long day with some climbs and then dead flat."

What Sport Director Valerio Piva Said:
"Steve was in the first attack. It was a bit of suicide because a stage like this is difficult: we knew the end was flat. But they rode intelligently. In the final, we had discussed also trying a move. Gilbert went and did it where the road went up. Of course, it was difficult and not enough. But it was a sign he is strong in view of Milan-San Remo. So I am happy about our team and the movements that they did."

The Final Stage:
The last stage of the race is a 9.2-km individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto that is on a nearly entirely flat, out-and-back course along the seaside.

Listen to complete comments from Morabito and Piva on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.

See photos from the race in the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.

Watch videos from the race on the BMC Racing Team YouTube channel.