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Giro d’Italia: Démare beats Ewan and Cavendish in Scalea waiting game

Giro d’Italia: Démare beats Ewan and Cavendish in Scalea waiting game

Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) pads his lead for the points classification lead and purple jersey (Image credit: Getty Images) Sprinting isn’t only about speed. It’s often…

Friday, May 13

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Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) pads his lead for the points classification lead and purple jersey (Image credit: Getty Images)

Sprinting isn’t only about speed. It’s often a waiting game. Just 300 metres past the finish line in Scalea, Arnaud Démare and his Groupama-FDJ team stood waiting for confirmation of the outcome of stage 6 of the Giro d’Italia. When the news crackled over their earpieces, their cheers must have carried all the way down to the seafront. Démare’s patience in the finishing straight had been vindicated, and he had won his second successive stage.

Jacopo Guarnieri led the race into the final 200 metres with Démare tucked safely on his wheel, but the Frenchman opted to not strike out from distance on the gently-curving finishing straight. Instead, he allowed Mark Cavendish (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) to launch first before unfurling his own effort once the Giro Arrivo banner emerged fully into view.

Démare had ground to recoup but he also had the speed – and confidence – to do so. He overhauled Ewan at the very last with an expert bike throw, but the race jury needed to consult the photo finish before they could call a winner.

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The half-minute wait for white smoke felt like an eternity. Time always seems to slow down […]

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