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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Fabio Aru claims ninth place for UAE Team Emirates on Giro d'Italia Stage 6

Italian rider said he was 'satisfied' with this efforts and believes he will offer more as the race unfolds

UAE Team Emirates rider Fabio Aru in action during Stage 6 of the Giro d'Italia on Thursday. Courtesy UAE Team Emirates
UAE Team Emirates rider Fabio Aru in action during Stage 6 of the Giro d'Italia on Thursday. Courtesy UAE Team Emirates

Fabio Aru claimed a ninth-place finish for UAE Team Emirates on Stage 6 of the Giro d'Italia on Thursday, moving the Italian rider to one minute and 12 seconds behind the race leader.

The 169-kilometre route was designed for climbers and featured the first summit finish of the Giro. Starting in Catlanissetta, the race moved through the middle of Sicily as it made its way to Mount Etna, with a number of punchy inclines along the way.

After an hour of cycling, a group of 28 riders kicked, with UAE Team Emirates’ Diego Ulissi, Jan Polanc and Manuele Mori going up the road with the breakaway and keeping the peloton at bay until the foot of Mount Etna.

As the breakaway reached the final 15km on the slopes of Mount Etna, Ulissi remained at the front of the group and Aru had kept his position at the head of the Peloton, riding well with a select bunch of GC contenders.

With less than 5km left to go, the peloton swallowed up all but one of the breakaway group as they increased the pace with a series of attacks.

After a gruelling final climb along a 150m stretch of road, Aru crossed the line - under the shadow of the Etna Astrophysical Observatory - with the main peloton, just 26 seconds behind race winner Johan Eseban Chavez (Mitchelton Scott).

In second place was Simon Yates (Mitchelton Scott) who moved into the top spot of the General Classification.

"Day by day I'm feeling better and better," Aru said after the stage. "I appreciate that there are some riders who are stronger than me now, but the Giro is very long and it's still only the 6th stage. Today the goal was to avoid losing seconds and I put in a good performance, so I'm satisfied."

Friday's Stage 7 is a 159km route from Pizzo to Praia a Mare, following along Italy's eastern coast travelling north.