Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Matthews climbs to an even bigger lead

Australian Michael Matthews extended his Giro d'Italia lead by winning stage six to the top of the historic Montecassino climb near Naples.

Matthews, who took the pink jersey after stage two, made light of the 8.5-kilometre finishing ascent which closed the longest stage of the race, the 257km route from Sassano to the Abbey at Montecassino.

His compatriot Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) was one of the main protagonists as the leaders climbed to the summit after a large crash with 11km to go split the peloton. Evans, third overnight, moved second, 21 seconds behind Matthews by finishing third on the day.

The stage was 10km longer than billed as a landslide resulted in a diversion. Matthews' challenge is likely to peter out while the rivals for Evans are dwindling

Today's stage is the 211km seventh stage from Frosinone to Foligno, which is likely to end in a sprint.

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