Stage six of the 2012 Giro d'Italia ended up exactly as race organizers intended, scrambling riders, teams, and the overall GC standings as the riders made their way over the hills. Miguel Rubiano took the win, and Italian Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD) delighted his countrymen by taking the overall lead. Santa Rosa based Team BMC saw their Giro d'Italia take another hit as Thor Hushovd was forced to abandon the race. He had an unusually poor finish in stage five and had not appeared at all in his typical form, suggesting that he may be ill. The Giro lost American Tyler Farrar as well, as the Garmin-Barracuda sprinter abandoned after a crash.
Miguel Rubiano, a Columbian riding for the Italian team of Androni Giocattoli, was part of a four man breakaway before he made his bid for the stage win with about 45km remaining in the race. He managed to put about a minute and a half between himself and the rest of the breakaway, a gap he was able to maintain until the finish. The peloton was at least four to five minutes back from the leaders for most of the race, but they put the hammer down in the closing stretch and came in about two minutes back.
As expected, the hills were what made the difference. The first serious climbs in the race, teams suffered and it allowed the breakaway to take advantage. Malori, another member of the break, made the most of things and stayed just close enough to Rubiano to ensure that he would put on the Maglia Rosa at the end of the day. Garmin-Barracuda lost the overall lead as well as their sprinter, but Ryder Hesjedal and the rest of the team helped drive the peloton at a fast enough pace that he is well positioned going forward. The GC standings at the end of stage six:
1) Adriano Malori (Lampre - ISD) 20:25:28
2) Michal Golas (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) - :15
3) Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin - Barracuda) - :17
4) Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Androni Giocattoli) - :30
5) Christian Vande Velde (Garmin - Barracuda) - :32
6) Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Katusha Team) - :36
7) Peter Stetina (Garmin - Barracuda) - :37
8) Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Katusha Team) - :39
9) Enrico Gasparotto (Astana Pro Team)
10) Luke Roberts (Team Saxo Bank) - :41
Rodriguez is sneaking up the standings without having made his move. Garmin is still strong with Hesjedal and Vande Velde. BMC's best placed rider isn't far out of things; Marco Pinnoti sits in 14th, :43 behind. Between Phinney's crashes and now Thor abandoning the race, though, they'll need to get things in order quick if they hope to make an impact. Stage seven includes bigger climbs and a hilltop finish, so expect the race to only get more exciting as it continues.