May 12, 2016

ROCCARASO, Italy (AP) Belgian rider Tim Wellens won the first mountain-top finish of the Giro d'Italia on Thursday while Dutchman Tom Dumoulin added to his overall lead in the sixth stage.

Wellens got into a breakaway before the climb then attacked solo on the way up to the Roccaraso ski resort, giving the Lotto Soudal team consecutive wins after Andre Greipel's sprint victory a day earlier.

''I have (teammate) Pim Ligthart to thank,'' Wellens said. ''It was his idea to go away together at that point in the race. ... I'm happy that no team rode behind us''.

Wellens celebrated by lifting his bike above his head after crossing the line.

It was Wellens' first win in a Grand Tour and the seventh stage victory of his career. He also won a stage in Paris-Nice this year.

Wellens clocked nearly five hours over the 157-kilometer (98-mile) route, which began in Ponte and finished with a 17-kilometer (10 1/2-mile) climb at an average gradient of 4.8 percent.

Jakob Fuglsang crossed second, 1 minute, 19 seconds behind, and Ilnur Zakarin was third with the same time.

Dumoulin, who rides for Team Giant-Alpecin, was fourth in the stage after launching a counterattack that responded to an attack seconds earlier by overall rival Vincenzo Nibali.

''My attack was not planned but I saw Nibali going so I went, too,'' Dumoulin said. ''There was only one opportunity and I took it. I really surprised myself. I was stronger than I expected. I didn't think I'd be in that shape for climbing. It was not a high mountain but it was still a proper climb.''

Dumoulin leads Fuglsang by 26 seconds overall, with Zakarin third, 28 seconds back.

Among the overall favorites, Alejandro Valverde was sixth, 41 seconds behind, and Nibali was ninth, 47 seconds back.

Stage 7 on Friday is a rolling 211-kilometer (131-mile) leg from Sulmona to Foligno.

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