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Summary

  1. Stage start: 11:50 BST
  2. GB rider Yates finishes in second place to take overall lead

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Overall standings

1 Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) 22hrs 46mins 3secs

2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Team Sunweb) +16secs

3 Esteban Chaves (Col/Mitchelton-Scott) +26secs

4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +43secs

5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +45secs

6 Rohan Dennis (Aus/BMC Racing) +53secs

7 Pello Bilbao (Spa/Astana Pro Team) +1min 3secs

8 Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +1min 10secs

9 George Bennett (NZ/LottoNL-Jumbo) +1min 11secs

10 Fabio Aru (Ita/UAE Team Emirates) +1min 12secs

Full result of stage six

1 Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott 4:16:10

2 Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott

3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:26

4 George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo

5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida

6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team

7 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team

8 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb

9 Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates

10 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky

Yates speaks

"The start was crazy. I didn't really have to do anything, I could sit in the wheels and save energy.

"I felt really good. I looked across the road and everyone was looking at each other. I took a chance.

"Chaves had been out on the road all day, so he deserved the stage win."

What a ride from Simon Yates

And what a stage. Yates has looked good since the opening day time-trial in Jerusalem, but this was way beyond good - he bided his time on that long climb and then exploded away - he could have taken the bonus seconds for the win but let his team-mate Chaves take the glory. This sort of result is what happens when you agree to write the BBC Sport website's stage-by-stage guide. Good things happen to good people, yeah?

YATES LEADS THE GIRO

Yup - he's in pink by around 16 seconds, Dumoulin second in the GC, Chaves third in the provisional at 26 seconds - I think Froome will be a minute 10 back in eighth.

Here comes the pack

Pinot, Dumoulin, Froome come through the line - I don't think they're close enough, Dennis is nowhere - Simon Yates should have his hands on the maglia rosa here...

CHAVES WINS ON ETNA

Yates lets him have it - because is the Briton in pink?

Yates closing in on leader Chaves

1,000m to go, can the man from Bury get across?

Yates attacks!

He was in third overnight - he's having a crack, can he make it stick?

Froome on elastic

The four-time Tour champion just about holding on, dropping back and then making contact again, Fabio Aru working hard to stay with them. Chaves 23 seconds up the road.

Dennis out of team-mates

Pozzovivo, Bennett, Pinot... and Simon Yates, gaining five metres on Dumoulin. Froome another five metres back, 2.3km to go.

Froome battling

He's got back on that group for now - Dennis still dropping back, Etna blowing this all apart...

Chaves charges

3.7km to go, and Chaves has half a minute on the small group, with 19 seconds back to the peloton.

Froome in trouble...

Dumoulin attacks off front of that third group, Simon Yates with him... and Froome can't go with them!

Dennis dropped!

The maglia rosa in trouble - off the back of the peloton, we could have a new leader tonight...

Chaves goes...

Here comes the Colombian - up to the young Italian, straight past him.

Ciccione has 15 seconds

Peloton a further 34 seconds back. Chaves attacks!

Peloton chases

Astana and Sanchez working it, Sky's white jerseys up after the pale blue with Elissonde and Froome, Yates in the black and yellow of Michelton-Scott.

Group of six at the front

53-second gap - De Marchi, Henao, Chaves, Ciccione, Hermans, Gesink. Ciccione's attacking again...

8km of climbing ahead

Giulio Ciccone has a pop at the front, the young Italian from Bardiani–CSF opening up a small gap. In the peloton. Simon Yates there with Dumoulin, Luis Leon Sanchez destroying himself for Lopez.

Shouting, lava lava lava

The landscape of Etna starts to change, the vegetation thinning. Dennis, Dumoulin, Froome all within touching distance of each other.

10km to go

The Colombians joined at the front by De Marchi and Ben Hermans. Froome only has Elissonde with him in the denuded peloton, Sanchez working it for Astana, 50 seconds back...

Henao and Chaves attack

Two Colombians teaming up here - national champion Henao, of Team Sky, joined by comeback kid Chaves...

Froome to the fore

Two Astana men on the front, Froome sitting on Kenny Elissonde's wheel. Up the road, Gesink was pushing the break - but now BMC's Alessandro de Marchi has a little pop...

Sky working it hard

The break at 1' 20" with 15km to go, but it's spitting riders out the back - three Sky men pushing the pace at the elongated nose of the peloton, panic crackling in the warm Sicilian air.

Ouch!

Crash in the peloton, and Laurens ten Dam has gone down in that - he's one of Dumoulin's key lieutenants, Bora-Hansgrohe's Davide Formolo also caught up - all a bit slow motion, and they both look okay, but they'll have to chase back hard to get back on now.

Peloton stringing out

Into the village of Ragalna, 18km to go, Etna just three km away.

Astana leading the charge

Astana's Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez had another shocker on Wednesday, hence the need for emergency action. Michelton-Scott driving it too, Sky with a couple of men keeping it ticking over. The top of Etna tucked away in cloud, and it's fresh up there this afternoon, which is at least better than the swirling winds that can work across the volcano's harsh slopes.

The road starts to climb

And as it does so the gap starts to shrink - down to one min 45 secs now as we rattle through the town of Paterno and on towards Belpasso.

Dumoulin comfortable in the pack

The reigning Giro champ and race favourite rolling along, his front wheel alongside the rear derailleur of Chris Froome. Simon Yates not too far all, a collective deep breath before the flat-out efforts to come.

Dumoulin
AFP

Dennis not daunted

Here's our race leader, looking to prove to the doubters that's ready to convert into a genuine GC contender. The next hour should tell us a great deal more.

Dennis
AFP

Inside 30km...

...and so 15km to go until the road heads properly up. The break holding at 2' 16", plenty in there to keep it ticking along. Bahrain-Merida at the front of the peloton, Katusha doing their share in their distinctive Burnley FC colours.

A reminder of the overall standings

General classification after stage five:

1 Rohan Dennis (Aus/BMC) 18hr 29min 41secs

2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Team Sunweb) +1sec

3 Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +17secs

4 Tim Wellens (Bel/Lotto Fix All) +19secs

5 Pello Bilbao (Spa/Astana) +25secs

6 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger/Quick-Step Floors) +28secs

7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) Same time

8 Jose Gonçalves (Por/Katusha-Alpecin) +32secs

9 Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +34secs

10 Patrick Konrad (Aut/Bora-Hansgrohe) +35secs

Selected others:

20. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +55secs

Gap stands at 2' 08"

35km to go, and Robert Gesink an interesting one in that break - came back from that heart operation in 2014, decent enough climber, no threat in the GC - might fancy a pop at this should the opportunity arise.

The final climb

15km up Etna, an average gradient of 6%, a maximum of up to 16%. We call it a summit finish; with the Etna being an active volcano, the summit in this case is a good 1500m below the spicy one.

Froome on the chase

Britain's Chris Froome still 57 seconds down on race leader Rohan Dennis after his testing first five days of racing, and he's been back to the team cars for something - not sure if that was a mechanical, but he's working his way back with a little surreptitious slipstreaming. Chaves being in that lead group makes it interesting - he's the team-mate of Britain's Simon Yates, currently third in the GC, so is he there to support or to have a crack?

Breakers

Big old group 2 mins 20 secs out front - the gap is closing, but most of the GC-contending teams have riders in it - Sky with De La Cruz and Henao, Michelton-Scott with Haig and Chaves. Can't see it staying away, mind - reigning champion Tom Dumoulin's BMC team working hard at the front of the peloton.

Stage profile

Giro D'Italia stage six
Giro D'Italia

All about the finish

164km in the stage today, just under 50km to go, but it's the fun stuff - and the first summit finish of the day. Once through the town pf Paterno, it's all about the long climb up to the Astrophyiscal Observatory, and an exposed slog that could cause a major shake-up in the race for the maglia rosa.

Etna awaits

Welcome to the punchy part of stage six of the Giro - and it's shaping up as a thriller.