Greipel makes it three in a row for Lotto Soudal in Giro

Andre Greipel took his second stage victory at this year’s Giro d’Italia and gave Lotto Soudal a third consecutive victory with another well-timed sprint victory.

A sunny day in picturesque Sulmona welcomed the riders to the start of stage seven before heading out towards the first climb of the day which came after only twenty kilometres of racing.

Three riders broke away within the first ten kilometres and had a growing lead of over a minute as they reached the category two climb Le Svolte di Popoli. The peloton split into three different groups on the climb with around forty riders forming the front group chasing after the trio of leaders.

The three leaders were caught by the first chasing group 35kilometres into the stage, the second group contained most of the sprinters and were around one and a half minutes behind. The lumpy profile of the stage was going to make for a difficult day for the fast men and they soon found themselves further down on the lead group. Over two minutes separated the field after 45kilometres of racing.

Attacks were beginning to spring from the head of the race as the rain started to fall heavily near L’Aquila. Stefan Kung (BMC) managed to develop an advantage of around 30seconds upon breaking clear from the front group and embarking on a solo mission on the wet rolling roads.

Five more riders bridged across to Kung and the group of six forged on ahead as the peloton began to ease off and allow the breakaway to form with the second group still attempting to regain contact with the peloton.

The six leaders had over two minutes on the peloton when the field finally merged behind them returning the race once more to a large single peloton and an advanced breakaway group with 120kilometres to go.

The situation stayed the same for the next fifty kilometres with the six escapees maintaining an advantage of around three minutes over the main field. With 75kilometres left to race Javier Moreno (Movistar) crashed heavily and looked to be out of the race, the peloton was now led by Lotto-Soudal who were gradually reducing the advantage of the leaders.

Damiano Cunego (Nippo-Vini-Fantini) attempted to bridge across to the six leaders with 50kilometres to go and succeeded in gaining 40seconds on the peloton but could not reach the leaders. Kung attacked alone off the front of the lead group with 33kilometres left to race and began to try and develop a fresh advantage.

Team Cannondale were trying to bring the race back together again but Kung had other ideas, continuing to time trial his way towards the finish town of Foligno. Despite a valiant effort Kung was caught with seven kilometres left to the finish, the field was now shaping up for a bunch sprint through the technical parcours of the finish.

Lotto-Soudal were attempting to monopolise positions on the front of the bunch before Luka Mezgec (Orica-GreenEDGE) muscled his way through with Caleb Ewan tucked tightly onto his wheel. The Slovenian lead out man used all of his speed and experience to deliver Ewan into the final hundred metres but it was Andre Greipel who took the stage win with Ewan placing fourth.

Tomorrows stage eight heads North for 186kilometres from Foligno to Arezzo. A long and rolling stage with a difficult climb, the Alpe di Poti coming in the final 20kilometres before a technical descent then slight incline to the finish.

Giro d’Italia 2016 – stage 7 results (Sulmona – Foligno):

1 André Greipel (Lotto Soudal)

5:01:08

2 Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo)

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3 Sacha Modolo (Lampre – Merida)

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4 Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge)

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5 Enrico Battaglin (LottoNl-Jumbo)

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6 Matteo Trentin (Etixx – Quick-Step)

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7 Alexander Porsev (Katusha)

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8 Aleksei Tsatevich (Katusha)

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9 Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani CSF)

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10 Elia Viviani (Sky)

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General classification after stage 7:

1 Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin)

29:23:23

2 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)

+26”

3 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha)

+28”

4 Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step)

+35”

5 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo)

+38”

6 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

+41”

7 Diego Ulissi (Lampre – Merida)

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8 Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)

+47”

9 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Dimension Data)

+49”

10 Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale)

+51”

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andre greipel Giacomo Nizzolo Giro d'Italia lotto soudal sacha modolo tour of italy

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