2017 Giro d'Italia

Stage 7: Castrovillari to Alberobello

It is a basically flat stage for sprinters. After a slightly downhill start, the route runs along the coast that from Calabria to Basilicata leads to Puglia. Once ss.106 is left, the parcours climbs up to Massafra and cuts across the main towns of the Valle d’Itria with a winding yet flat route. Possibly a field sprint at the finish.

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Stage 7: Australian Ewan hops to first Giro win

At the end of a long, 224-kilometer day in the saddle, Caleb Ewan sprinted to his first Giro stage win in Alberobello, nipping Fernando Gaviria at the line Friday. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) sprinted to third after a strong lead-out by stage 1 winner Lukas Pöstlberger. Gaviria’s teammate Bob Jungels kept his overall lead after finishing with the peloton.

“It feels so good,” Ewan said. “After the first few disappointments of the tour, I don’t think a victory’s ever felt so good before.”

Stage 8, top 10

  • 1. Caleb EWAN, ORICA – SCOTT, in 5:35:18
  • 2. Fernando GAVIRIA RENDON, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :00
  • 3. Sam BENNETT, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :00
  • 4. André GREIPEL, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 5. Jasper STUYVEN, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :00
  • 6. Ryan GIBBONS, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :00
  • 7. Enrico BATTAGLIN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :02
  • 8. Rüdiger SELIG, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :02
  • 9. Aleksei TCATEVICH, GAZPROM – RUSVELO, at :02
  • 10. Vincenzo NIBALI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :02

Top-10 overall

  • 1. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, in 33:56:07
  • 2. Geraint THOMAS, TEAM SKY, at :06
  • 3. Adam YATES, ORICA – SCOTT, at :10
  • 4. Vincenzo NIBALI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :10
  • 5. Domenico POZZOVIVO, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :10
  • 6. Tom DUMOULIN, TEAM SUNWEB, at :10
  • 7. Nairo QUINTANA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :10
  • 8. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :10
  • 9. Andrey AMADOR BIKKAZAKOVA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :10
  • 10. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC RACING TEAM, at :10

American actor Patrick Dempsey played a starring role at the Giro d’Italia Friday. He donned a vintage pink jersey and rode with the peloton for the opening kilometers of the seventh stage

With a nearly flat route, starting in Castrovillari, the peloton expected a sprint finish from go. Three riders were off the front early, Dmitry Kozonchuk (Rusvelo), Giuseppe Fonzi (Bardiani-CSF), and Simone Ponzi (CCC Sprandi Polkowice). They were caught well before the final circuit in Alberobello.

Cannondale-Drapac’s Kristijan Koren tried a move with about three kilometers to go, but it was fruitless.

The sprinters’ teams got organized and queued up for the technical finale.

“We got caught a little too far back with three Ks to go,” said Ewan. “We didn’t panic. The guys did such a good job.”

Ewan, 22, was set up perfectly for the twisty final kilometer by his Orica-Scott team. Other top sprinters, like Quick-Step’s Gaviria were left to fend for themselves without teammates.

The Australian started his sprint relatively early as the road twisted through town in the final few hundred meters. It looked like he might be overtaken by Gaviria in the final 25 meters, but Ewan hung on to the line. “I made a mistake at the end, but I think Ewan
deserved the win. I just didn’t have the legs to catch him,” Gaviria said.

“He’s going super strong — he came close to me today,” Ewan said of second-place finisher Gaviria, who has won two Giro stages so far. “I think there’s going to be a couple close battles to come.”

Those battles, however, will have to wait a few days as Saturday’s stage 8 features a steep finishing hill at the end of the 189km run from Molfetta to Peschici.

“It was a bit crazy today but I had to ride at the front in the last ten kilometers to come home safe,” pink jersey Jungels said. “It’s not a disappointment for our team to not win with Fernando Gaviria today, because he did a great sprint and the team helped him. It’s no shame to lose against Caleb Ewan who is very fast.”

Giro d'Italia 2017, stage 7: Dempsey roll-out
Actor Patrick Dempsey led the peloton out of the start town of Castrovillari. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Giro d'Italia 2017, stage 7: Dempsey roll-out
Dempsey rode alongside the actual pink leader’s jersey wearer Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors). Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Giro d'Italia 2017, stage 7: Dempsey in the BMC bus
Dempsey was at the start of stage 7 and he got ready for roll-out in the BMC team bus with Tejay van Garderen. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Giro d'Italia 2017, stage 7: Ewan pre-stage
Prior to the race, Caleb Ewan caught up on some news of the day. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Giro d'Italia 2017, stage 7: Sky riders
Team Sky and Orica-Scott riders mingled before the start of stage 7. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Giro d'Italia 2017, stage 7: Fonzi in the break
Giuseppe Fonzi (Bardiani-CSF) was super psyched to be in the break on stage 7. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Giro d'Italia 2017, stage 7: Switchback
Stage 7 was 224 mostly flat kilometers from Castrovillari to Alberobello. There were some small climbs near the end of the stage and a very technical finish through the city center on narrow, twisting roads. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Giro d'Italia 2017, stage 7: Quick-Step and Orica-Scott chase
Quick-Step Floors and Orica-Scott did most of the work to bring back the two-man break in an effort to set up their sprinters for a showdown in Alberobello. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Giro d'Italia 2017, stage 7: Final sprint
Ewan navigated the technical finish to perfection, leaving Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) playing catch-up. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Giro d'Italia 2017, stage 7: Photo finish
The finish of stage 7 was very close with Caleb Ewan winning by less than a half wheel length, as was revealed in the photo finish image. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Giro d'Italia 2017, stage 7: Ewan wins
With Gaviria and Bennett closing fast, Ewan was able to maintain his power and edged out the other riders for victory on stage 7. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Giro d'Italia 2017, stage 7: Ewan podium
Caleb Ewan celebrated his first-ever Giro d’Italia stage win. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Giro d'Italia 2017, stage 7: Finish in Alberobello
After the main sprint, the rest of the peloton rolled across the line with no major changes in the GC standings. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com