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.
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
- 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.”