It was an incredibly fast, wildly fraught and echelon-rich Stage 7 of the Giro d’Italia. It started out fast, stayed fast, and ended in an Arnaud Demare sprint that looked easy. Despite echelons and crashes, the top 10 GC doesn’t budge a second and the maglia rosa stays on the shoulders of Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quickstep).
It was a one-star stage with no climbing, which means one thing – bunch sprint. It was, in fact, one star sprinter with a bunch of guys behind him. And that sprinter was Arnaud Demare, who took a back-to-back victory, his third stage in this year’s Giro, and 13th victory of the season (so far).
With these victories, Demare’s lead in the maglia ciclomina battle grows – 161 pts to Peter Sagan‘s 106.
But Demare’s win wasn’t the only highlight of the stage. We had some Italian echelons, which made cycling fan hearts sing. It was, however, about halfway through the stage so, for all the excitement they brought, the effects didn’t last very long.
Does anyone else think that this season is slightly cursed?! This time, on a wide highway, the KM banners were set up so that they encroached on the road. And the inevitable happened.
Speaking of curses
Midge reminded me that, with the cancellation of this year’s Roubaix, there would not be the opportunity to see a dust-covered Wout Van Aert getting the loofah face-mitt treatment to make him pretty for the top step of the podium. As I was working in an office with two other people (crowded!), they questioned me as to why I gave a long, mournful ‘Why, God! Whhhhhyyyyyy’. They didn’t quite understand …
The Final Word
Stage 7 Results
1 Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 2:47:28
2 Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) same time
3 Michael Matthews (Sunweb) s/t
4 Ben Swift (Ineos Grenadiers)
5 Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck-Quickstep)
GC Top 10
1 Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quickstep) 24:48:29
2 Pello Bilbao (Bahrain McLaren) +0:43
3 Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) +0:48
4 Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) +0:59
5 Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) +1:01
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (NTT Pro Cycling) +1:05
7 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) +1:19
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) +1:21
9 Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:26
10 Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:32
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
Points jersey Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ)
King of the Mountains Filippo Ganna (INEOS-Grenadiers)
Best Young Rider Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
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Official race website: Giro d’Italia
Header: ©GETTY / AFP/ Fabio Ferrari