• Rúben Silva

Giro d'Italia Stage 7 Preview

Fausto Masnada brought the Italians their first win this week, coming from the day's breakaway it was on the final climb that the decisive attack was made, when Masnaa attacked with Valerio Conti. The duo worked together and managed to hold off the rest of their breakaway companions. Valerio Conti slipped into the race lead, previous leader Roglic in fact came down to 11th in the GC as today's breakaway rider occupy now the Top10. Giovanni Carboni of Bardiani slipped into second and the Maglia Bianca, making for almost all of the jerseys to now be in posession of Italians. Roglic himself was a victim of a crash early in the stage that included several riders, but with no serious consequences, Jumbo-Visma led the peloton all day long but allowed the break to get a big gap.

Positive: Lots of positives in the breakaway, Masnada with the win, Conti with the lead and a very big gap over the GC riders, Carboni for the lead of the U25, Amaro Antunes and Sam Oomen have a chance to be back in contention.

Negative: Roglic loosing the lead was somewhat planned by Jumbo, but they still worked all day long and didn't really seem to be saving themselves much, alongside Roglic's crash it wasn't exactly a good day for him.

Stage 7 will take the riders to Abruzzo for a hard stage. The finish is known in recent Giro history, mainly in the 2010 where a massive stage caused total chaos in the peloton. With 185 kilometers it won't be a match to that epic day, but the riders will have lots of climbing in the day.

In the latter part of the stage it will be the case, with 6.5Km there's a 2.1Km at 5.6% which is close enough to make decisive attacks, more so if the winner comes from a breakaway. After will come a very fast descent into L'Aquila where the finish will be in a hilltop, with the final kilometer at 7.6% with 11% ramps. It's a puncheurs finale but of course the GC riders will be well aware of the danger of this stage.

The Weather

There will be a tailwind early in the day whilst the riders are by the sealine, but when they go inland there won't be much presence of it felt. Will remain a cold day as they've been so far, but it won't be raining, so the roads won't be as dangerous as they could be.

The Favourites

I believe Emirates won't be shy of protecting their lead tomorrow, so unless a very strong group goes off the front there's a chance for the peloton to arrive in front, as the narrow and rolling profile will make for a very stressful and fast race in the pack.

There are no real puncheurs in the race, the climbers will have their saying in this scenario, as there's a big lot of them that are quite explosive. Previous leader Primoz Roglic and Simon Yates come up as the big contenders, both are very strong in this type of climbs and their form is undeniable.

Davide Formolo and Rafal Majka of Bora will like this finish, Formolo more, both have an opportunity to gain a bit of time on their rivals, although the stage will be more about not loosing time other than winning. Bauke Mollema is in the same situation, the stage isn't selective enough for him to be in disadvantage over other leaders. Richard Carapaz is another rider who may like the final climb but not what comes before, he won a stage already in a punchy finish so he's not one to ignore in such a finish.

Emirates' Diego Ulissi is another rider to have under eye, the team's on a roll and having Conti in the team won't surely hinder him unless the race is very attacked. Tony Gallopin, Mattia Cattaneo, possibly even Enrico Gasparotto can be possibilities in a punchy finish, but not likely to see them winning.

In case of a breakaway the list of candidates is somewhat similar to today's stage. Astana didn't have any rider in the break so tomorrow will likely be the same situation. Lots of teams will still want, Mattia Cattaneo, Enrico Battaglin, Giullio Ciccone and Gianluca Brambilla, Thomas de Gendt, Jan Bakelants, Joe Dombrowski and Tanel Kangert are rider with the freedom to move and win the stage from a break.

Prediction Time

S.Yates, Roglic, Formolo

Mollema, Ulissi, Ciccone

Majka, Cattaneo, Battaglin, de Gendt, Bakelants, Gallopin, Carapaz

A real fan of these steep finishes, Mitchelton have been able to support Yates very well so far, and positioning will be a big deal all day long tomorrow. There will be motivation in the peloton to chase, with Conti and Ulissi Emirates shouldn't be shy on making the effort. The gradients get steep, and it's a climb that suits Yates well, I think he'll take it tomorrow.

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