Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) won the 7th stage of the Giro d’Italia after beating Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Segafredo) and Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) in the mass sprint finish in Foligno. Once again, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) had no problem in retaining the overall race lead.
For Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka the stage was all about supporting Kristian Sbaragli during today’s 211km stage. 6 riders went up the road, forming the break of the day. They were not allowed much leeway at all and the sprinters teams were not going to let an opportunity pass them by with not all that many sprint stages remaining.
The only point of concern for the pure sprinters was the category 4 climb that would summit with 40km to go. It was here that our African Team tried to play one of its cards by putting the team on the front in order to put some of the big name sprinters into difficulty, with Sbaragli not having a problem to get over such climbs. The plan almost worked as Kittel was distanced but with there being a tailwind on the climb, the difference was not all that significant and the race came back together.
The riders up front in the break were also, as expected, reeled in by the charging peloton and a sprint finale would decide the stage. Sbaragli went into the last kilometer in a pretty good position, being 7th wheel. As the road veered to the right, Greipel pulled away to take a strong win. Sbaragli who was 6th with 50m to go, didn’t have much space in front of him to move up while the riders who flanked him were able to just nudge ahead. Our Italian ended the stage in 11th place, while you could throw a blanket over position 4 thru 16. Kanstantsin Siutsou was able to gain a place on the general classification and moved up to 9th overall, when he placed himself on the right side of a small split that happened in the final kilometer.
Kristian Sbaragli – Rider
It was quite a long stage and we tried to make the final climb as hard as we could. It was bit too easy, the climb. Everybody was able to come back before the finish. I had quite a good position but it’s possible that I was a little too far back in the final corner and the finish was right after the corner. I wasn’t able to sprint for a top result, so I am a bit disappointed but we look forward to the next stages.