Mostly calm day with a traditional 3-men breakaway and a very fast and nervous final ended with a well-expected massive sprint, won by Sam Bennett, who outsprinted two Italians: Elia Viviani, the winner of two stages in Israel, and Niccolo Bonifazio.
Astana’s Pello Bilbao tried to do something in the sprint, but found himself boxed in with a few hundred meters to go and, finally, ended this stage on 17th position.
- Inside the last few kilometers I’ve got a position in front, so I decided to try something in case I would find a way to sprint. I had good legs, but in the end it needed to risk too much to move really in front, because as it is usually in a bunch sprint, there was really tricky. Anyway, this was just a flat stage and starting from tomorrow we are coming back to the mountains, - said Pello Bilbao.
The stage did not produce any changes in the general classification: the Briton Simon Yates holds the maglia rosa, while Pello Bilbao is still 7th in the overall, 1 minute 3 seconds behind Yates.
Astana’s leader Miguel Angel Lopez passed this stage without any problems and finished safely inside the main bunch.
- The team was always around me, so we did this stage quite calmly and without stress. Of course, the final was a bit fast and tricky, but we tried to avoid any risk. Now I am looking forward to the next two stages in the mountains. Yesterday I proved I have good legs. So, let’s see if I can improve in the next days, - said Miguel Angel Lopez, currently 22nd in GC, +2.12.
Stage 8 will be held tomorrow: the 209-km long stage from Praia a Mare to Montevergine di Mercogliano will bring the peloton of the Giro d’Italia back into the mountains.
Photo credit: ©Bettiniphoto