Prior to the race depart the seventh stage of the Giro looked like one which could really throw a wrench into the plans of any and all GC contenders. All that was needed was a little aggreassion in the group, some nervousness about the impending time trial on Saturday and a little rain.
We got all of those elements today and the proverbial excrement crashed into the ventilator. Adam Hansen (LTB) who was busy in the break with Emanuelle Sella won the stage solo on the day, one day before his birthday. But it was the action behind with numerous crashes due to the technical descents and wet weather that really made a mess of things.
Danilo DiLuca, Michele Scarponi and Vincenzo Nibali were all very aggressive on the stage. Ahead, Sella crashed on the descent and all but ensured Hansen a smooth finale and a certain win. Behind, Di Luca and Scarponi had tried twice to heat things up and then Nibali went on the attack on put the others under serious pressure until he crashed on a corner. Behind Sky was keeping Wiggins safe and seemingly trying to conserve his energy for the rime trial, but then on the same corner as Sella, Wiggins hit the ground. Already behind from cautious descending, Wiggins lost all confidence and fell futher and futher behind.
In the front group, which was coming together into a strong group Samuel Sanchez, Robert Gensink, Hesjedal and Evans were pushing on knowing Sky was nowhere to be seen.
At the line a large group containing most of the favorites sprinted over the line 1’07” behind Hansen. Paolini came over the line some 58 seonds later and Sky with Wiggins came over the line 1’32” later plunging down the standings.
Benat Intxausti, who was able to stay quiet and safe with the favorites takes the Maglia Rosa going into tomorrows critical 54.8km time trial.
Stage 7 Top Five
1. Adam Hansen (LTB)____4h35’49”
2. Enrico Battaglin (BAR)__+1’07”
3. Danilo Di Luca (VIN)
4. Mauro Santambrogio (VIN)
5. Damiano Caruso (CAN)
Overall Classification after Stage 7
1. Benat Intxausti (MOV)___28h30’04”
2. Vincenzo Nibali (AST)___+5″
3. Ryder Hesjedal (GRM)___+8″
4. Giampaolo Caruso (KAT)_+10″
5. Mauro Santambrogio (VIN)_+13″
6. Cadel Evans (BMC)_____+16″
7. Robert Gesink (BLA)____+19″
8. Ivan Santaromtia (BMC)__+28″
9. Pieter Weening (OGE)____+29″
10. Robert Kiserlovski (RAD)_+34″
11. Samuel Sanchez (EUS)____+52″
13. Michele Scarponi (LAM)___+57″
21. Carlos Betancur Gomez (ALM)_+1’15”
22. Rigoberto Uran (SKY)____+1’27”
23. Bradley Wiggins (SKY)___+1’32”
25. Sergio Luis Henao (SKY)__+1’44”
28. Domenico Pozzovivo (ALM)__+1’57”