Friday’s Giro d’Italia summit finish in the Apennine mountains didn’t provide the expected GC fireworks. Instead, one day after two fugitives had the heartbreak of getting caught inside the final kilometre, an escape made of three riders without professional wins stayed away and David Bais of wildcard team EOLO-Kometa took the win and the KOM lead. Andreas Leknessund kept the pink jersey on a disappointing stage.
It was finally time to climb at the Giro. A Cat. 2 was positioned in the middle of the 218 km from Capua to Campo Imperatore, but the key ascents came at the end. Another Cat. 2, 13.5-km Calascio led almost immediately to Campo Imperatore. This 26.5 brute was only 3.4 percent average, but the attacking would hold off until the final 6.3 km of 7.2 percent. Ineos, Jumbo-Visma and UAE-Emirates would try to isolate Remco Evenepoel on Gran Sasso Italia like he was left alone three stages ago. Could Andreas Leknessund hold onto the pink jersey?
We have a big day of climbing coming up on Giro d’Italia stage 7 with the summit finish on Gran Sasso on the cards!
🏁 Gran Sasso
⛰️ x 3
⏰ 11:15 CEST
🇮🇹 #Giro pic.twitter.com/J1D3ARXAXT
— Israel – Premier Tech (@IsraelPremTech) May 12, 2023
Only a quartet of escapees bothered to skip clear early in the stage. They had a large gap that got even bigger by the first Cat. 2 climb Roccaraso, topping out at 12:30, the largest in the Giro so far. Back in the peloton, Thibaut Pinot jumped away atop Roccaraso to bolster his mountains lead with two points.
With 80 km to go and the breakaway down to two Italians, Davide Bais (EOLO-Kometa) and Simone Petilli (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), and one Czech, Karel Vacek (Corratec-Selle Italia), it was likely the day’s winner would come from this trio. Petilli was the virtual maglia rosa.
Banana-wise, Corratec-Selle Italia’s Alexander Konychev is all of us.
🍌🍌🍌#Giro #GirodItalia pic.twitter.com/ap53rvcsEq
— Giro d’Italia (@giroditalia) May 12, 2023
Leknessund’s DSM squad pulled to the foot of Calascio before other teams got to work, Petilli’s break almost 12:00 clear. Seventh-place Geraint Thomas had to chase back on to the field after a mechanical. The trio completed Calascio still 9:00 to the good, Petilli still in virtual pink, Bais now in second place in the KOM competition.
As Campo Imperatore started in earnest, Petilli was no longer in position to lead the race at the end of the…
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