Pello Bilbao (Astana) took the win in L’Aquila at today’s stage 7 of the Giro d’Italia with a well-timed attack that allowed him to separate from his breakaway companions with just 1.5km remaining.
The stage along the Adriatic coast and then into the Apennines was made for a breakaway, but it wasn’t until midway through the stage that the day’s break finally established itself. Seemingly everyone wanted to be in the move. Once it did, the gap only opened to just over two minutes. It was down to just a minute with 10km to go.
In the end, the 12 riders that did get away had a few members that the peloton wasn’t eager to lose. Key among them was Jose Rojas (Movistar), a near threat to Valerio Conti’s lead.
For this reason, alongside the presence of other outside GC contenders like Bilbao and Formolo, the move wasn’t given more than two minutes advantage which meant a hard, long day of chasing for Conti’s stretched-thin UAE team (reduced to six riders after the suspension of Juan Molano and the abandonment of Fernando Gaviria).
The stage also saw the abandonment of (aforementioned) Fernando Gaviria, Sascha Modolo, and Laurens de Plus.