Dolomites cause another shake up on stage seven of the Giro d’Italia U23Thu 14 Jun 2018
With the Maglia Rosa changing hands on a daily basis as the race hits the mountains the Giro d’Italia U23 is far from over, even though only two more days of racing remain.
Rob Stannard produced another strong ride for Mitchelton-BikeExchange on stage seven and climbed with the favourites to finish sixth on the stage and move up to seventh on the general classification.
The seventh stage returned to the mountains with three categorised climbs to contend with and a brutal summit finish atop the Pian delle Fugazze and for the first time in a few days the peloton rolled out in dry and sunny conditions.
After two hours of racing a large breakaway group of 19-riders had four minutes on the peloton and maintained their lead going into the final third before falling apart on the testing climb to the finish with the reduced favourites group closing in.
Stephen Williams (SEG-Racing-Academy) launched a solo attack out of the maglia rosa group with five kilometres remaining and held off the chasers including Stannard to take the stage win with Mark Donovan (Team-Wiggins) moving into the race lead.
Sam Jenner also gained time after a solid ride and now sits 16thoverall after finishing 20thon the stage.
Sport director James Victor:
“It took a while for the right move to go today, one that would put some pressure on the Maglia Rosa and as we anticipated there are some riders starting to flag and it’s unfolding as experience would dictate.”
“Our guys are recovering very well and getting stronger as the race goes on. They’re showing great resilience and positioning themselves well at the key moments with rob and Sam again producing strong rides again today.
“We’re on track for our initial goal to try and have two riders within the top ten overall and although tomorrows]’s stage doesn’t end on a mountain top we have Monte Grappa and another first category climb to contend with and we will see if we can put some more pressure on.”
Giro d’Italia stage seven results:
1. Stephen Williams (SEG-Racing-Academy) 03:31:49
2. Aleksander Vlasov (Gazprom-Rusvelo) +0:26
3. William Barta (Hagens-Berman-Axeon) +0:28
6. Rob Stannard (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) ST
General classification after stage seven:
1. Mark Donovan (Team-Wiggins) 23:28:18
2. Alejandro Osorio (Colombia) +0:14
3. Stephen Williams (SEG-Racing-Academy) +0:57
7. Rob Stannard (MIitchelton-BikeExchange) +2:31
Photos courtesy of Twila Federica Muzzi.