Hamilton fourth from the break on stage 7 of the Giro d’Italia

Fri 17 May 2019

Grand Tour debutant Lucas Hamilton has finished fourth on the seventh stage of the Giro d’Italia as the breakaway once again took the day into L’Aquila. 

An aggressive start saw 80km of fighting for the breakaway, with Mitchelton-SCOTT putting pressure on their rivals by being involved in each of the major moves.

A Furious Fight:
With a new race leader and another parcours suited to the breakaway, racing was on from the gun and didn’t let up all day.

Despite attack after attack it took over 50km for the first move to go.  The group of 18, which included Mikel Nieve, was deemed too dangerous and was only allowed a one-minute advantage before general classification contenders Bahrain-Merida joined race leaders UAE Team Emirates to chase them down.

Once the catch was made, a secondary strong group went. Once again Mitchelton-SCOTT were on the front foot by placing Hamilton in the move.

Short leash:
At just over two minutes down overall, the presence of Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar Team) meant the new move wasn’t given a lot of freedom, but they were allowed to remain ahead for the remainder of the day. 

They held a one-minute 40second advantage over the top of the day’s only classified climb, which dropped to a little over a minute with 15km remaining.

Hamilton tried his luck with an early attack in the final, but settled for fourth behind eventual stage winner Pello Bilbao (Astana Pro Team).

Lucas Hamilton:
“After yesterday with the jersey swapping hands, we knew today was going to be another good day for the break so the team did a really good job and managed to put the other teams under pressure by being in every move and obviously the one I ended up in went to the line.

“It’s always a risk, but there’s days better suited towards a breakaway than others. Today definitely suited it and that was obvious with the breakaway taking over 80km to go.

“I’m lucky the team give us all opportunities but also with us in the break, it put other GC teams under pressure and we saw that when Mikel was in the first big group that went away and Bahrain had to ride.

“I think there was a little bit of concern there (from the bunch), but once we got out to a minute and a half and we didn’t push it any further the peloton was happy for us to keep going.

“The climb didn’t really suit me in the finish, I prefer them a bit longer, it was a bit too punchy for me, but I thought I would try early to try to get away and maybe the group would stop working, but (Davide) Formolo kept everyone together until Bilbao launched.”

Matt White – Head Sport Director:
“The boys rode really well and sometimes that puts your rivals under pressures as well. It took nearly two hours and 80-90km for the break to finally go and Lucas gave himself a good chance for a stage win. It’s his first Grand Tour and he did a great job.

“Because of Rojas was in the breakaway it was never going to blow out, because UAE want to keep the jersey for as long as they can, but once Lucas was in that breakaway he always knew there was a chance to go for the win himself.” 

Giro d’Italia – Stage 7 Results:
1. Pello Bilbao (Astana Pro Team) 4:06:27
2. Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale) +0:05
3. Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:05
4. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:09

Giro d’Italia – General Classification after Stage 6:
1. Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) 25:22:00
2. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar Team) +1:32
3. Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF) +1:41
15. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +5:59

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.