Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 7 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 7 Preview

By David Hunter

Stage 6 Recap

A massive crash at the foot of the final climb led to chaos. 8 men remained upright at the front of the race, and they continued on up the climb. The only GC rider there was Cadel Evans and he took some big time on rivals today. Big losers were Scarponi and Rodriguez and we’ll have to wait till morning before seeing who has to withdraw from the race(Rodriguez has withdrawn). With 2km to go Evans hit the front in the search of as much time as possible. Bling Matthews sat on his wheel and as they hit the final, very slippy corner, Evans moved over to let his countryman take the stage. Tim Wellens got up to finish 2nd with Evans 3rd. A lot of fans were questioning BMC when they continued to ride, after the crash. They were in front of the crash and did not have to wait. These things happen in sport and I think Evans did nothing wrong.

Pink – Matthews, Red – Viviani, Blue – Matthews, White – Matthews

Stage 7 Frosinone – Foligno 211km

After the big crash, the riders will hope for a quieter day.

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There is a small chance of rain and I really hope it stays dry for the finish. The riders deserve a break!

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The stage starts climbing form kilometre zero, with a very long cat 3 climb . The key point of the stage happens from 154km to 171km, with 2 climbs. The first is uncategorised, with 6.1km at 3.7%, then a very short downhill before the cat 4 climb of Valico Della Somma, 6.7km at 4.9%. The riders crest this climb with 40km remaining, so there is time for dropped riders to return to the peloton.

The profile of the stage is one that is usually suited to breakaway riders, but Orica will not give up the pink jersey, so if the break wants to succeed there needs to be no threat on the GC.

Is the climb hard enough to eliminate the sprinters? I think this is doubtful as Bouhanni can go quite well on climbs, remember he won a stage in Beijing with a a lot of climbing in it. He knows that he is the fastest sprinter in the race, so will look to take every opportunity. He now has his first grand tour stage in the bag and will want more.

Nizzolo, Swift, Viviani and Mezgec shouldn’t have any problems with the climb and this is the problem for the break. We have 5 teams, plus Orica, that want a sprint, so we should get a sprint. These teams will try to eliminate Bouhanni on the climb but I think he can hang on.

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The run for home is uncomplicated, until 1.3km to go! Then we have a couple of tight turns(story of the race!) before a long straight. The riders will take a fast right hand bend, before the finishing straight of just 160 metres.

As usual this means that positioning is everything and first into the last corner should mean you win. The fastest sprinter left is Nacer Bouhanni, and he has a good lead-out. The best lead-out still belongs to Giant – Shimano and they have Luca Mezgec. He was robbed of the chance to sprint in stage 4, and he’ll want to make up for it here.

Ben Swift crashed in stage 6, so I will discount him from my thinking but if recovered he could threaten.

Viviani and Nizzolo have been let down by some poor positioning and I don’t see it improving.

Prediction time…

I think it’s between Bouhanni and Mezgec, with the Frenchman coming out on top!

Related: Giro 2014 general preview:https://bicis.frangandara.net/giro-ditalia-2014-general-preview/

David Hunter

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