photo credits @ Giro d’Italia
Pello Bilbao (Astana) claimed stage 7 of the Giro d’Italia in L’Aquila today, after the Spanish rider timed his attack to perfection with less than 2 kilometers remaining to hold-off a concerted chase effort to beat Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale) and Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Meanwhile, Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) held onto the maglia rosa after a blisteringly fast stage that averaged almost 50kph along the 185 kilometer route.
Formolo attacked at the 80 kilometer mark, causing a 12-rider breakaway group to ride clear.
From there, the group went on to establish an advantage of more than two minutes over the peloton with Bilbao and Antonio Pedrero (Movistar) leading the way.
Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Rubén Plaza (Israel Cycling Academy) were later dropped along the 10 kilometer climb of the Le Svolte di Popoli, leaving Bilbao, Formolo, Pedrero, Cattaneo, Gallopin, Sebastián Henao (Ineos), Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Andrey Zeits (Astana) out front.
As they hit the climb of the Via della Polveriera, McCarthy, Zeits, Rojas and Henao were also dropped, prompting Formolo and Cattaneo to go on the attack with 6 kilometers to go. But, the duo was quickly rejoined by Hamilton, Gallopin and Bilbao.
With 1.5 kilometers to go, Bilbao executed his winning move, stemming-off any challenges from his rivals along the final double-digit ramp to the finish to seize his first Grand Tour victory.
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