Andre Greipel has won Stage 7 of the 99th Giro d’Italia in Foligno to clinch Lotto-Soudal’s third successive stage victory of this year’s race, and his second in three days. He also moves into the lead of the points classification.
The German sprinter, dominant in Benevento on Wednesday, did it the hard way today though, finding himself boxed in and around 10 places from the front of the bunch inside the final 500 metres.
Jumping on the wheel of Lampre-Merida’s Sacha Modolo, Greipel came round the Italian to win. Modolo would finish third, with Trek Segafredo’s Giacomo Nizzolo coming second – just as he did in 2014, the last time the race visited Foligno.
To cap a tremendous three days for Lotto-Soudal, yesterday’s stage winner Tim Wellens is the new leader of the mountains classification, taking the blue jersey from Nippo-Vini Fantini’s Damiano Cunego. Giant-Alpecin’s Tom Dumoulin keeps the overall lead.
“Three stage wins are more than we expected," reflected Greipel. "We have already won three stages out of seven. It’s impressive for us.
"We are just trying to enjoy the moment. I always try to do my best. I have a good background for my team-mates to set me up before the sprints. Hard work is the key to success.
"I’m glad I’ve managed to remain competitive since I started winning at Grand Tours in 2008.”
The last survivor of the day’s break, BMC Racing’s Stefan Kung, had been brought back with 7 kilometres remaining, Lotto-Soudal keeping the pace at the front of the peloton as they looked to set up Greipel.
Around 5 kilometres out, points classification leader Marcel Kittel of Ettix-Quick Step, who had battled back to the bunch after being dropped earlier, was forced to change bikes, ending any chance he had of contesting the finish.
With 80 kilometres left of the 196 kilometre stage from Sulmona, Movistar rider Javier Moreno was involved in what appeared to be a very bad crash, and was taken to hospital by ambulance.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.