Spaniard Bilbao Wins Giro Stage Seven, Conti Retains Pink Jersey

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Pello Bilbao shook off the other survivors of a long breakaway in the final kilometre into l'Aquila to win Friday's seventh stage as Valerio Conti held on to top spot of the overall leaderboard at the Giro d'Italia.

Join Pro to watch the Giro d'Italia live and on-demand

The victory lifted the Spanish Astana rider a second ahead of race favourite Primoz Roglic just outside the top 10 of the general standings. 

"It was a really important day for me to day," Bilbao said the 29-year-old.

"It's a long time to claim my first victory in a three-week race," he added. 

Italian Conti of Bahrain-Merida kept the pink jersey although it was briefly threatened by Spanish veteran Jose Rojas who was part of the breakaway. 

Rojas, a 33-year-old with Movistar, had finished third in the breakaway the previous day that put Conti in pink. Rojas was also part of the escape on Friday.

Even though Conti's team-mates Jan Polanc and Diego Ulissi worked hard at the front of the peloton, when the gap reached two minutes with 30 kilometres to go, Rojas was in the overall lead on the road. But the relentless pursuit trimmed the gap in the final kilometres. 

Rojas moved up to second, 1min 32sec behind Conti.  

"It was a hard stage, and I was very tired from yesterday," Conti said. "I said to myself, 'Come on, you're strong,' and the team helped me through."

Even though the gap shrunk, the overall leaders stayed away. Bilbao, who had been helped during the breakaway by Astana team-mate Andrey Zeits, slipped away before the end. 

"The final kilometre was a long one," Bilbao said. "I didn't want to go too hard. I saw I had a five-seconds lead, which is a good lead. I saved something for the final hundred metres, and I had time to celebrate."

Bilbao completed the hilly 180km stage at an average speed of more than 45 kilometres. The hungry pursuit by the peloton meant that for all the finishers the pace was high all day, a sharp contrast to the 233km stage on Thursday when the pack took a day off. 

"It was racing, racing, racing for two hours," said Victor Campenaerts, a Belgian with Lotto-Soudal, who recently set the world hour record. 

"Then it was keeping the breakaway to a two-minute gap. Yesterday was really long and easy," he added.

Roglic's prospects suffered a blow when Jumbo-Visma team-mate Laurens De Plus, slated to be the Slovenian's main helper in the Alps, withdrew.

Saturday's stage from Tortoreto Lido to Pesaro along the Italian west coast is the longest in this year's race at 239km.

Froome Undergoes Surgery, Can Return To Racing In 6 Months

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome has undergone a successful four-hour operation following a devastating crash and could be back racing in six months, his surgeon said Thursday.

Froome Could Receive 2011 Vuelta Title After Cobo Banned

The 2011 Vuelta a Espana winner Juan Cobo has been found guilty of an anti-doping rule violation and could be stripped of the victory, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said Thursday.

More Ways To Watch FloBikes

null

Never miss a moment. 

Froome Crashes Out Of Dauphine, Taken To Hospital

Chris Froome was taken to the hospital Wednesday after falling on a training run for the Criterium du Dauphine 4th stage individual time-trial, Team Ineos said.

Greg Van Avermaet's TDF Prep To Begin AT Hammer Series Limburg

Greg Van Avermaet will return to racing at Hammer Limburg this weekend to mark the start of his pre-Tour de France racing block.

Carapaz On Brink Of Giro Victory As Tempers Fray On Eve Of Finish

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Richard Carapaz closed in on his first Giro d'Italia triumph on Saturday after keeping hold of the leader's pink jersey in a tumultuous 20th and penultimate stage that saw Miguel Angel  Lopez lash out at a spectator who knocked him over.

Esteban Chaves Attacks Again and Again For Stage 19 Victory

null

Ecuador's Richard Carapaz tightened his grip on the leader's pink jersey as Colombia's Esteban Chaves claimed victory in the 19th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Friday.

Break Man Damiano Cima Survives By A Bike Length, Winning Stage 18

null

Italy's Damiano Cima of the Nippo team snatched victory with a sprint finish, holding off a late charging peloton in Thursday's 18th stage of the Giro d'Italia.

Nans Peters Wins Solo, Richard Carapaz Adds To GC Lead

null

France's Nans Peters of the Ag2r-La Mondiale team crossed the line alone to claim his maiden victory in the Giro d'Italia 17th stage on Wednesday.

Cold, Rain, and Category Climbs: Ciccone Takes Stage 16

null

Italy's Giulio Ciccone won the rain-lashed 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday as race favourite Primoz Roglic lost 1min 20sec to his main rivals in pink jersey-wearer Richard Carapaz and two-time winner Vincenzo Nibali.