10/05/13 - 11:40
San Salvo - Pescara
Giro d'Italia • Stage7

San Salvo - Pescara
Giro d'Italia - 10 May 2013

Giro d'Italia – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 11:40 on 10 May 2013. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Benat Intxausti (Movistar) came home in that main chasing group and is now the new race leader as Luca Paolini drops to 15th place at 58 seconds. Vincenzo Nibali is now second, at 5 seconds, and Ryder Hesjedal third at 8 seconds. Bradley Wiggins drops outside the top 20.


Top three today: 1. Adam Hansen (Lotto Belisol), 2. Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani Valvole) +1:07, 3. Danilo Di Luca (Vini Fantini) +1:07.


Wiggins crosses the line in another group more than a minute down on the other main contenders. Bad day for the Tour winner.


Hesjedal, Nibali, Scarponi, Evans and Gesink are all in that group. Not sure about Intxausti - if he's there, he could be in pink tonight.


Here come the chasing pack and it's a Bardiani vs Vini Fantini face-off for the runners-up spots.


Victory for the Australian Adam Hansen of Lotto-Belisol - and he can't quite believe it.


Last kilometre for Hansen. He's been out since the 13th kilometre. What a reward for the man who rode all three Grand Tours last year.


Hansen knows the win is his - the Australian smiles to the camera.


The group of the main favourites are driving a fast pace. Finally, Wiggins has Uran and Henao in support. They're on the flat now.


Wiggo is back on his bike but he's on his own and out of touch with the other main contenders so he will lose time today.


CRASH: Bradley Wiggins goes down on the same bend as Sella!


Another crash for Sella! The Italian loses his grip on a tight right-hand bend. He's not enjoying the rain. He's caught by the other chasers, including Stefano Pirazzi.


Wiggins has been struggling in the rain - he's actually in the Paolini group and has Uran and Henao with him.


Luca Paolini is struggling and will probably lose the pink jersey today. Hansen is over the top and on the descent now.


Nibali has attacked on the last decent and was riding ahead of all the other race favourites. Luckily that wasn't a bad fall for the Italian.


CRASH: Vincenzo Nibali is pushing it hard on the descent and he slips on a corner. Katusha's Yuri Trofimov, right in his wheel, does the same. But they're both back up and on their way quickly.


Hansen onto the final climb of the day: the Cat.4 San Silvestro - 2.2km at 4.5% and a maximum of 14%.


Riders are pinging off the front of the ever-dwindling main pack - but they have surely left it too late, with Hansen certain to win today as long as he doesn't come a cropper on the wet roads.


Hansen is powering on - he has one more climb and then a 5km ride to the finish.


Tangert catches and passes Ligthart. Sella is still 1:15 down on Hansen, who looks very good for the win today.


Di Luca is struggling to get on terms with Kangert. Behind them, the main pack of favourites is really strung out. There is a lot of water on the road, with puddles flanking the tarmac.


Rollin and Tjallingi are caught by the pack as Astana's Tanel Kangert makes a move before another Vini Fantini rider goes on the attack. It's Di Luca again.


Kruijswijk and Gesink are on the front of this main pack of favourites, with Scarponi, Nibali and Uran right there. Evans is somewhere a bit further back, while Wiggo is at the tail-end, clearly not enjoying these conditions.


Wiggins and now Uran are getting in on the act with the main pack on this dicey descent. Wiggo is not enjoying these wet roads and is taking it very gingerly - and gesticulates at the camera motorbike to beat it. He doesn't like being under the mircoscope, that's for sure. Up front, Adam Hansen gets some encouragement from his Lotto DS.


It's starting to rain quite heavily now - which throws yet another curveball into proceedings.


Hansen took the points ahead of Sella and Ligthart on the Cat.3 climb. 3pts puts Sella level with Stefano Pirazzi in the KOM standings on 11pts. Visconti still leads on 14 points.


ATTACK: There is it - Danilo Di Luca makes his move, as expected. His attack spells the end for Bonnafond and the Italian soon joins team-mate Taborre with a number of riders in his wheel. In factm, it' come back together with Nibali and Scarponi not letting Di Luca away. No sign of Wiggins or Hesjedal yet though.


Hansen shaved his head last night apparently - so he's carrying less weight for these climbs.


ATTACK: Guillaume Bonnafond of Ag2R-La Mondiale pings off the front in pursuit of the riders up the road. The Frenchman was part of the break in stage one.


This is a fairly narrow road with some grassy verges. Tamouridis is caught by the peloton and will be in a world of pain between here and the finish. Blanco have three riders on the front. Back with the leaders, Sella is cracking as Hansen begins to ride off ahead. He has 2:12 on Taborre and 2:42 on the pack.


Taborre has dropped Tamouridis. He has three Vini Fantini team-mates on the front of the peloton about to use his attack as a launchpad. But Hansen and Sella still have 3:05 over the pack.


We're onto the penultimate categorised climb of the day - the Cat.3 Santa Maria de Criptis: 3.9km at 5.9% with a maximum gradient of 18%.


CRASH: A FDJ rider hits the deck on a dead straight section. It's Arnold Jeannesson. He's okay and back on his bike - but it just goes to show how slippery and dangerous this rain is making the roads.


Ligthart, Tjallingii and Rollin are 1:06 down on the two leaders Sella and Hansen. Taborre has caught Tamouridis and they are about 50 seconds down on the chasers. The peloton are about 25 seconds further back.


Sella is back with Hansen on the front and Taborre has opened up a bit of a gap in pursuit of the leaders. Somewhere, the four other riders from the initial break are riding - although they may well have been swept up. Sky have three men on the fornt, with Blanco tucked in just behind. Vini Fantini have vanished now their man is riding off. Taborre now catches Tamouridis - but they're still two minutes down on Hansen and Sella.


As Taborre reaches the same corner that did for Sella, the crowds urge him with gesticulations to slow down and take it easy! Replays of the incident show even a spectator coming to Sella's aid falling over on the slipery road.


CRASH: Emanuele Sella crashes on the slippery corner. It's drizzling lightly and maybe that did for the Italian.


Lone chaser Taborre crosses the sprint 2:14 down on the two leaders, with the peloton crossing eight seconds later. No sign of Bradley Wiggins near the front of the main pack, but he's surely there.


Hansen has joined Sella off the front of the escapees. The Australian looks much more composed than the Italian, it has to be said. They're on a steep 10% climb but interestingly what awaits them up top is not some KOM points but the first intermediate sprint. Safe to say Mark Cavendish won't be adding his points tally today...


Replays show that Uran was protecting his leader Wiggins on that last climb - he slowed to come to his aid, and then fell when losing his balance. That's dedication for you - who said anything about a Colombian conspiracy? Uran could indeed be in pink tonight if he plays his cards right and steals 17 seconds from Luca Paolini.


Sella took five points with Hansen second with 3pts and Rollin third at 2pts. Sella now has 8pts in the KOM standings. If he crosses the next two summits in pole position he'll be in blue tonight - but it's a big ask.


Emanuele Sella crosses the summit in pole position to take the points. The peloton passes through 2:05 down.


Cadel Evans and Ryder Hesjedal appear to have been caught out a bit on this climb - they're off the back and fighting back on. Nothing serious, maybe chose to drop back to the team cars at the wrong moment. There's a scare for Rigoberto Uran who comes to a standstill on the side of the road, can't clip out in time and falls onto his left side by a wall. Nothing serious - but looked a bit embarrassing.


ATTACK: Fabio Taborre of Vini Fantini jumps clear of the peloton. The Italian was involved in a solo break in stage three and also tried too join the six leaders earlier today. This is the first part of Vini Fantini's closing game plan being put into action.


The leaders are onto the Cat.3 Chieti-Pietragrossa climb - 2.7km at 7.8% with a maximum of 16%. This one is pretty brutal - as the statistics suggest!


The rain has stopped - it's actually pretty dry at the moment. But there is rain at the finish in Pescara. The six leaders have 2:25, with Ligthart right at the back on this descent, clearly taking it easy following that crash of his earlier.


The climbs come in thick and fast. The peloton is currently on a steep 10% rise which is not even categorised. Yesterday's winner Mark Cavendish has been tailed off the back and is being paced by some OPQS team-mates. Taylor Phinney of BMC is back there too. The American has been suffering with hay fever for quite a few days now.


There's a small crash in the peloton as a rider from Colombia and a rider from Cannondale take each other out on a tight bend. Nothing serious and their get back on their bikes after a helping hand from the Vacansoleil mechanic.


A reminder of the six riders in this break: Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli), Ioannis Tamouridis (Euskaltel), Maarten Tjallingii (Blanco), Dominique Rollin (FDJ), Adam Hansen (Lotto-Belisol) and Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM). They have three minutes over the peloton with three more categorised climbs on the menu.


Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli) jumps clear to take maximum points over the summit ahead of Ioannis Tamouridis (Euskaltel) and Adam Hansen (Lotto Belisol). Those are the first points Sella has picked up for the blue jersey competition in this year's Giro.


The leaders are onto the Cat.4 Villamunga climb: 2.7km at 5.6% with a max gradient of 11%.


Vini Fantini have six men on the front leading the chase. Their riders Danilo Di Luca and Matteo Rabottini are both from in or around Pescara and would love a win today. Katusha and Team Sky are tucked in just behind.


The peloton has reached the next hilltop town - of Bucchianico. Cadel Evans's BMC team and the Vini Fantini team of Messrs Di Luca and Rabottini are on the front. This is a pretty steep climb ino the town, with numerous riders really struggling. The gap is five minutes for the break.


Quite a few riders are beginning to be tailed off by the peloton, including French national champion Nacer Bouhanni. The FDJ rider finished fourth yesterday and was livid at being boxed in towards the finish.


The calm before the storm: we have a succession of small mounds before the first of four categorised climbs at Villamanga.


Luca Paolini, in pink, is tucked in amongst the bright yellow Vini Fantini riders as he stuffs his face with an energy bar. The gap is 6:50 and so he's back in pink on the road (Sella's gap is 6:52 on GC).


Cannondale Colombian Cayetano Sarmiento needs a bike change off the back of the peloton. There was a touch of wheels in the peloton through the last hilltop town and he and a Vini Fantini rider were held up with mechanicals. Meanwhile, Pim Ligthart is receiving medical attention on his left elbow from the race doctor - it looks like the wound is very deep.


Bravo, Pim Ligthart - the Dutchman is virtually back with the leaders now. Vini Fantini, Katusha, Movistar and BMC are all on the front of the pack, 7:20 further down the road.


Dominique Rollin tests his legs by edging ahead of his fellow escapees in Guardiagrele, one of numerous scenic hilltop towns in this Abruzzo region of Italy.


Vini Fantini still lead the peloton as the riders tuck into their lunch. The roads are pretty potholed and wet so they will be taking things rather gingerly. The five leaders have 7:20 over the peloton, which puts Emanuele Sella in the virtual pink jersey. Ligthart, who crashed, is trying to rejoin the leaders.


CRASH: Pim Ligthart crashes on a downhill and needs a bike change. He's been held up considerably and he has blood streaming from his elbow. The Dutch youngster was leading the sextet on the downhill and it will be difficult for him to get back with them now because it's taking a very long time for him to get a new bike from his Vacansoleil team car.


The peloton pass through the feed zone. Bradley Wiggins is off the back of the peloton after a chat with his Sky team car. It's wet and miserable out three, with the looming mountain peaks capped in mist and cloud.


Australian Adam Hansen rode all three Grand Tours for Lotto Belisol last year to become only the 32nd rider in history to achieve such a feat. In 2008, the former HTC rider was the Australian national time trial champion. The last rider in this group is Canadian Dominique Rollin, who won a stage in the 2004 Tour of California. The 30-year-old was expelled from last year's race - his debut Giro - for getting a tug up the Stelvio by his FDJ team car, one day from the finish.


There are two Dutchmen in this break - Pim Ligthart and Maarten Tjallingii. 24-year-old Ligthart of Vacansoleil was the surprise Dutch national champion back in 2011 and is riding his debut Giro on the back of two performances in the Vuelta. The former track star is still looking for his first major UCI win as a professional. 35-year-old Tjallingi of Blanco won the Tour of Belgium in 2006 and finished third in Paris-Roubaix in 2011. Tjallingii is one of the few vegetarians in the peloton.


Not many would have expected a Greek rider to turn out for the Basque-based team Euskaltel - but following the relaxing of their recruitment policy, that has indeed become a reality. Track specialist Ioannis Tamourdis, 32, joined Euskaltel this winter and is now riding his debut Grand Tour. In 2011 he picked up wins in the Tour of Romania and the Tour of Szeklerland.


It's raining now in the Abruzzo. The gap back to the peloton is 6:34 meaning Sella is 18 seconds away from becoming the virtual maglia rosa. Katusha are controlling the chase along with the bright yellow shirts of Vini Fantini, who missed the break. Fabio Taborre made a lone effort to break clear earlier in the day while Matteo Rabottini, the local lad, tried to bridge the gap to the six escapees. As it is, they will rely on a counter attack once the break is reeled in.


The 32-year-old Androni Giocattoli rider Emanuele Sella is a veteran of seven Giros and won a stage in his debut race back in 2004. Sella won three stages in 2008 on his way to finishing 6th on GC and taking the mountains classification. But he subsequently tested positive for CERA, third generation EPO, and was banned for a year by the Italian National Olympic Committee.


The last Italian rider to win in Pescara was Silvano Contini back in 1982. If this break stays out then there's only a one-in-six chance that that run will be overturned. Alongside Sella the Italian we have two Dutchmen, one Canadian, one Australian and the peloton's first ever Greek rider in Tamouridis.


Greek rider Tamouridis, Dutchman Ligthart and Italian Sella will be very familiar with each other's strengths and weaknesses - they were all involved in the main break in stage four a few days ago.


News coming in that Mattia Catteneo, the Italian 22-year-old who crashed shortly after the start of today's stage, has been taken to hospital with a suspected fractured femur. Let's hope things don't turn out as serious as feared for the Lampre-Merida rider.


The average speed for the first hour of racing today was 45.8 km/h which shows how frantic things are out there.


The six leaders now have an advantage of 4:45 as they approach the second uncategorised climb of the day.


Controversial Italian Emanuele Sella was involved in the break a few days ago but elected to drop back because his place on GC was a threat to the pink jersey of Luca Paolini. The Italian is 6:52 down now on GC - more than double the deficit than he was in stage four - so this break may be given a bit more leeway.


It's no-can-do for the Italian duo of Rabottini and Boem, who are swallowed back into the pack. Meanwhile, the break now has two minutes on the peloton - so it's game on for them.


Matteo Rabottini (Vini Fantini) and Nicola Boem (Bardiani Valvole) try to bridge the gap. Both Italian wildcard teams missed out on this break - and Rabottini's home town is Pescara, where today's stage finishes.


BREAK: Six riders have jumped clear of the peloton. They are Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli), Ioannis Tamouridis (Euskaltel), Maarten Tjallingii (Blanco), Dominique Rollin (FDJ), Adam Hansen (Lotto-Belisol) and Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM).


Wiggins is back with the peloton after those mechanical problems. He'll be hoping there'll be no more of those in the last section of today's stage, which features four categorised climbs with steep ramps of up to 19%.


The action is coming thick and fast here: Danilo Hondo (RadioShack) and Tomas Damuseau (Argos Shimano) have both crashed. George Bennett of RadioShack has picked up a puncture. Taborre is reeled back into the peloton - just as Bradley Wiggins needs a bike change. The 2012 Tour de France champion is currently being paced back to the peloton by his Sky team-mates.


ATTACK: Fabio Taborre of Vini Fantini is riding ahead of the peloton. He has 26 seconds at the moment. Numerous riders are trying to bridge the gap.


After winning yesterdaty's stage - his second in the race - MArk Cavendish moved back into the red jersey. The Manxman leads the points standings with 58 points to Elia Viviani's 52 points. His Italian rival from Cannondale has finished second to Cavendish twice in sprint finishes in the opening week. "There really was very little to be done against Cavendish. It was a great sprint from the best sprinter in the world," Viviani said yesterday.


Numerous riders trying to break clear of the pack now on the Cupello climb. A reminder that Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) leads the KOM competition by three points ahead of Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani Valvole). Visconti was hurt in yesterday's pile-up and so it will be tricky for him to hold onto the blue jersey today - especially with all those categorised climbs towards the end of the stage.


Italy's Matteo Trentin attacks but the Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider is reeled in by the peloton, which is roaring along at a fast pace.


CRASH: Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre-Merida) goes down and is forced to retire from the race because of his injuries. More on that once we get it - but a terrible blow for the Italian youngster, who was making his debut in the Giro.


After a short neutral zone, the remaining 202 riders get this seventh stage of the Giro under way. Let the action commence...


Two riders have not taken to the start today: Australian Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge) and Belgian Klaas Lodewyck (BMC) have withdrawn from the race. Both riders came down in that big pile-up on the closing straight 32km from the finish yesterday. Howard broke his collarbone in the fall - although he did finish the stage, which is pretty admirable.


It's sunny and cloudy in San Salvo as the riders roll through the neutral zone. The temperature is 21 degrees Celsius. But rain is forecast for later during the stage and at the finish in Pescara, which could make things rather exciting.


Today will be a nervous day for the race favourites ahead of tomorrow's all-important individual time trial. As the adage goes - the race won't be won here, but it could be lost. Italian Luca Paolini (Katusha) is in pink, 17 seconds ahead of Rigoberto Uran (Sky) and 26 seconds ahead of Benat Intxausti (Movistar). Favourites Nibali, Hesjedal and Wiggins are 31, 34 and 34 seconds down, respectively.


Yesterday, Britain's Mark Cavendish benefited from a superb lead-out to win a fast bunch sprint at the end of stage six of the Giro d'Italia in Margherita di Savoia - and take the red points jersey. The Omega Pharma-Quick Step sprinter was expertly launched by team-mate Gert Steegmans in the closing straight before winning by a bike length ahead of rivals Elia Viviani (Cannondale) and Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge).


Welcome to live coverage of stage seven of the Giro d'Italia - a relentlessly up-and-down 177km ride into Abruzzo from San Salvo to the coastal town of Pescara.