it’s a day for breakaway heroes and Alessandro De Marchi attacks alone.
Van der Poel apparently told Dutch media at the start that he was targeting the stage.
He attacks again but is chased down yet again.
A Trek teammate waits for him to chase back on in the slipstreams of the team cars.
He will soon be back on and can relax. However he does not have bidons and so calls for a drink via television. He forgot to take a bidon from the bike he left down the road.
Race leader Juan Pedro López also has a problem and makes a quick bike change.
Jaakko Hänninen stops for a front wheel flat but should be able to chase in the team cars and get back on.
It would be a far bigger problem for a sprinter.
173km to go
A slight descent sparks a moment of gruppo compatto.
The road is gradually climbing the hillside on a main road. The gradient is only 3/4 % but hurts at this speed.
Van der Poel makes a third surge but is chased for a third time.
A bigger group are on the move and have joined De Gendt. But that has inspired a chase.
Over a long bridge more attacks come.
Even Mathieu van der Poel is joining the surges at the front of the peloton but he is marked closely.
However the attacks have cut De Gendt’s lead to just 10 seconds.
Davide Formolo (UAE) is on the move and his surge will surely change things.
Wout Poels of Bahrain is up front too.
De Gendt leads the peloton by 50 seconds but they moving too as the road rises slightly.
The three chasers are:
Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix)
Davide Gabburo (Bardisni-CSF)
Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa)
De Gendt is a smart rider and is clearly trying to get ahead of any attacks on the first climb.
The peloton has let him go. But others are jumping after him.
A roundabout splits the peloton and inspires a surge from Thomas De Gendt of Lotto.
The road is pan flat as passes near the Calabrian coastline.
Enjoy it while it last guys!
190km to go
The riders are packed together across the road , watching and waiting for someone to jump away.
This was the calm before the storm.
⚡️ The calm before the storm!⚡️ La calma prima della tempesta!#Giro pic.twitter.com/ePv4zLGSlCMay 13, 2022
Matt Holmes of lotto is the first to go clear. Others join him but the peloton is close too.
Here we go!
The flag drops and we have the first attacks!
The riders are tucked in tight behind the race director’s car.
We’re ready for the first attacks.
Next up the riders must deal with the category 2 Montagna Grande di Viggiano before they take on second-category Monte Scuro (6.1 kilometres at 9.7 per cent) and third-category La Sellata (7.8 kilometres at 5.9 per cent).
This is where the GC riders could attack, in the hope of racing hard all the way to the finish in Potenza and holding any gaps.
The run-in to the finish in Potenza is far from simple, a short 2.3km climb with 7km remaining. The final 350 metres, while not classed as a summit finish, do go uphill at around 8 per cent, topping out at 13 per cent, meaning that if a single rider hasn’t made a break for freedom yet, the battle to the finish line will be a barnstormer. So, too, the arrival of the GC contenders as they scrap for precious seconds.
First up, the second-category Passo Colla: 9.3 kilometres at an average gradient of 4.5 per cent. It is the perfect place for some climbers to get away.
The toughest test of the day is the category 1 Monte Sirino after 90km. It’s a long slog of 24.4 kilometres up to a ski resort – the snow has melted but it will provide a stark contrast to the sun-drenched coasts of the last few days.
The opening 30km follow the coast but then the route turns right and begins to climb.
Here we go. The riders clip in and roll out of Diamante.
The riders are lined-up and ready. They will soon start the 6km of neutralised roads before the flag stops.
We expect Lennard Kämna to go in the attack. He is second overall, only 38 seconds down on Lopez and leading the mountains competition.
We can see Britain’s James Knox up front. Will the QuickStep rider try to go in the break?
Perhaps in a support role for Mauri Vansevenant, who is fifth overall, only 1:47 down on race leader Juan Pedro López.
Today will be a big test of the young Spaniard’s leadership.
There is a real sense of tension at the start.
The riders are lining up for the roll out of Diamante.
One rider missing from the start today is Michael Mørkøv.
Mark Cavendish’s lead out man fell ill overnight and has been forced to abandon the Giro.
Click below for the full story.
Mark Cavendish loses Giro d’Italia lead-out man Mørkøv to illness
This is the map of the stage, in the toe and heel of Italy.
There are almost as many scenario for the stage as there are metres of climbing.
We expect attacks from the start, on the first real climb after 30km and even later, until a break is allowed to go clear.
🇮🇹 #GiroOur boys were all smiles on the podium in Diamante. 🤩@mathieuvdpoel | @OscarRiesebeek | @StefanOldani_ | @TobiasBayer_ | @LeysenSenne | @Bondteke | A. Krieger pic.twitter.com/JUxth2r4aiMay 13, 2022
With four categorised climbs and a total of 4,510 metres in elevation gain, the Giro tackles its first mountain range, the Apennines.
While the GC contenders will be keeping an eye on one another during the course of the day, this stage is one for the breakaway, with strong climbers such as Lennard Kämna, Esteban Chaves or Bauke Mollema possible candidates for victory.
As the Cyclingnews live blimp takes height, the riders are signing on in Diamante.
The start overlooks the Mediterranean sea but the 196km stage soon heads into the rugged mountains of Calabria and then Basilicata.
Buongiorno and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 7 from Diamante on the Calabrian coast to Potenza deep into the Apennines of Basilicata.