The first mountain finish of the Giro d?Italia saw the first attacks by the overall contenders with Danilo Di Luca (LPR), Riccardo Ricco, Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval) and Alberto Contador (Astana) gaining 51 seconds on their rivals in the Apennine mountains.
Gabriele Bosisio (LPR) won the stage in Pescocostanzo. He was part of the seven-rider break that formed early in the stage and then jumped away alone eight kilometres from the finish. Vasil Kiryienka (Tinkoff) was second at 46 seconds behind, and Emanuele Sella of Italy was third at one 1:02.
Di Luca and Ricco finished at 2-04, Piepoli at 2-07 and Contador at 2-10 after losing a few seconds in the rush to the line.
The other big names in this years race, Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas), Andreas Kloden (Astana), Denis Menchov (Rabobank), Paolo Savoldelli (LPR), Gilberto Simoni (Diquigiovanni) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas), all finished at 2-55.
Giovanni Visconti (Quick Step) finished 3:52 minutes behind Bosisio but retained the overall race lead.He now leads Matthias Russ if Germany by nine seconds. Bosisio is third at 5:43. The six British riders in the Giro all finished the stage in the gruppetto.
Thanks to gaining 51 seconds, 2007 Giro winner Di Luca moved up to fourth at 7:27. He leads Ricco by 26 seconds, Contador by 29 seconds, early race leader Franco Pellizotti of Italy by 44 seconds and Germany?s Andreas Kloden by 1:12.
?It was a good stage for my LPR team because Bosisio won the stage and I gained time on most of my rivals,? Di Luca said.
?The seconds I?ve gained won?t be enough to win the Giro but they?re good to have so early because this is and will be a very tactical Giro. I?m happy, while some of my rivals must be a little worried even if the real racing starts on stage 15 when we head into the Dolomites.
Saturday?s 208km eighth stage is from Rivisondoli to Tivoli near Rome and ends with a one-kilometre climb to the finish. It could be perfect for world champion Paolo Bettini (Quick Step) to finally win a stage.
GIRO D’ITALIA 2008 STAGE SEVEN: RESULTS
1. Gabriele Bosisio (Ita) LPR 176km in 4hours 45min 5secs
2. Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Tinkoff at 46secs
3. Emanuele Sella (Ita) Caisse D’Epargne at 1min 2secs
4. Felix Rafael Cardenas (Col) Barloworld at 1min 33secs
5. Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR at 2min 4secs
6. Riccardo Ricco (Ita) Saunier Duval at same time
7. Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Saunier Duval at 2min 7secs
8. Alberto Contador (Esp) Astana at 2min 10secs
9. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner at 2min 55secs
10. Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas at same time
115. Geraint Thomas (GB) Barloworld at 24min 29secs
117. Steven Cummings (GB) Barloworld
118. David Millar (GB) Slipstream all at same time
146. Mark Cavendish (GB) High Road at 28min 11secs
167. Charly Wegelius (GB) Liquigas
173. Bradley Wiggins (GB) High Road all at same time.
GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: STAGE REPORTS
Stage six: Italians clean up
Stage five: Millar denied by snapped chain
Stage four: Cavendish wins
Stage three: Bennati romps home
Stage two: Ricco wins Giro d’Italia second stage
Stage one TTT: Slipstream wins Giro team time trial
GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: NEWS
Aggressive Cummings comes away empty handed [stage six]
Millar speaks out after missing out in Giro [stage five]
Reaction to Cavendish’s Giro stage win
Cav hits back at Pozzato’s snipe
Cavendish: This is my biggest win [stage four]
Millar celebrates Slipstream Giro d’Italia success
Bettini looking for final Giro glory
Astana’s troubled build-up to the Giro
Petacchi banned for Salbutamol positive
Yates and Astana make last minute rush to Giro
GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: PHOTOS
Giro d’Italia 2008: Photo gallery. New photos added daily
GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: FEATURES
Tuesday Comment (May 13): Why Cavendish is a bona fide world-class star
Giro Britannia: how the Brits are doing in Italy
Giro d’Italia 2008 preview
Giro d’Italia 2008: who will win?
Giro d’Italia 2008: The British are coming
Giro d’Italia on Eurosport: TV schedule