Boasson Hagen takes treacherous Giro stage 7

Edvald Boasson Hagen Giro 2009 stage 7

Giro d'Italia stage seven photo gallery, by Graham Watson>>

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-Highroad) improved on his second place yesterday by winning today's rain-soaked stage seven of the 2009 Giro d'Italia.

The Norwegian Ghent-Wevelgem winner gave a textbook display of late acceleration to the line in Chiavenna leaving his four breakaway companions standing in the puddles.

Robbie Hunter (Barloworld) came home in second place, with Russian Pavel Brutt (Katusha) third.

On the run-in to the finish, Boasson Hagen had broken free from the bunch with Davide Vigano (Fuji-Servetto), Hunter and Brutt to join earlier escapee Alessandro Bertolini (Diquigiovanni).

The quintet were left unchallenged by a cautious peloton - particularly as several of the sprinters' team were represented in the break. No one fancied doing the chasing on the steep descent to the finish.

Britain's Ben Swift (Katusha) gained another top ten finish after coming third on stage two. He finished tenth, one ahead of Mark Cavendish (Columbia-Highroad).

Cavendish's hopes of a mass sprint finish today were dashed by the weather and by the fact that his team had Boasson Hagen up the road. The Manxman will be looking forward to Sunday's circuit-based stage in Milan, where he'll be able to flex his leg muscles in earnest.

With the final 3km of today's stage neutralised as a result of the awful weather conditions, there was no danger of any change at the top of the overall classification, with Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes) retaining the pink leader's jersey.

How it happened

The crack of the start gun in Innsbruck had barely stopped ringing around the Austrian hills before four riders formed a break.

Mauro Facci (Quick Step), Bartosz Huzarski (ISD), Sergey Klimov (Katusha) and Vladimir Isaichev (Xacobeo Galicia) went away after only two minutes of racing, and quickly built up a sizable length of tarmac between themselves and the bunch.

The quartet's advantage peaked at over nine minutes before the peloton decided to start reeling them in a little. This was chiselled down gradually, until first Huzarski, Klimov and Isaichev and then Facci were caught by the summit of Passo Maloja.

The bunch then started the long, slippery descent into Chiavenna when Alessandro Bertolini (Diquigiovanni) launched a daring solo attack. The veteran Italian rider was allowed to build up a lead of over a minute as the peloton navigated the winding wet roads behind him.

Pretty soon Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-Highroad), Davide Vigano (Fuji-Servetto), Robert Hunter (Barloworld) and Pavel Brutt (Katusha) bridged the gap to Bertolini.

With several sprinters already represented in the break, the number of teams willing to chase was diminished.

Bertonlini kicked out of the group, but was soon caught. Boasson Hagen slipped past his rivals, and no one could hold his wheel. The stage was his.

Faded protest

Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and their Astana team-mates turned up to the stage start in artificially faded team kit. In a protest at the lack of money coming into the team from sponsors, all of the logos were faded to virtual obscurity.

The protest caused a stir before the stage started, but for most of the day the team were shrouded in rain capes and put in a collectively subdued performance.

Tomorrow's stage is another long and lumpy day for the riders. The 209km route from Morbegno to Bergamo features the long climb to Culmine di San Pietro at the 65km mark before descending to the stage finish via another nasty little climb up and then down the Colle del Gallo.

Stage seven: Innsbruck (Aut) - Chiavenna, 244km
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway) Columbia-Highroad

2. Robert Hunter (RSA) Barloworld

3. Pavel Brutt (Russia) Katusha

4. Davide Vigano (Italy) Fuji-Servetto

5. Alessandro Bertolini (Italy) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni at same time

6. Andriy Grivko (Ukraine) ISD at 31sec

7. Matthew Goss (Australia) Saxo Bank at 40sec

8. Allan Davis (Australia) Quick Step

9. Robert Forster (Germany) Milram

10. Ben Swift (GB) Katusha at same time


11. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia-Highroad at 40sec

59. Ian Stannard (GB) ISD

96. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Cervelo

100. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Cervelo

106. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream

120. Chris Froome (GB) Barloworld

148. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Slipstream

176. Charly Wegelius (GB) Silence-Lotto

Overall classification after stage seven
1. Danilo Di Luca (Italy) LPR Brakes in 28-08-48

2. Thomas Lovkvist (Sweden) Columbia-Highroad at 5sec

3. Michael Rogers (Australia) Columbia-Highroad at 36sec

4. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana at 43sec

5. Denis Menchov (Russia) Rabobank at 50sec

6. Ivan Basso (Italy) Liquigas at 1-06

7. Carlos Sastre (Spain) Cervelo at 1-16

8. Christopher Horner (USA) Astana at 1-17

9. Franco Pellizotti (Italy) Liquigas at 1-27

10. David Arroyo (Spain) Caisse d'Epargne at 1-41


25. Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana at 4-31

27. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 4-37

35. Chris Froome (GB) Barloworld at 5-42

55. Charly Wegelius (GB) Silence-Lotto at 14-15

119. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 41-56

120. Ben Swift (GB) Katusha at 42-43

145. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Cervelo at 53-23

146. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia-Highroad at 53-36

154. Ian Stannard (GB) ISD at 56-17

180. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Cervelo at 1-03-21

Giro d'Italia 2009

Astana - or is it? - at the stage start. Tellingly, only Trek's name remains legible on the 'faded' kit

Giro d'Italia 2009

Edvald Boasson Hagen wins stage seven

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Find the pink jersey competition

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Giro d'Italia 2009

18 pink jerseys will be hidden around the Cycling Weekly and Parker International websites over the course of the three week race - all you have to do is decipher the clues at the end of the stage reports to find them.

Friday, May 15. Clue number six:

Bike security has evolved to this mini product - even Superman would struggle to break it

Today's jersey is on

Full details of CW's find the pink jersey competition>>

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Giro d'Italia 2009 links

Stage reports

Stage six: Scarponi wins longest stage with big break

Stage five: Menchov wins mountain battle as Di Luca grabs the pink jersey

Stage four: Di Luca denies Soler on the line; Lovkvist takes pink jersey

Stage three: Cavendish loses pink jersey after being caught behind late crash

Stage two: Petacchi denies Cavendish the stage win

Stage one: Cavendish in pink as Columbia prove their point to Garmin

Photo galleries

Stage seven photo gallery

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one photo gallery

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Nigel Wynn
Former Associate Editor

Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, an exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.