Neo-pro De Clercq wins Giro stage seven by a whisker

Bart De Clercq wins, Giro d'Italia 2011, stage seven

Giro d'Italia 2011 stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson>>

Young Belgian Bart De Clercq (Omega Pharma Lotto) held on by the skin of his teeth for victory on today's stage seven of the Giro d'Italia.

The stage from Maddaloni to Montevergine di Mercogliano was a short but sharp affair - only 110km - but saw the first mountain top finish of this year's race.

Following a fast start, a group of five riders managed to break the elastic to form the days breakaway.

Today's lucky five were Jerome Pineau (Quick Step), Federico Canuti (Colnago-CSF Inox), Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini), Lars Ytting Bak (HTC-Highroad) and Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r La Mondiale).

Stefano Garzelli's Acqua & Sapone henchmen controlled the pace, trying to set up their leader for the final hilltop assault.

As the gap started to fall, over the second category climb with just over 40km remaining, a familiar face took off in pursuit of the breakaway.

Jonny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) made short work in bridging the 1-30 to the leaders, before trying to ride straight past them - to no avail.

The favourites however had their eyes on victory and the break came to a fold on the lower slopes of the final ascent.

The usual attacks ensued from the peloton with Stefano Pirazzi, already very active the previous day, once again trying to get away. But it was the 24-year-old first year pro De Clercq who managed to slip away and quickly built up 30 seconds.

He held around 25 seconds at the red kite over a slimmed down chase group but was struggling to hold the pace.

Acqua & Sapone and Lampre-ISD headed the chase and into the final 300m Scarponi made his bid for glory. It looked like De Clercq would be swallowed up just metres from the line but he held on by just centimetres for his first professional win.

Scarponi came over the line in second ahead of Roman Kreuziger in third.

The pink jersey remains on the shoulders of Pieter Weening finishing in the same time as the stage winner. The only favorite to lose time was Carlos Sastre (Geox) who conceded 21 seconds in the final kilometre.


Giro d'Italia 2011, stage seven: Maddaloni to Montevergine di Mercogliano, 110km

1. Bart De Clercq (Bel) Omega Pharma Lotto in 2-54-47

2. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD

3. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana

4. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone

5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas

6. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha

7. Jose Guillen Rujano (Ven) Androni Giocattoli

8. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quickstep

9. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Bank Sunguard

10. Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Garmin-Cervelo


78. Peter Kennaugh (GB) Sky Pro Cycling at 7:35

165. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 15:09

167. Adam Blythe (GB) Omega Pharma Lotto

176. Russell Downing (GB) Sky Pro Cycling

178. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Highroad

Overall classification after stage seven

1. Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank in 23-09-59

2. Kantantsin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Highroad at 2 secs

3. Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Highroad at same time

4. Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Garmin-Cervelo at 5 secs

5. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 14 secs

6. Pablo Lastras (Spa) Movistar at 22 secs

7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 24 secs

8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank at 28 secs

9. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Bank-Sungard at 30 secs

10. Jose Serpa (Col) Androni Giocattoli at 33 secs


49. Peter Kennaugh (GB) Sky at 8-25

81. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Cervelo 19-38

137. Russell Downing (GB) Sky at 36-01

175. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Highroad at 50-18

193. Adam Blythe (GB) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 1-05-19

Mark Cavendish chases back on, Giro d

Mark Cavendish chases back on

Peter Kennaugh, Giro d

Peter Kennaugh

Jerome Pineau heads breakaway, Giro d

Jerome Pineau heads the day's big breakaway group

Bart De Clercq wins, Giro d

Bart De Clercq holds off the chasers by literally centimetres

Pieter Weening kept the race lead, Giro d

Pieter Weening successfulyy defended his race lead

Giro d'Italia 2011: Latest news

Contador minds food at Giro as CAS decision nears

Weening supported by Rabobank and model Kroes

Local lad Appollonio bears fruit in Fiuggi

Giro d'Italia News Shorts (May 12 edition)

Blythe finding way in second Grand Tour

Leopard-Trek withdraws from Giro d'Italia

Leopard-Trek uncertain to continue in Giro

Tuesday's Giro stage in memory of Weylandt

Giro doctor describes actions to save Weylandt

Wouter Weylandt killed in Giro crash

Giro news shorts (May 8)

Cavendish likely to take Giro lead tomorrow

Giro 2011: Who will win?

Kennaugh to lead Team Sky in Giro's opening stage

Nibali's Giro fight with Contador may reach the courtroom

Riis defends Contador's participation in Giro

Cavendish set to start winning again at the Giro

Doping investigations force cyclists out of Giro d'Italia

Kennaugh replaces Pauwels in Sky's Giro line-up

Contador scouts out the Giro mountains

Cavendish and Millar top list of Giro-bound Brits

Lampre likely for Giro despite doping investigation

Giro announces record 23 teams to race

2011 Giro to start in Turin with team time trial

Giro goes one up on the Tour with spectacular route

Nygaard, Sciandri and Lloyd comment on 2011 Giro route

Nibali's Giro d'Italia?

Giro d'Italia 2011: Stage reports

Stage six: Ventoso steals Giro stage six win

Stage five: Weening holds on to take stage and maglia rosa

Stage four: Tearful Farrar and Leopard-Trek lead riders across stage four finish line

Stage three: Vicioso victory overshadowed by Weylandt crash

Stage two: Petacchi wins as Cavendish takes lead

Stage one: HTC-Highroad wins Giro's opening team time trial

Giro d'Italia 2011: Photo galleries

Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson

Giro d'Italia 2011: Live text coverage

Giro d'Italia 2011 stage seven live text updates

Giro d'Italia 2011 stage five live text updates

Follow the 2011 Giro d'Italia live with Cycling Weekly

Giro d'Italia 2011: Start list

Giro d'Italia 2011: Start list

Giro d'Italia 2011: TV schedule

Giro d'Italia 2011: British Eurosport TV schedule

Related links

Giro d'Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly's coverage index


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