The Spaniard Pello Bilbao has won the seventh stage of the 102th Giro d'Italia.
The 29-year-old from Team Astana won the 185-kilometer section from Vasto to L'Aquila, crowning the breakaway attempt by a group of 13 riders to defend their lead to the finish. In second and third place came Tony Gallopin from France and Davide Formolo from Italy. Bilbao's compatriot Valerio Conti, who won the pink jersey on Thursday, defended his overall lead by finishing with the favorites group about a minute later.
It was a good day for Pascal Ackermann from Team Bora-hansgrohe. The German sprinter in the purple jersey of the point winner, who on this hilly day anyway had no chance for his third stage victory, secured valuable points in the intermediate sprints and later dropped back. One of his toughest opponents, the Colombian Fernando Gaviria, meanwhile, prematurely dropped out of the tour because of pain in his left knee.
On Saturday we continue with another hilly stage from Tortoredo Lido to Pesaro (239 kilometers) before a time trial to San Marino on Sunday. Class riders like Slovenian Primoz Roglic, who got off lightly in a crash on Thursday, will have their chance in the difficult mountain stages next week.