For stage seven, the Giro moves a bit further down towards the heel of Italy into the province of Bari, but still it stays in the mountains. Although as a minor consolation it moves away from obscure villages concealing evil climbs into countryside that merely rolls slightly uncomfortably. Those with sore legs will be glad to learn that they have made it over the worst. No more 1st category climbs are left, just a handful of 2nds and 3rds. OK there are four of them today, but if you’ve got this far without missing the time cut then you’ve got a good chance of making it all the way to Napoli, especially if you can survive today’s 131km. That’s the longest stage in the race.
The riders start in the ancient city of Andria, travel further inland to the town of Spinazzola for two laps of a circuit with a 3rd category climb both times, then turn back seawards via another cat 3 at Minervino Murge to finish at Castel del Monte, the 14th Century castle built by Holy Roman Emperor (or as Pope Gregory IX had it, the Antichrist), Frederick II, on top of one final climb, this one a 2nd category (And so what if the photo shows a different castle, this photo's got Sean Connery in it). It’s a tough day, especially if the weather stays as hot as it has been, but there is no single killer point to stop you there and then, just lots of kilometres needing to be ground out.
Rai Sport Piu will have half an hour of coverage at 19:30 local time. RAI 2 also claim to be interrupting their daily Tour coverage for a fifteen minute daily summary, but they've only done so one day so far. Untimetabled, so it’s the luck of the draw if you get it or not.
"I'm sorry, I didn't see you there" ((I love the shouts of "Dai! Dai!" as she goes up the hill.)