Here's the Rabo video describing the stage and showing the highlights
and the full half-hour highlights from Italian tv
The day started with a long neutralised descent, which sounds easy, but definitely wasn't - read Marijn de Vries' blog about what that's like to ride. And then read the other stage blogs, they tell the story so much better than I ever could - sprinter Chloe Hosking's, on her website, and opportunist/all-rounder Tiffany Cromwell, on Cyclingtips.
The first climb smashed the bunch to pieces, with all the big GC favourites at the front, in a group of about 12, with Emma Pooley demonstrating that her climbing legs on Stage 6 weren't a fluke, and crossing the GPM line first to take the Queen of the Mountains jersey away from Vale Scandolara.
On the first climb - photo by Velofocus - click through to his great Stage 7 gallery
The rest of the race was all about the rest of the peloton playing catch up, and riders trying to get away. The big break of the day came from 7 riders: Scandolara (of course!) and her ORICA team-mate Katrin Garfoot, Jessie Daams (Lotto), Tatiana Antoshina (RusVelo), Tayler Wiles (Specialized-lululemon), Linda Vilumsen (Wiggle) and Annemiek van Vleuten (Rabo) again, in her sprinter's jersey. But they couldn't stay away, and the pace was high on the run-in to Chiavenna. More attack attempts - including Antoshina again, Soraya Paladin (TopGirls) and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Hitec) more catches - and Alé-Cipollini working for a last chance at sprint glory.
The finish wasn't steep, but it was HARD - long uphill drag straight into a headwind.... one for the power sprinters
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv, 2:36:43, + 10" bonifications
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) iggle Honda, s.t., + 6" bonis
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) ORICA-AIS, + 4" bonis
4. Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Fra) Rabobank-Liv, s.t., + 1" bonis
5. Shelley Olds (USA) Alé-Cipollini, s.t.
6. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Rabobank-Liv, s.t. + 2" bonis
7. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Rabo-Liv, s.t.
8. Daiva Tuslaite (Ltu) Forno d'Asolo Astute, s.t.
9. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products, s.t.
10. Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels-Dolmans, s.t.
and here's Wiggle's video with second-placed Giorgia Bronzini
and two more Rabo videos - of the stage
and profiling Dutch champ Iris Slappendel
Lovely photos of the day from Velofocus - check them out!
So Stage 8 is the Queen Stage - will we see the General Classification shaken up? Here's how it stands
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv, 20:39:52
2. Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Fra) Rabobank-Liv, + 00:54
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products, + 01:03
4. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Rabobank-Liv, + 02:20
5. Claudia Häusler (Ger) Liv-Shimano, + 02:24
6. Mara Abbott (USA) UnitedHealthcare, + 03:08
7. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Rabobnk-Liv, + 04:51
8. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Rabo-Liv, + 06:19
9. Emma Johansson (Swe) ORICA-AIS, + 06:24
10. Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels-Dolmans, + 06:28
11. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Hitec Products, + 06:36
The stage is going to be brutal - Verbania to San Domenico di Varzo, 90.3km, ending with a long mountain climb. Here's the profile - from Velofocus' excellent preview, which you should read
Last year this was pretty much the same route as Stage 6 - and you can read all about it, and see the videos, in the stage report. Can Mara Abbott do it again? Or will Elisa Longo Borghini get the chance to win on her home roads after missing out last year due to her horrible crash in Nationals? Or can Emma Pooley pull off another stage win? She's sitting way down on GC, so maybe she wouldn't be chased so hard? And then there's Rabo-Liv.....
Here's a video preview of the stage - and let's chat through the stage in the comments!