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No stopping Lotto - Greipel wins again

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Stage 7 to Foligno looked like one of the few remaining chances for the sprinters and indeed the stage ended in a frantic sprint with André Greipel finishing off yet another day of hard work from Lotto-Soudal by refusing to be denied in the sprint. He squeezed past to take the stage ahead of Nizzolo and Modolo.

LUK BENIES/AFP/Getty Images

Another 200+ km stage ended somewhat predictably in a bunch sprint but it was a day that started with a bit stress for the peloton. Early on the bunch split in two but after a brief panic order was resumed and a six man break was established. This was not a day when the sprinters were to be denied though and their advantage never reached more than 4 minutes as Lotto- Soudal and FDJ most of all controlled the gap.

On the final 4th category climb those teams set a good tempo to put the hurt on the uphill challenged Marcel Kittel and perhaps drop him and make him miss the finale. They did indeed manage to split the peloton with Kittel in a group slightly behind but not more than he managed to rejoin the peloton after the descent. Damiano Cunego made a desperate attempt to catch the break on the climb in order to protect his climbers jersey but failed and that jersey now moves to Tim Wellens who just pinched enough points on the first climb of the day.

As the race approached the finale in Foligno Stefan Küng was the last of the breakaways to be swept up. With 5 kms to go Etixx and Marcel Kittel were struck by bad luck as Kittel suffered a mechanical that denied him the chance of contesting the sprint. Up ahead no one was waiting around but Lotto stretched the peloton out through the tricky corners to avoid crashes and getting swamped. In the final km it looked as if Orica and Lampre had the upper hand though as Greipel had used up his help. With his current form though there was no stopping him as he blasted past the opponents at just the right time. Caleb Ewan faded and Sacha Modolo had no answer when Greipel threw himself off the Lampre rider's wheel to launch his final sprint. With three stage wins in a row and taking both the climbers and points jerseys things couldn't be going much better for the Belgians in red at the moment.

Top 10 Stage 7

  1. André Greipel
  2. Giacomo Nizzolo
  3. Sacha Modolo
  4. Caleb Ewen
  5. Enrico Battaglin
  6. Matteo Trentin
  7. Alexander Porsev
  8. Alexey Tsatevich
  9. Nicola Ruffoni
  10. Elia Viviani