Stage 7 results: Bart De Clercq (Omega Pharma-Lotto) escapes halfway up the finishing climb and barely hangs on for the win

31 Big Photos from Stage 7sirotti/rcs
Stage 7 results
1  Bart De Clercq (Omega Pharma-Lotto)     2:54:47
2  Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD)   
3  Roman Kreuziger (Astana)   
4  Stefano Garzelli (Acqua&Sapone)   
5  Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale)   
6  Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha)   
7  José Rujano (Androni)   
8  Dario Cataldo (Quick Step)   
9  Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard)   
10 Christophe Le Mevel (Garmin-Cervélo)   

General classification after Stage 7
1  Pieter Weening (Rabobank)             23:09:59
2  Kanstantin Siutsou (HTC-Highroad)       + 0:02
3  Marco Pinotti (HTC-Highroad)   
4  Christophe Le Mevel (Garmin-Cervélo)    + 0:05
5  Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD)           + 0:14
6  Pablo Lastras (Movistar Team)           + 0:22
7  Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale)   + 0:24
8  Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank)            + 0:28
9  Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard)    + 0:30
10 José Serpa (Androni)               
Full/Official Results and
De Clercq prevails on first summit finish cyclingnews
Bart De Clercq wins first mountain stage by the skin of his teethvelonation
Bart De Clercq wint in Giro op col van 2e categorie
A Tropea vince Gatto E riecco Contador: è 5°
Video: Neo-pro Bart De Clercq takes Giro d'Italia by surprise cyclingnews
Kreuziger: Scarponi was strongest on Montevergine cyclingnews
 Last 2 Km (09:06 Italian) —
 Processo alla tappa - 7ª tappa/ Post-Stage Show (1 hour, Italian) —
31 Big Photos from Stage 7sirotti/rcs
Who is Giro stage winner Bart de Clercq?velonews

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May 11 post: Stage 7, with two category 2 climbs including the mountaintop finish on Montevergine di Mercogliano, is the first of eight mountain stages at this year's Giro d'Italia. This will be a beautiful stage that starts and finishes in green parkland after a 200 km transfer south from Stage 6. From Maddaloni, the peloton meanders southeast to the finish in Montevergine for the shortest road stage of this year's Giro at just 110 km. Short and sweet.

Montevergine di Mercogliano should ring a bell for Giro followers because it was last featured in 2007 when Liquigas' Danilo di Luca won ahead of Riccardo Ricco. Both of these riders have fallen on hard times since, for doping violations. Danilo di Luca is back this year and it will be interesting to see how he performs compared to four years ago.

The finishing climb to Santuario di Montevergine is lengthy for a category 2 at 17 km, but it averages 5% with a 10% max which is modest by Giro standards. There are what seems like an endless set of tight switchbacks which will take some of the sting out of the climb. You can see them cut into the lush vegetation in the photo above. In 2007, there was 13 seconds separating the top 10 finishers and the 41st rider finished one minute back. Expect a modest reshuffling of the general classification with more of the eventual GC contenders popping into the top 10 for the first time this week.

Before the finishing climb, there is the cat 2 Serra della Strada cresting at km 66 which has the same average gradient as the finishing climb (5%), but is shorter at 9.8 km in length. A break should form on this climb, but it's not likely to stay away. — Steve

Di Luca predicts large group to arrive at Monteverginecyclingnews
 3D tour of Montevergine di mercogliano (Cat 2) cyclingthealps