The sprinters will be confident of returning to the spotlight on Stage 7’s long 211km jaunt from Sulmona to Foligno, a route which takes in the Category 2 Le Svolte Di Popoli early doors, followed by the Category 4 Valico Della Somma. It is a downhill run to the finish and a tricky technical approach to the line which is currently forecast to be wet by the time the riders reach Foligno.
Giacomo Nizzolo has twice endured seeing his efforts come to nothing in sprints so far at this year’s Giro d’Italia, once having been boxed in late on and most recently having had his sprint hampered by Rein Taaramäe hitting the deck in the final kilometres of Stage 5. His results thus far have somewhat disguised the excellent condition he arrived here in, while the possibility of a wet and technical finale would play into Nizzolo’s hands nicely.
Marcel Kittel must be considered given his imperious form right now, though this stage is far from perfect for the German powerhouse to chalk up yet another grand tour victory. If he manages to make it over the final climb in touch with the main bunch still in sight, then Etixx-Quick Step will invest everything into dragging him back into contention with the hope of navigating him a safe passage through the final corner.
Arnaud Démare has appeared very strong and is perhaps unfortunate to have not already won a stage at this year’s Giro d’Italia. His FDJ team were a great surprise during the first sprint of the week, but then came unstuck after a major crash wiped them out late into Stage 3, so are eager to reignite their captain’s hopes of the red jersey with a win here. The technical nature will not be too off putting for the Frenchman and if his team lead him through the last bend ahead of his rivals, it will be extremely tough to come round Démare before the line.
Sacha Modolo seemed certain to win Stage 5 before Lampre-Merida saw all their work amount to nothing as Taaramäe slid out and disrupted their lead out train entirely. Today offers a technically demanding conclusion which not only plays to his strengths, but also to those of his lead out train, thus making Lampre appear an impressive force on paper for Stage 7.
1st Giacomo Nizzolo 2nd Sacha Modolo 3rd Arnaud Démare