Sunday 24 September 2017

Bouhanni pips rivals in frantic final dash

Nacer Bouhanni celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the seventh stage of the Giro d'Italia
Nacer Bouhanni celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the seventh stage of the Giro d'Italia

Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni claimed his second win in this year's Giro d'Italia when he edged a mass sprint at the end of the 214-km seventh stage to Foligno.

Australian Michael Matthews finished safely in the pack to retain his 21-second overall lead from compatriot Cadel Evans ahead of today's first mountain stage.

After several days of crashes, yesterday's stage in the undulating Tuscan countryside was relatively incident free, although Bernie Eisel and Eugenio Alafaci both hit the deck near the finish, while Movistar's Fran Ventoso also suffered a fall.

On the first climb of the day, five riders – Robinson Chalapud (Colombia), Jose Herrada (Movistar), Winner Anacona (Lampre-Merida), Bjorn Thurau (Europcar) and Nicola Boem (Bardiani-CSF) – broke clear although Herrada was soon dropped.

Nathan Hass joined the leading group which extended the gap to seven minutes at one stage but were relentlessly reeled in by the peloton over the last 30km.

FDJ's Bouhanni, winner of the fourth stage, positioned himself perfectly to surge to the finish in first place, less than half a wheel ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo.

Irish Independent

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