The riders in the 2013 Giro d'Italia head into the mountains of central Italy's Abruzzo region for Friday's Stage 7. The 177-kilometer (110-mile) stage features two gradual early climbs in the first half and four King of the Mountain peaks in the second half, as riders race from San Salvo Marina to Pescara.
After six of the race's 21 stages, Italian Luca Paolini of Team Katusha holds a 17-second lead over Rigoberto Uran Uran. A number of other top names, including former Tour de France champions Bradley Wiggins and Cadel Evans, are well within striking distance. With a 55-kilometer (34-mile) individual time trial scheduled for Saturday, most experts are predicting the top contenders to play it safe during Stage 7. Podium Cafe isn't so sure of that:
So, who gets in a massive breakaway and wins the stage by more than ten minutes on the maglia rosa? Here are a few guesses:
— Daniel Oss: perfect rider for this terrain, and will win the sprint out of a small break. Which is probably why they won't let him into the party.
— Filippo Pozzato: What else does he have to do? Motivation will be there, even if the form is iffy.
— Stefano Garzelli: Hm, might make some teams a bit nervous. Not sure why though.
— Maarten Tjallingii: Just because he's nails.
Plus a zillion guys I don't know very well. The real question for me is, does this day become interesting, like "Let's give Oscar Pereiro 40 minutes" interesting? Or do they get a harmless enough group up the road so nobody cares? I'd love to see some teams play a card or two.
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