Giro d'Italia: Arnaud Démare takes stage 7

Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) took his second consecutive sprint victory and his third in this year’s Giro d’Italia in Brindisi, again benefitting from his team’s superb lead-out and his own speed and confidence to win from the front. 

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) managed to take Démare’s wheel in the sprint but lacked the courage to challenge him along the barriers and lacked the legs to come past him. Sagan waved his arm after the finish, indicating the Frenchman had moved across the road. He had, but not enough for the UCI judges to punish him.   

Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) was third several bike lengths back, with Ben Swift (Ineos Grenadiers) fourth.

“Having fantastic teammates made the difference today. It was amazing what they did for me,” Démare said of his now well-drilled and highly efficient team.

“It was a very fast stage with echelons and then a tailwind and lots of crashes. It was very nervous. Fortunately things calmed down but it was also a fast sprint. There was a lot of wind until four kilometres to go and the final was twisting, making it difficult to move up. I waited a bit to open up my sprint and saw Sagan was behind and ready me. But it was okay, it was perfect.”

Early echelon attacks split the peloton sparked a high-speed day of racing with the peloton setting a new record of 51.23kph for a Giro d’Italia road stage.

The early echelons saw Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe), Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain McLaren) and Domenico Pozzovivo (NTT Pro Cycling) stuck behind and fearing for their overall hopes. Fortunately a determined chase and a drop in the wind allowed them to get back but made for a nervous day of racing. 

João Almeida was well-protected by his Deceuninck-QuickStep in the echelon attacks and finished in the same time as the sprinters to keep his maglia rosa for another day.

Sometimes it was really scary, especially in the final, everyone was nervous and wanted to be at the front. But I have a perfect team and they did a perfect job. I think the maglia rosa makes me stronger, mentally too and tomorrow is another day in pink.” 

How it unfolded

The riders gathered in the centre of Matera for the sign-on of the 143km stage, protected from the strong northern wind but fully aware the stage could be a day of echelon racing. 

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) was the first to attack on the climb out of Matera and he was quickly joined by Josef Cerny (CCC Team), Marco Frapporti (Vini Zabù-KTM) and Simon Pellaud (Androni Giocattoli) to create the early break. 

The peloton eased but then on more exposed roads, Deceuninck-QuickStep and Jumbo-Visma hit the front and sprinted into the cross wind, sparking chaos and panic. The peloton lined out and then eventually snapped as the speed touched 70kph. The stage was alive after just half an hour of racing. 

A front echelon of 30 or so riders formed, with Jumbo-Visma and Groupama-FDJ there in numbers and Deceuninck-QuickStep en masse to protect the race leader João Almeida. Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates), Elia Viviani (Cofidis), Michael Matthews (Sunweb), and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) were in the front group and so a high-speed pursuit match ensured on the road to Taranto. 

Vincenzo Nibali was there with a Trek-Segafredo teammate but Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe), Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), second placed overall Pello Bilbao (Bahrain McLaren), Domenico Pozzovivo (NTT Pro Team) and Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) were all caught behind. 

For a while the 30 riders up front worked smoothly together and committed to the effort but the chasers also refused to give up, with Astana and then Lotto Soudal leading the chase. 

A change of direction south turned the side wind into a tailwind. That and the pain of a hard first hour of racing split the chase group but allowed Fuglsang’s group to get back on. 

Soon after, Yates and the rest also managed to enter the protected slipstream of the peloton. The panic was over but those caught behind knew they had got out of jail.    

The rider through the sheltered streets of Taranto allowed everyone to catch their breath. However a crash in the centre of Taranto raised the tension yet again. 

More attacks were expected on the exposed roads towards Brinidisi. However, the olive groves and wheat fields often protected the riders and this time nobody was going to be caught by surprise. The speed stayed high and the leading teams stayed vigilant but only minor riders were allowed up the road.      

With 45km to go a stack-up in the peloton on a straight highway as the barriers created a pinch point. Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (NTT) and Filippo Ganna (Ineos) went down, but soon got going, even if they would never see the front again. However, the crash caused another split and another chase, with Vanhoucke, Pozzovivo and Ilnur Zakarin (CCC Team) forced to chase. Lotto Soudal did the work for Vanhoucke and eventually made contact with 20km to go. 

Deceuninck-QuickStep bossed the peloton, sniffing for any final chances of echelons but everyone else was thinking about the sprint. 

Jumbo-Visma rode to protect Steven Kruijswijk in the centre of Brindisi on the loop through the streets and then Groupama-FDJ took over in the final two kilometres. Démare - racing in the cyclamen-coloured points jersey instead of French national champion’s red, white and blue - was always protected and well-placed and only needed to open up his powerful sprint to secure victory number three at the 2020 Giro d’Italia and his 12th win of the season.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 2:47:28
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
4Ben Swift (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
5Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (Col) Deceuninck-Quickstep
6Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation
7Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep
8Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bahrain McLaren
9Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
10Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
11Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
12Giovanni Lonardi (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
13Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates
14Josef Cerny (Cze) CCC Team
15Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb
16Joao Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quickstep
17Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb
18Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates
19Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
20Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma
21Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
22Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) UAE Team Emirates
23Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ
24Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
25Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
26Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
27Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
28Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb
29Rick Zabel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
30Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren
31Francesco Romano (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
32Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana Pro Team
33Chris Harper (Aus) Team Jumbo-Visma
34Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
35Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) CCC Team
36Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team
37Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
38Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep
39Dario Cataldo (Ita) Movistar Team
40James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-Quickstep
41Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
42Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
43Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain McLaren
44Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain McLaren
45Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal
46Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott
47Joe Dombrowski (USA) UAE Team Emirates
48Lawrence Warbasse (USA) AG2R la Mondiale
49Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
50Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Movistar Team
51Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
52Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
53Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
54Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Movistar Team
55Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
56Josip Rumac (Cro) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
57Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ
58Jhonatan Restrepo Valencia (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
59Nico Denz (Ger) Team Sunweb
60Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers
61Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal
62Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
63Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R la Mondiale
64Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Movistar Team
65Matteo Spreafico (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
66Jos Van Emden (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
67Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain McLaren
68Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates
69François Bidard (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale 0:00:23
70Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:00:28
71Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
72Attila Valter (Hun) CCC Team
73Victor De la Parte (Spa) CCC Team
74Joseph Rosskopf (USA) CCC Team
75Tobias Foss (Nor) Team Jumbo-Visma
76Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
77Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R la Mondiale
78Jaakko Hanninen (Fin) AG2R la Mondiale
79Jesper Hansen (Den) Cofidis
80Danilo Wyss (Swi) NTT Pro Cycling
81Victor Campenaerts (Bel) NTT Pro Cycling
82Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Pro Team
83Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team Sunweb
84Marco Mathis (Ger) Cofidis
85Michael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
86Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling
87Matthias Brändle (Aut) Israel Start-Up Nation
88Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal
89Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
90Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep
91Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb
92Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
93Eros Capecchi (Ita) Bahrain McLaren
94Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:36
95Simone Bevilacqua (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM 0:00:39
96Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis 0:00:46
97Alessandro Bisolti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
98Simon Pellaud (Swi) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
99Kamil Gradek (Pol) CCC Team
100Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:50
101Iljo Keisse (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:00:55
102Nathan Haas (Aus) Cofidis
103Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:00:58
104Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Pro Cycling
105Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:01:08
106Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-Up Nation
107Alexander Cataford (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:01:10
108Guy Sagiv (Isr) Israel Start-Up Nation
109Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar Team 0:01:15
110Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM
111Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
112Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Pro Cycling
113Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
114Kamil Malecki (Pol) CCC Team
115Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Pro Cycling
116Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
117Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
118Cameron Meyer (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
119Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
120Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
121Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
122Fabio Mazzucco (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
123Matteo Sobrero (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
124Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
125Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
126Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) CCC Team
127Jhonatan Manuel Narvaez Prado (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
128Simone Ravanelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
129Mattia Bais (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
130Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
131Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain McLaren
132Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team
133Antonio Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
134Einer Augusto Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:47
135Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis 0:01:51
136Alex Dowsett (GBr) Israel Start-Up Nation
137Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep
138Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
139Mathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis
140Etienne Van Empel (Ned) Vini Zabu' KTM
141James Whelan (Aus) EF Pro Cycling 0:01:55
142Ben O'Connor (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling
143Louis Meintjes (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling
144Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
145Lachlan Morton (Aus) EF Pro Cycling
146Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
147Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
148Jefferson Alexander Cepeda (Ecu) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
149Luca Chirico (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:02:06
150Edoardo Affini (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott 0:02:17
151Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
152Tony Martin (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:02:21
153Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Pro Cycling 0:02:33
154Marco Frapporti (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM 0:02:39
155Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM
156Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM 0:02:52
157Jonas Gregaard Wilsly (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:03:03
158Jonathan Dibben (GBr) Lotto Soudal
159Rohan Dennis (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:03:24
160Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:05:44
161Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain McLaren 0:05:45
162Patrick Gamper (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
163Rodrigo Contreras Pinzon (Col) Astana Pro Team
164Sean Bennett (USA) EF Pro Cycling 0:07:33
165Matthew Holmes (GBr) Lotto Soudal 0:10:57
166Dylan Sunderland (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling 0:15:10
167Amanuel Gebreigzabhier (Eri) NTT Pro Cycling 0:17:37
168Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale 0:21:27
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Intermediate Sprint 1 - Taranto - km 66.2
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Pellaud (Swi) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 12
2Marco Frapporti (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM 8
3Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis 6
4Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 5
5Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 4
6Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb 3
7Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama-FDJ 2
8Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ 1
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Intermediate Sprint 2 - Brindisi - km 143
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 50
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 35
3Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb 25
4Ben Swift (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 18
5Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (Col) Deceuninck-Quickstep 14
6Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation 12
7Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep 10
8Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bahrain McLaren 8
9Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 7
10Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis 6
11Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates 5
12Giovanni Lonardi (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 4
13Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates 3
14Josef Cerny (Cze) CCC Team 2
15Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 1
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Bonus Sprint - Grottaglie - km 91.5
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:03
2Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:00:02
3Kamil Gradek (Pol) CCC Team 0:00:01
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Young Riders
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (Col) Deceuninck-Quickstep 2:47:28
2Giovanni Lonardi (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
3Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates
4Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb
5Joao Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quickstep
6Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates
7Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb
8Francesco Romano (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
9Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
10James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-Quickstep
11Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
12Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain McLaren
13Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
14Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Movistar Team
15Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
16Attila Valter (Hun) CCC Team 0:00:28
17Tobias Foss (Nor) Team Jumbo-Visma
18Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
19Jaakko Hanninen (Fin) AG2R la Mondiale
20Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep
21Simone Bevilacqua (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM 0:00:39
22Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:00:58
23Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:01:08
24Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:01:15
25Kamil Malecki (Pol) CCC Team
26Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
27Fabio Mazzucco (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
28Matteo Sobrero (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
29Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
30Jhonatan Manuel Narvaez Prado (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
31Simone Ravanelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
32Mattia Bais (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
33Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
34Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team
35Einer Augusto Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:47
36Mathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis 0:01:51
37James Whelan (Aus) EF Pro Cycling 0:01:55
38Ben O'Connor (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling
39Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
40Jefferson Alexander Cepeda (Ecu) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
41Edoardo Affini (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott 0:02:17
42Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
43Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM 0:02:39
44Jonas Gregaard Wilsly (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:03:03
45Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain McLaren 0:05:45
46Patrick Gamper (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
47Sean Bennett (USA) EF Pro Cycling 0:07:33
48Dylan Sunderland (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling 0:15:10
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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Deceuninck-Quick-Step 8:22:24
2Team Sunweb
3UAE Team Emirates
5Bardiani CSF Faizane
6Team Jumbo-Visma
8Bahrain McClaren
9Ineos Grenadiers
10Movistar Team
11Lotto Soudal
12AG2R la Mondiale
13Israel Start-Up Nation 0:00:28
14CCC Team