Giro d’Italia 2023 – Stage 7

Finally got the winner. Tomorrow, we head into the mountains. It is a long day, 218 km and finishing 2130 meters above sea level. Starting in Capua, where the Spartacus series takes place and heading north.


We start with 68 km of flat. Not optimal for the climbers who want to get in the break. Will this mean slingshots? You would have to have written my previews last year too – it is a Grand Tour special to get your climbers in the breakaway.

First climb is not categorized. It is not very steep but it is a quite long climb.

Next climb has points at the top. It gets mighty steep up the last bend. We are still 117km from the line at the top.

We have another good 70 km of flat before the last climb. Still heading north.

Time for the last climb. Or the last two. Depends on how you look at it. Simon Yates took the stage win here back in 2018, beating Pinot and Chaves. The last ramp is difficult enough for small gaps in the GC. They were are group of 12 favorites together when they entered the last km back in 2018.

This is the finale I’m talking about. Takes 11:30 to do after a long day. It suits the climbers with a kick.


Wind blowing from the SW. That means a cross-tailwind for the opening 100 km. That includes the first two climbs. Then, it turns into a crosswind for the last 119 km. On the climb, it should be a crosswind too until the last 4 km. There, and the terrain is very open, the riders will have a cross-headwind for the most important part of the stage. Temperatures around 15 C and another rainy day – but not that rainy. This is what mywindsock says on the last climb.

How will the stage unfold?

Another fun one to break down. Long stage, 4000m of climbing and a very difficult last 4 km. Two scenarios – breakaway or first GC day. I did not really come with a conclusion in my GC Preview but I did give it three stars. It is the hardest stage in the first week and we should see gaps.

The jersey is currently on loan at DSM. That means, whoever gets up the road will have to not pose a threat, keep that in mind. They want to keep it for as long as possible. The issue is, you need to be a very good climber to win tomorrow but the start is flat. That means two things. Either, you need to be a climber than can join the early break on the flat (Kämna-type) or you need a slingshot. DSM are not interested in the stage win, they are interested in the jersey. It is about keeping Leknessund as fresh as possible for the last 4 km at 8.3%. If it is DSM vs the breakaway (without any threats) it will be a breakaway day.

Despite Evenepoel crashing twice, he is still 30 seconds ahead of his nearest rival – Almeida. He still needs to ride defensively but lets see. It is up to UAE, JV and INEOS to put on a fierce pace. The issue is, 41 km at 3.4% before the last ramp is not where you can do a lot of damage. It will be the last 4 km that decide the outcome. Perhaps the three big teams want to test Evenepoel after he has hit the deck twice plus we they will be 2100 meters above sea level. We will see GC action but I’m still uncertain they will take the stage.

Conclusion: It is difficult to say. With mainly a headwind on the last climb, it is very unlikely we will see a big GC battle until the last 4 km of the stage. Then, it depends of how big the gap is for the breakaway. I think they will get a large gap with one of the three main contending teams (UAE, INEOS, JV) will try to set up attacks on the last ramp. I will go for the breakaway. The headwind on the climb kills the chase.


  • Big blunder from me. I forgot Vendrame crashed badly. I will not delete it. I do not like the breakaway contenders sitting a long way back in GC. The new star goes to Vlasov. (19:46).

McNulty – I will kick things of with the American. He is on Quick-Steps most wanted list, luckily – it is not really their job to control the stage tomorrow. He know sits 10 minutes behind Leknessund, that should give him a free card tomorrow. He was very eager getting in a move on stage 4 without being allowed. He has the power on the flat and he has the engine to finish it off.

Rota – form is good and he usually goes well on shorter, steeper climbs. The headwind will make it easier for him to stay in contention. He also has the power on the flat to get in the morning breakaway, as it will likely form on the flat.

Vendrame – enjoying a good season so far. He can go very well on gradients not to steep (under 6%). I think the headwind will make it easier for him not to get dropped uphill but the last climb will be on his limit.

Verona – not sure if he is ill or just not in form. He has the diesel to get in the breakaway on the flat and he has the engine to stay out front for a long time.

Bouwman – satellite rider? Bouwman could finish this off from the breakaway which could save JV from chasing. It could be a smart move, he is brilliant on steep inclines.

Dombrowski – usually sneaks his way into the breakaway. Despite him being a climber, he often jumps in the correct moves on the flat. He did look very good in Tour of the Alps and he goes very well on steep inclines, as we have tomorrow near the end.

Evenepoel – hopefully he is still fully fit. He will be one of the best GC men, if not the best.

Roglic – I expect him to outsprint his GC rivals.

Almeida – He goes well on these climbs but no time to yo-yo it. It may cost him a few seconds.

Tao – Tour of the Alps form. I expect him to be very strong.


⭐⭐⭐⭐ McNulty
⭐⭐⭐ Evenepoel, Roglic
⭐⭐ Bouwman, Dombrowski, Tao G.
⭐ Rota, Verona, Vlasov, Almeida

Who will win?

I will take a breakaway win for Brandon McNulty.

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