Henao seventh on stage seven

17 May 2019

Henao seventh on stage seven

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Sebastian Henao claimed a top-10 finish on stage seven of the Giro d’Italia after infiltrating the day’s decisive break.

It was an enthralling day in Italy, with the peloton reluctant to let a group go clear in the opening stages. In the end it took 80 kilometres for the day’s break to form and Henao made it across.

UAE Team Emirates kept the gap pegged at around two minutes for race leader Valerio Conti but the 10 riders worked well together and stayed clear into L'Aquila, despite seeing their gap halved in the closing stages.

Henao slipped back in the final five kilometres as the battle for the stage win intensified but rallied to come home seventh, 50 seconds back on stage winner Pelle Bilbao (Astana), just ahead of the hard-charging peloton.

Pavel Sivakov and Tao Geoghegan Hart finished safely in the bunch to maintain their positions overall. 
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Sebastian Henao

“The whole day was really, really fast. The breakaway went after around two hours.

“In the end the other riders in the break were better than me for those final five kilometres. I just had no power left. Maybe there'll be another chance to fight for the victory from the breakaway in the final two weeks.”

Pavel Sivakov

“It was really tough, really full on. Nobody wanted to let anybody go. Maybe everyone remembered a few years ago when [David] Arroyo nearly won the Giro in L’Aquila. It was a really hard stage.

“At one point there was a really small group with all the favourites there. We were full on all day and even when the break went UAE didn’t want to give up the jersey so it was on all the way to the finish line.

“I felt really good today. I’m feeling better and better day by day, so that’s a good sign. We’ll see how I go in the next few days.”

Nicolas Portal, Sport Director

“The idea was to be in control of things and to support Tao and Pavel. It was a super fast start and a lot of groups were going, with 25, 30 guys, and sometimes the easy thing to do is filter the break.

“Seb went in the break and it was a chance for him. The guys had another good day - it was sunny, dry, no rain. That’s important as tomorrow is another long stage.”
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What's next?

After two tough days in the bunch, stage eight should be a straightforward sprint into Pesaro. It's another long day in the saddle though - there's 239km on the menu.
Stage seven result

1. Pello Bilbao (Astana) 4:06:27
2. Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale) +5"
3. Davide Formolo (Bora-hansgrohe) s.t.
4. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-Scott) +9"
5. Mattia Cattaneo (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) s.t.
7. Sebastian Henao (Team INEOS) +48"

Overall standings

1. Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) 25:22:00
2. José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar) +1'32"
3. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF) +1'41"
4. Nans Peters (Ag2r La Mondiale) +2'09"
5. Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ) +2'17"
26. Pavel Sivakov (Team INEOS) +6'48"
34. Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team INEOS) +7'43"
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