PESCARA, Italy (AFP) –
Australian cyclist Adam Hansen, riding for the Lotto team, won the seventh stage of the Tour of Italy on Friday, with Spain’s Benat Intxausti claiming the overall leader’s pink jersey.
The 177 kilometre run from Marina di San Salvo to Pescara proved troublesome however for Giro favourite Bradley Wiggins, who trailed in 55th, two-and-a-half minutes behind Hansen, after a fall.
Team Sky’s Tour de France champion hit the deck late on with a number of other competitors on the wet slippy roads, costing him valuable time on his main rivals.
In the overall standings, Intxausti now leads by five seconds from Vincenzo Nibali, who like Wiggins also fell, with last year’s Giro winner, Canadian Ryder Hesjedal, eight seconds back in third.
Saturday’s eighth stage is a 54.8km time trial between Gabbice Mare and Saltara, with Wiggins, 1:32 behind Intxausti in 23rd overall, fancied to prevail to boost his chances of victory.
Hansen took command of the stage after forming part of a five-strong breakaway group that hit the front early on in the day’s run.
The Aussie and Emanuele Sella forged clear of the frontrunners near the Chieti climb 35km from the finish, with Hansen dropping the Italian to come home alone.
He took the stage with a 1:07 gap back to a group led by Italian Enrico Battaglin with another home hope, Danilo Di Luca, in third. Intxausti came in 14th at 1:07.
Hansen, who turns 32 on Saturday, was clinching his first stage victory on a major tour since he turned professional in 2007.Published 10 May 2013, 21:55 IST