Paolo Tiralongo came out of nowhere to win the Giro D'Italia seventh stage this afternoon.
A glorious day with temperatures around 24oc, saw a 202km long stage from Recanati to Rocca di Cambio and provided this year's race first mountain top finish.
As soon as racing got underway, four riders in Matteo Rabottini (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia), Mirko Selvaggi (Vacansoleil-DCM), Fumiyuku Beppu (Orica-GreenEdge) and Reto Hollenstein (Team NetApp) got away,
Reto Hollenstein was 1.21 down on race leader Lampre's Adriano Malori but with the quartet's lead at around nine minutes, he was the leader on the road.
At the feedzone at Trusungo with 87kms to go, the lead was still eight minutes.
The race passed through Montereale at an average speed for the day of 34.421kph as the gap with 40kms to go, dropped to 5.30 ahead of a peloton which had the race leader at the front.
As the quartet approached the foot of the climb to Rocca di Cambio after passing through the town of L'Aquila, which suffered a terrible earthquake in 2009. Fumiyuku Beppu of the Orica-GreenEdge took the intermediate sprint.
With 18kms to go, Matteo Rabottini of the Farnese Vini-Selle Italia team decided it was time for action and he shot off the front, putting 22 seconds between him and the trio and 40 seconds off the peloton as we hit the 15kms to go mark.
Attacks started to happen. Rabbotini was caught and then passed by Stefan Pirazzi and Jose Herrada who built up a 34 second lead over a big chasing group which included Frank Schleck (pictured below)
Rabbotini lost a chain with seven kilometres to go as the front two worked together keeping a steady pace.
With 1.3kms to go, Pirazzi went very wide on a corner due to a motorbike and this allowed Jose Herrada to get away. Pirazzi was soon swallowed up.
However up came Michel Scarponi and Astana's Paolo Tiralongo and it was Tiralongo who won in a time of 5.50.51 for his second win of his career to win ahead of Scaponi.
Frank Schleck was third with Rodriquez fourth and Hesjedal in fifth.
Garmin- Barracuda's Ryder Hesjedal now takes the leaders Pink jersey ahead of Tiralongo by 15 seconds.
Tomorrow's eighth stage is from Sulmona to Lago Laceno and is 229km long.
Picture copyright of Covsupport News Service. Credit CNS/KM