Gaviria wins again to continue stunning Giro debut

Success at last Australia's Caleb Ewan sprints ahead of Sam Bennett left and Fernando Gaviria to win the seventh

But Gaviria was brought to the front at the ideal time to edge out his rivals to claim his third stage victory of the Giro, which saw the Colombian increase his already substantial lead in the points classification.

The Quick Step-Floors rider came from nowhere at the end of the 167km stage from Reggio Emilia to Tortona to blast through a gap and cross the line first.

Italian Jakub Mareczko finished second to Gaviria for the second time in the race - the first time in the history of the Giro an Italian had failed to win inside 12 stages.

Overall, Dumoulin now leads previous leader Nairo Quintana by 2:23 after the Colombian lost a massive 2:53.

It was a frantic, wind-blown finale to the flat 167 kilometre stage from Reggio Emilia which concluded with a hard-fought sprint.

Though the 22-year-old rider narrowly failed to reach the podium, it was his fifth top-eight finish on a spectacular debut at the Grand Tour race.

"Initially I was a bit anxious when Max Richeze had a flat tyre because he's got a very important role in my lead out", said Gaviria, who leads the sprint classification.

The maglia rosa holder said: "It was an easy day for me and the team, so that was good".

Thomas was nursing knee and shoulder injuries following last Sunday's crash, caused by a stationary police motorbike, and opted not to continue despite a second-placed finish behind Dumoulin in Tuesday's individual time-trial. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) 4. Ryan Gibbons (RSA/DDD) s.t., 7. "Bauke Mollema (Netherlands / Trek) +2:38" 4.

But Quintana's team-mate Andrey Amador was in the break and moved up to sixth overall, three minutes five seconds back overall to give the Movistar squad plenty of options for the days to come. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +2:40 5. South African Johann Van Zyl (Dimension Data), Slovenian Matej Mohoric (UEA Team Emirates), Russia's Pavel Brutt (Gazprom-Rusvelo) and Italy's Vincenzo Albanese (Bardiani-CSF) quickly established a lead of over two minutes before Van Zyl had a change of heart and sat up for the peloton.



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