Gabriele Bosisio of LPR won the seventh stage of the Tour of Italy in Pescocostanzo on Friday on a day when Giovanni Visconti retained the overall lead and Danilo di Luca and Riccardo Ricco went on the attack.
Those Italian riders had an impressive day in the saddle during this 176km mountain stage from Vasto to Pescocostanzo though Visconti had a tough time on the hardest climb about 20km from the finish line.
Bosisio got away from his breakaway companions to win by 46 seconds from Belarussian Vasili Kiryienka with Italy's Emanuele Sella third, just over a minute behind and who lost all chances of a stage victory following his puncture in the final section. Colombia's Felix Cardenas was fourth.
Sella said: "I really made efforts to win the stage and thought I could do it right from the start. I really thought I could have a bid for victory with Bosisio up until my bad luck at seven kilometres from the finish.
"I had this puncture and everything went up in smoke. I'm still looking for another stage win since Casena (2004). I know I have the green jersey of the best climber but I'm still not happy."
Di Luca and Ricco crossed the line together in fifth and sixth in the company of Leonardo Piepoli, Ricco's precious lieutenant, though Tour de France champion Alberto Contador lost a few seconds after being dropped in the last 200 metres.
It was a day when Di Luca, Ricco and Contador, all competing for the overall title, took about 50 seconds from the rest of the tour challengers.
The 27-year-old Milan rider Bosisio, who won the Tour of Latium and a pre-Olympic event last year, won his first ever Giro stage.
Saturday's 208km eighth stage is a flat section from Rivisondoli to Tivoli in the centre of the country near Rome.
Visconti of Quick Step will be defending his overall lead against second-placed German Matthias Russ, who is nine seconds behind, with Bosisio in third at 5min 43sec ahead of his team leader Di Luca at 7:27.
Di Luca said afterwards: "This Giro is very tactical like today with a breakaway of more than 30 riders. How did we do? We won the stage and took valuable seconds from a number of riders."
For full results, report and photos, visit Cyclingnews.com.
© AFP 2008