Stage 7 of the Giro d’Italia has been described as a “free-for-all” and a "day from hell" for non-climbers by Robbie McEwen, while Sean Kelly said its nature could see the race lose some riders.
The stage contained four bruising climbs, one Cat. 1, two Cat. 2 and one Cat. 3. And the peloton was already fairly strung out as it approached the second of the categorised climbs - the Cat. 1 Monte Sireno – with some 132km to go of the 196km stage.
It had been a brutal day’s racing, and Rob Hatch and Sean Kelly spoke about the wider implications a day full gas racing might have on commentary for Eurosport.
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“Look how small this bunch is, Sean,” began Hatch.
Kelly added that if the punishing pace continued for much longer, the race would lose riders.
“It is tiny and I am scared that we are going to lose some riders the way it is going. And that is the question: how long will this continue going on for?” wondered Kelly.
Hatch agreed, adding tongue-in-cheek: “There will be a few teams saying, 'hang on a minute, we are going to lose half the team, calm it down lads!’''
Another Eurosport cycling expert, McEwen, added that the stage was a “free-for-all”. Invited to summarise the stage, he said:
“Chaos, chaos, chaos!” before adding it was a hellish stage for sprinters.
“An absolute nightmare for the non-climbers – this is the worst possible scenario if you are a sprinter or a non-climber. It is the day from hell.
“And at the front of the race, it is an absolute free-for-all. It is as if the peloton don’t see a clear leader on the general classification; everything is so open and they see the perfect opportunity for a breakaway, as long as you can get the right combination. But it is like a combination lock with infinite possibilities because everyone is going and everyone is getting brought back.
“It is fascinating to watch and, at some points, frustrating! It must be frustrating for the riders – you think you are gone and you think you have got away and then someone accelerates and brings it all back together.”

'Chaos. Chaos, chaos and more chaos!' - McEwen on ‘day from hell’ at Giro

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