The first mountain top finish of this year's Giro d'Italia would go to Italian, Paolo Tiralongo of the Astana Pro Team. Locked in an uphill duel with countryman, Michele Scarponi (Lampre - ISD), during the closing kilometers of Stage 6 to Rocca di Cambio, Tiralongo patiently bided his time before jettisoning past Scarponi for the win.
Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) rounded out the day's podium in third; finishing a mere three seconds behind Tiralongo.
In the race for the maglia rosa, Garmin-Barracuda's Ryder Hesjedal took over the top place on the General Classification as Adriano Malori (Lampre - ISD) faltered on the day's final climb. Hesjedal, who finished in 5th on the stage, became the first Canadian in the long history of the Giro d'Italia to wear the pink leader's jersey.
"I didn't want to let this chance escape me and I have to thank all my team, especially (Christian) Vandevelde, for the incredible dream they are letting me experience," Hesjedal said. "I'm not here to win the Giro, my aim is to wear the pink jersey for as long as possible."
Results - Stage 7 - Recanati - Rocca di Cambio 202km
1. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team - 5:51:03
2. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD
3. Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan - 0:00:03
General Classification After Stage 7
1. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda - 26:16:53
2. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team - 0:00:15
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team - 0:00:17
4. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Barracuda - 0:00:21
5. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Barracuda - 0:00:26
6. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team
7. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana Pro Team - 0:00:35
8. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale - 0:00:40
9. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale - 0:00:45
10. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep - 0:00:46
Next: Stage 8: Sulmona - Lago Laceno 229km
Photo: Associated Press/Gian Mattia D'Alberto
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