Démare claims 3rd stage win at Giro; Almeida stays in pink

BRINDISI, Italy (AP) — Arnaud Démare earned his second straight stage victory and his third in this year’s Giro d’Italia by winning the seventh leg in another mass sprint Friday, and João Almeida held onto the overall leader’s pink jersey.

Démare edged Peter Sagan, Michael Matthews and Fabio Felline at the end of the mostly flat 143-kilometer (89-mile) leg from Matera to Brindisi.

Démare, a French rider with the Groupama-FDJ team, also won the fourth and sixth stages, which also ended in mass sprints.

There was little drama on Friday despite heavy crosswinds affecting some parts of the stage.

Almeida, a Portuguese rider with the Deceuninck-Quick Step team, remained 43 seconds ahead of Spanish rider Pello Bilbao.

Saturday’s eighth stage is a 200-kilometer (124-mile) route from Giovinazzo to Vieste. The first half is mainly flat but there are two categorized climbs in the much more undulating second part of the stage.

The Giro was rescheduled from its usual May slot because of the coronavirus pandemic. The race ends on Oct. 25 with an individual time trial in Milan.

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