Arnaud Demare comfortably took the finishing sprint in Brindisi on Friday for his second straight stage victory and third on this year’s Giro d’Italia.
Frenchman Demare, who rides for Groupama-FDJ, ended the 143km seventh stage from Matera to Brindisi by surging clear of Slovakian Peter Sagan and Australian Michael Matthews to retain the points jersey.
Portuguese rider Joao Almeida of Deceuninck retained the overall lead.
The 29-year-old Demare won narrowly on Tuesday in Villafranca Tirrena, then much more comfortably on Thursday in an uphill finishing sprint in Matera.
This time, as the stage ended with a straight run of more than 1km, Demare’s team-mates led him out in a well-organised ‘train’ and he overpowered his rivals in the final metres.
The run from Matera was flat and, at 143 kilometres, relatively short and included a stretch of the ancient Roman Appian Way.
The pack was broken up early by crosswinds, but reformed and was then slowed by crashes, one involving Dane Jakob Fuglsang, the Astana team leader.
Saturday’s eighth stage is a largely flat 200km run up the Adriatic coast from Giovinazzo to Vieste.