PESCARA, Italy — Australian rider Adam Hansen won the hilly and rainy seventh stage of the Giro d’Italia on Friday with a solo breakaway, and Benat Intxausti of Spain took the overall lead.
Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins had trouble negotiating the slippery roads on a descent shortly before the finish. He fell — but didn’t appear to suffer a major injury — and lost more than a minute to the other contenders.
Hansen, who rides for Lotto Belisol, clocked more than 4 1/2 hours over the 109-mile leg from San Salvo to Pescara.
Intxausti took a 5-second lead over top contender Vincenzo Nibali, with defending champion Ryder Hesjedal was 8 seconds back in third.
Cadel Evans, the 2011 Tour de France winner, moved up to sixth overall, 16 seconds back.
Wiggins dropped from sixth to 23rd overall, 1:32 behind, although he could make up time in Stage 8 on Saturday. It’s a 34-mile individual time trial.
“I think Wiggins understands now that the Giro is not the Tour,” said 2000 Giro winner Stefano Garzelli, the oldest rider in this year’s race at 39. “All the stages are difficult.”
Hansen broke away from the main pack with several other riders 20 miles into the stage. He then attacked his last breakaway rival, Emanuele Sella of Italy, with 12 miles to go.
Hansen was previously a reliable support rider. He was the only man last year to complete all three of cycling’s Grand Tours — the Giro, Tour and Spanish Vuelta.
The race ends May 26 in Brescia.