Sprint on stage 8 as all eyes turn to tomorrow’s time trial at Giro d’Italia

Sat 18 May 2019

Despite the threat of rain and a technical descent into the finish line, stage eight of the Giro d’Italia concluded in a bunch sprint and without incident.

As Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) won the sprint, Simon Yates and Mitchelton-SCOTT crossed the line safely as eyes now turn to tomorrow’s crucial time trial.

Not much interest in the breakaway:
Unlike the previous two days, the number of kilometres and lack of climbing metres deterred most from the breakaway today.

Originally three riders broke free before one sat up, leaving Marco Frapporti (Androni Giocattoli - Sidermac) and Damiano Cima (Nippo Vini Fantini) out in front.

The duo rode out to a maximum advantage of six minutes before the peloton started to peg them back in and with 80km remaining, the gap was down to three minutes.

A second attempt:
The duo were all but swept up as the race entered the final 40km, before a new trio launched to try their luck in the technical final.  

They never managed to gain too much of an advantage, with the sprinters keen on the stage and the general classification teams intent on positioning their leaders ahead of the descent with seven kilometres remaining.

The race was back together with six and a half kilometres remaining and the bunch, which had reduced in size, safely navigated the downhill before the sprint teams wound up for the sprint, Ewan the victor.

Matt White - Head Sport Director:
“The threat of bad weather kept the race really nervous in the last hour, but in the end we avoided the worst of it.

“Our aim today was just to protect Simon once again, he got through without any problems and we now we are concentrating on what is an important day tomorrow with the time trial.”

Giro d’Italia – Stage 8 Results:
1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) 5:43:32
2. Elia Viviani (Deceuininck – Quickstep ST
3. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST
28. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

Giro d’Italia – General Classification after Stage 8:
1. Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) 35:13:06
2. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar Team) +1:32
3. Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF) +1:41
15. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +5:59

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.