Top ten for Chaves after strong showing on spectacular stage eight of the Giro dâ€™ItaliaSat 14 May 2016
Esteban Chaves finished ninth for ORICA-GreenEDGE on today’s stage eight of the Giro d’Italia after a stunning finale on the ‘white roads’ of Arezzo saw attacks split the race apart with 20kilometres to go.
Colombian general classification contender Chaves raced with particular skill and intelligence as he comfortably climbed and descended with the leaders over a technical finish to the stage to improve his position on the overall classification.
The stage was won by Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-Quickstep) who made the winning move from the breakaway and finished alone and clear of the field. The stage win sees the Italian move into the race leader's pink jersey.
Chaves moves up to sixth place on the general classification going into tomorrow’s 40.5kilometre individual time trial in Chianti.
Sport director Matt White was very pleased with how the day went for Chaves and the team.
“As we expected it was a winning move that came from the breakaway today,” said White. “At one point it looked like maybe the move was going to brought back but in the end no team wanted to fully commit and it was a really exciting finish.”
“I’ve said it a couple of times over the course of his first week but Esteban (Chaves) is in very good shape and he showed that again today.
“I didn’t expect the climb to be that selective,” explained White. “It was a small group that attacked on the gravel section and it included most of the race favourites. Esteban climbed and descended superbly with the best of them and I think that will be the group we see contesting the mountain stages next week.”
“We are up to sixth and that’s a great place to be going into the rest of the race. Tomorrow is a technical time trial course and it will be a tough test for the riders.”
How it happened:
The peloton rolled out on the narrow streets of Foligno under blue skies and headed out through the neutral zone towards the medieval city of Assisi and on to 186kilometres of rolling roads and a finish in Arezzo.
Tipped to be a stage for the breakaway, the eighth race day of the 2016 Giro d’Italia began at a fast pace with attacks springing without sticking for the first twenty kilometres.
The field split into four groups ten kilometres later when a group of thirteen riders made a move from the front of the peloton and gained 30seconds on the pink jersey group of Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin).
The three groups behind the thirteen leaders came back together and the peloton reformed whilst the thirteen up the road had pushed their lead out to nearly three minutes.
Matteo Trentin and Brambilla of Etixx-Quickstep were two key instigators of the breakaway group alongside Moreno Moser (Cannondale) and after 75kilomotres of racing the leaders' advantage continued to grow.
With under 90kilometres to go the breakaway group of thirteen had four minutes and 30seconds over the Giant-Alpecin led peloton. The front group maintained their four and a half minute advantage for the next 30kilometres as the field headed onto the first real climb of the day at Scheggia.
Trentin was mopping up all the available intermediate sprint points, dominating at the front of the lead group. With 40kilometres left to race the thirteen leaders had just over five minutes on the field with Trentin in the position of virtual race leader.
ORICA-GreeneEDGE were up near the front of the chasing peloton with Sam Bewley, Svein Tuft and Michael Hepburn each taking turns at the front of the bunch.
The race began to really open up in the final 25kilomotres as the field headed towards the Alpe di Poti climb with attacks beginning to spring from both the lead group and the peloton.
A select group of favourites formed which included Chaves and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) who attacked together behind Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) on the 'Strade Bianche' section of the climb and dropped race leader Dumoulin.
Brambilla had broken away solo at the head of the race and still had over two minutes on the chasers. Chaves crested the climb at the front of the chasing group and with Dumoulin now well and truly dropped the leaders sped into the descent behind Brambilla and Matteo Montaguti (AG2R).
The favourites group of Chaves and Nibali were together 15kilomtres from the finish just behind the stragglers of the earlier breakaway group after what was truly a stunning piece of bike racing on the Alpe di Poti climb.
A spectacular climb and fast descent saw Brambilla accelerate and hold onto his position all the way to the line in Arezzo with Montaguti taking second and Moser third. Chave came home in ninth place for ORICA-GreenEDGE as the favourites finished together and filled out the top twenty positons on the stage.
Tomorrow’s individual time trial runs from 40.5kilometres over undulating rolling roads dotted with short but severe climbs from Radda in Chaianti to Greve in Chianti. The stage will traverse the famous and picturesque wine making region of the Tuscan part of Italy passing castles and vineyards before descending onto a flat finishing straight.
Giro d’Italia stage eight results:
1. Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-Quickstep) 04:14:05
2. Matteo Montaguti (AG2R) 00:01:06
3. Moreno Moser (Cannondale) 00:01:26
9. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:01:41
General classification after stage eight:
1. Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-Quickstep) 33:39:14
2. Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) 00:00:23
3. Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) 00:00:33
6. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:00:48