It started off very slowly and ended up very wet. Stage 8 of the Giro d’Italia provided a good few talking points but it waited until the last ten minutes to serve them up. The remnants of the day’s break tried hard to hold on to their advantage but a huge surge from Movistar’s Richard Carapaz put an end to their hopes. The Ecuadorian took the stage win in style, his country’s first ever Giro victory. Simon Yates came through safely to stay in pink another day but Chris Froome had a bit of a skittish ‘mare.
Rider of the Race
— CyclingPub (@CyclingPub) May 12, 2018
On Thursday, 24-year-old Richard Carapaz took the young rider’s white jersey with a solid 7th place finish on Mount Etna, but that was really just the appetizer for today’s main course. Launching off the main peloton with 2kms to go, Carapaz bridged over to the last lone breaker, Koen Bouwman of LottoNL-Jumbo, and crushed the Dutch rider’s dreams of glory by riding right past him to take a fine solo stage win.
I had good legs so I decided to attack with 2km to go. It was the right moment to go alone because I didn’t have much chance to win the sprint.
I’ll take it day-by-day. It’s a long way to go until Rome and I’m here to see what I can do at the Giro.
No clever tactics were needed, just raw climbing power. On a day that protecting position seemed to be more important than racing, Carapaz deserves the win and he deserves the rider of the race tag as he actually did something to merit both. Carapaz also bumped Chris Froome into 9th as the Ecuadorian rider jumped to 8th in the GC. A penny of the thoughts of teammate Carlos Betancur…Embed from Getty Images
What else went on?
Rolling Rodolfo: Androni-Sidermec got in the breakaway again, this time with Rodolfo Torres. That means they’ve been in every single break of the Giro this year. They’ll be happy with that. Are you watching, Cofidis? That’s how you do it.Embed from Getty Images
Skyfall: Another crash for Chris Froome. Once again on a corner but this time uphill. He never looks the most stable of riders but on this climb, he was looking very skittish indeed. The cameras caught him early on the climb having a wobble, then he actually hit the deck on a wet hairpin 6km from the finish. He was up quickly enough and was paced back on to the main group by his calmer teammates but he looked bloodied, nervy and downright panicky. [Didn’t he bang into George Bennett along the way? – ed] What is going on with him?Embed from Getty Images
Under pressure: With the break caught, there were bonus seconds up for grabs and you could feel the tension build in the last kilometre. Sky were on the front for a while – the suggestion was that was due to the other teams not wanting to get too close to Crash Froome – but in the end, Davide Formolo (Bora-hansgrohe) took second and a sharp-looking Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) took the third place points.
Mitchelton-Sky: The team might be different but the tactics were familiar. For all their talk this morning about wanting to take more time, Mitchelton-Scott were more interested in protecting Simon Yates’ pink jersey. They did it very well with Jack Haig and Roman Kreuziger playing the bodyguard role to perfection all day.
Tweet of the Day
It almost happened….
— Bronagh (@BeebsyMcA) May 12, 2018
GC favourites roundup
Thibaut Pinot‘s bonus seconds move him a teeny-tiny bit closer to Simon Yates et al and up to fourth on the overall. Meanwhile Carapaz moves into the top ten 1:06 seconds off the lead.
1 Richard Carapaz (Movistar) 5:11:35
2 Davide Formolo (Bora) +0:07
3 Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) same time
4 Enrico Battaglin (LottoNJ-Jumbo) s/t
5 Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott Detective Agency) s/t
GC Top 5
1 Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 31:43:12
2 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) +0:16
3 Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) +0:26
4 Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +0:41
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrian-Merida) +0:43
All the jerseysEmbed from Getty Images
Leader’s jersey: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)
Points jersey: Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors)
KOM jersey: Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott)
Best young rider: Richard Carapaz (Movistar)
For full review of the stage, go to Cycling News