Giro 2020: Preview eighth stage to Vieste

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Giro 2020: Preview eighth stage to Vieste

Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 8:00 AM

Stage eight in the Giro d’Italia is a stage with two faces. The first part takes the riders along the coast over an almost flat terrain, the devil starts after exactly 90.3 kilometers. A second category Monte and a treacherous local track, which the sprinters will have their hands full with. Can they survive? Cycling Flash looks ahead to Saturday’s ride.

Route

Reaching the Adriatic Sea in the seventh stage to Brindisi, the Giro d’Italia will continue to follow the coastline in a northerly direction for the next few days. The second weekend starts in the colorful port town of Giovinazzo, half an hour’s drive from the Apulian capital Bari. The city also hosted the Giro d’Italia in 2014, after the round kicked off four days earlier in Ireland. After a short 112 kilometer ride, Nacer Bouhanni was the best in a bunch sprint.

The first stage of the day is completely flat, when, among other things, the port and industrial city of Barletta is crossed. The riders then arrive in the fishing town of Manfredonia, where the intermediate sprint for the points classification is positioned after 90.3 kilometers. The first eight get points, but no bonuses can be earned there. Then the route heads up the mountainous Gargano peninsula, also known as boot Track.

There the profile changes shape and the road ascends for the first time, on the steady climb to the pilgrimage site of Monte Sant’Angelo (9.6 km at 6.1%, max. 10%). From there you have a great view over the Adriatic Sea, but the drivers will not pay much attention to that on Saturday. After 106.2 kilometers, they reach the top at an altitude of 747 meters and then the trail continues on winding, undulating coastal roads.

The second official climb, La Guardiola, is located at the tourist town of Pugnochiuso after 157.3 kilometers (1.4 km at 5.6%, max. 11%). The road then goes on and off to Vieste, where the local circuit is entered after 173.6 kilometers. A short time later, the common wall to La Chiesuola is already discovered for the first time, where it goes up an average of 9.3 percent over a kilometer with a piece to 17 percent.

After 185.5 kilometers, the riders cross the finish line for the first time, which is simultaneously an intermediate sprint for three, two and a bonus second. Finally, the final lap of 14.5 kilometers follows with another short, explosive slope to La Chiesuola. The road then descends for a long false flat back to the coast, where it finishes after 200 kilometers. The ride seems made for escapees, but maybe the sprinters can survive with strong legs.

Vieste had already finished in the Giro twice before. In 1979 rosette jersey wearer Francesco Moser thought he was going to win the final sprint of a leading group, but the victory slipped through his fingers. Giuseppe Saronni came alongside in the last meters and pushed his wheel over the line a little earlier. And in 1988, Pietro Algeri’s Del Tongo team won a team time trial here.

Start: 11:25 am in Giovinazzo
Finish: between 4.13 pm and 4.44 pm in Vieste
Distance: 200 kilometer


Favorites

Who will be victorious in this stage? At first glance you would say that this ride is an excellent opportunity for attackers. In the first hundred kilometers, warm up the legs and then go completely loose in the hills towards the finish place Vieste. But then the attackers must be able to Arnaud Démare unload on the way.

Arnaud Démare – foto: Cor Vos

With the Via Saragat (9.3% on average), a kilometer long hill with a peak of no less than 17%, they will get an aid there. But is that enough to defuse the Frenchman? With three stage victories already in his pocket, he is currently the man of this Giro. And that he doesn’t have to shy away from steep hills, his victories in Milan-San Remo (2016) and the Vattenfall Cyclassics (2012) prove. The final to Matera on Thursday, when Démare won, was also quite difficult.

Moreover, the top of Via Sarragat is ten kilometers from the finish. If the gap on the springs, which will undoubtedly take their chance, is not too big, Démare still has some time to return.

Who will certainly put a stop to this is Peter Sagan. The Slovak had to settle for second place on Friday. Already his third in this Giro. The leader of BORA-hansgrohe will be very interested in finally winning again. His last victory dates from the 2019 Tour (fifth stage). And it is possible, because there is little wrong with its shape. However, he always encounters stronger riders.

Diego Ulysses – Foto: You have heart

In the flat sprints it is Démare, uphill it was the Italian in the second stage Diego Ulissi. The rider from Cicina gets a chance in Vieste to take his second stage victory. He has little to fear from his teammate Fernando Gaviria for the time being, because the fast Colombian did not finish in the top-10 in a single stage.

Another candidate is Michael Matthews. The Australian was made for this terrain. Like Sagan, he competes in both the hill sprints (fourth in Agrigento) and the flat mass sprints (second in Matera, third in Brindisi). When Démare is no longer with us, the 30-year-old is Bling almost a guarantee for a podium place.

Other fast men to watch out for are the Italians Davide Ballerini, Fabio Felline, Andrea Vendrame, Davide Cimolai in Enrico Battaglin. In a direct battle they will not be able to cope with the aforementioned world leaders. But the course is treacherous and it is Giro. Anything can happen.

photo: Color Vos

Who still remembers the final stage in the Tour of Poland? Pascal Ackermann was the top favorite for the stage, but the victory really went to Ballerini, who came out of a box like a jackass. We are talking about a bunch sprint here. Normally it would Álvaro José Hodeg their man for the bunch sprints, but the 24-year-old Colombian has to survive that steep pimple ten kilometers from the finish.

In the fourth stage, to Villafrance Tirrena, Ballerini was already allowed to sprint for his own chance. He did that not without merit. A finish photo had to be used to determine who the winner was. In the end he had to settle for third place in stage result after Démare and Sagan. Now just for the win?


Favorites according to WielerFlits
**** Arnaud Démare
*** Peter Sagan, Michael Matthews
** Diego Ulissi, Davide Ballerini, Fabio Felline
* Andrea Vendrame, Davide Cimolai, Álvaro José Hodeg, Enrico Battaglin

Giro 2020: List of participants


Weather and TV

Mother Nature is in favor of the Giro peloton on Saturday. In the finish town of Vieste, temperatures rise to 21 degrees. Not bad for an autumn day in October. The sun will show itself now and then, because it is mostly cloudy. Rain clouds are not expected, so the rain jackets and long trousers can remain in the suitcases.

Anyone who wants to watch the eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia on television will need access to Eurosport 2 or the online Eurosport Player. Due to a broadcasting obligation of the MotoGP (motorsport) and Roland Garros (tennis), the race cannot be seen on the main channel of the sports channel.






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