Alex Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation) won the eighth stage in the Giro on Saturday. At 17 kilometers from the finish he jumped out of a leading group of six and arrived solo. In the peloton, the riders took a day off in a typical transition stage.
Roze trui: João Almeida
Purple sweater: Arnaud Démare
Blue sweater: Filippo Ganna
Jongerentrui: João Almeida
How did victory come about?
The peloton had little time to recover from Friday’s hellish fan stage, because now it went fast from the start. Ultimately, after twenty kilometers, six riders got away and that turned out to be the right flight. Even more: the peloton then took a day off and gave the breakaway a lead of ten minutes. So the winner was in the front.
The names of the six refugees: the Briton Matthew Holmes (Lotto-Soudal), the Italians Simone Ravanelli (Androni) and Salvatore Puccio (Ineos Grenadiers), the American Joey Rosskopf (CCC), the Austrian Matthias Brändle and the second Briton Alex Dowsett (both Israel Start-Up Nation). The six turned well, keeping the lead stable.
There was a moment of excitement in the peloton when Vicenzo Nibali and his team increased the pace after a mechanical problem at Jakob Fuglsang. The Dane had to make up for a minute, but in the peloton the block went up again fairly quickly, which allowed him to return easily.
At thirty kilometers from the finish, Alex Dowsett handed out a first injection. The Briton was quickly seized, after which Holmes, Rosskopf and Puccio took off. But they also did not get far. Dowsett then tried again with another attack attempt. This time, the former world hour record holder was more successful: he built up a lead of more than half a minute on the undulating course. Puccio, Holmes and Rosskopf came into action too late and did not see the patented speeder again. The Briton eventually crossed the line with a good minute. Puccio finished second, Holmes third. For 32-year-old Dowsett, it was only his second victory in a non-time trial. In addition, it was the first WorldTour victory for Israel Start-Up Nation.
What did the Belgians do?
Iljo Keisse established himself as road captain and rode at the head of the peloton for almost a whole day. For the rest, the Belgians hid in the belly of the peloton.
Anything else you should know?
After we had to say goodbye to Ineos leader Geraint Thomas earlier in the Giro, we have now also lost Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). The Briton has tested positive for the corona virus and did not start the eighth stage. In the standings Yates was already at 3:52 from pink jersey Joao Almeida.
Despite his victory, Dowsett’s day did not start as he had hoped:
We assume that this victory makes up for a lot.
Results stage 8:
1. Alex Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation)
2. Salvatore Puccio (Ineos Grenadiers)
3. Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal)
4. Joey Rosskopf (CCC Team)
5. Matthias Brändle (Israel Start-Up Nation)
6. Simone Ravanelli (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec)
7. Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb)
8. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates)
9. Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates)
10. Andrea Vendrame (AG2R La Mondiale)
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