GIRO’18 Stage 8: Carapaz Takes One For Ecuador!

Race Report: Richard Carapaz (Movistar) took an historic victory at Montevergine di Mercogliano, becoming the first-ever Ecuadorian to win a stage of the Giro d’Italia. Already in the Maglia Bianca, the rookie rode away from the peloton of favorites 2 kilometers before the top of the climb to the sanctuary. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) retained the Maglia Rosa as he kept the race under control while Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) moved one position up with the time bonus awarded to the third-placed rider.

This very long stage initially winds its way along trunk and fast-flow roads, with some tunnels along the route. The course straightens and levels out past Agropoli, following the Tyrrhenian coast all the way to Salerno. Here, and for the last 55km, the route starts to climb (with varying degrees of gradients) all the way to the outskirts of Avellino. The road is narrow and worn out at points along the coast, and urban areas are dotted with roundabouts, traffic islands and speed bumps. The final climb leading to Montevergine di Mercogliano begins just past Torrette di Mercogliano.

Stage 8 – Praia a Mare-Montevergine di Mercogliano 209km – total elevation 2,600m

Final kilometers
This will be the second summit finish. The average gradient is around 6%. The route is marked by a series of short straight stretches, connected by mild bends and featuring 18 wide hairpins. The route runs under the cable railway just past the red flag, and clears the last hairpin 600m before the finish. The home straight (150m in length, 6m in width) has a 5% uphill gradient.

Stage winner, Richard Carapaz (Movistar): “Because of the rain, people were a bit nervous at the beginning. It made the last climb a bit complicated but it was a good one for me. Once I got a ten seconds lead, I kept it. It’s a surprise for everyone. But I had very good legs and I followed the advice of the coach who asked me to try. I’ve managed to time it well. Sky was controlling things and AG2R had accelerated. After I seized the opportunity, I had to be cautious of not falling on the wet road.

“It means a lot to me. It’s the fruit of years of hard work since I was a kid. To win against so many favourites makes me extremely happy. It’s a result for my whole country. I’m a bit sad that there’s no cycling in Ecuador. It’s lamentable. We get no support. I hope this victory will open doors to other kids who will come after me and also have a lot of talent. Many things came to my mind when I crossed the line – it’s the first time that an Ecuadorian cyclist wins at this level. I’m also the first Ecuadorian who’s participated in the Giro. I came with the mentality of doing well. This victory will stay in my heart; it’s incredible. I came to the Giro to discover what it’s like and what I can do in cycling. Rome is still a long way away and there can be other surprises. I’ll try to keep the Maglia Bianca as long as possible. It would be a beautiful triumph.”

Overall leader, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “It was a more difficult stage than I expected because of the rain but no drama. We rode a nice tempo, safely. I tried to get some bonus but I got boxed in. It was a really fast climb. It was hard to make a difference. I expect more of a selection tomorrow. I had really good feelings again today. When Froome crashed, I heard about but it didn’t realize it was him. He looked okay after.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 8 Result:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar in 5:11:35
2. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:07
3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
4. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL-Jumbo
5. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
7. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
10. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana
11. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb
12. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors
13. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC
14. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana
15. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo
16. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
17. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
18. Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar
19. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb
20. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
21. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky
22. Chris Froome (GB) Sky
23. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
24. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
25. Wout Poels (Ned) Sky.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 8:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 31:43:12
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 0:16
3. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:26
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:41
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:43
6. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC at 0:53
7. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana at 1:03
8. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar at 1:06
9. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 1:10
10. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:11
11. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:12
12. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 1:39
13. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb at 1:42
14. Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar at 1:44
15. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:46
16. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky at 1:47
17. Ben O’Connor (Aus) Dimension Data at 2:00
18. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana at 2:01
19. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors at 2:02
20. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 2:12
21. José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin at 2:18
22. Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Movistar at 2:19
23. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 2:42
24. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 3:00
25. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott at 3:57.

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