GIRO’22 Stage 8: De Gendt De Winner!

A welcome win for Lotto Soudal

Giro Stage 8 Race Report: Stage 8 was held on what was described as a ‘Worlds style circuit’ in Napoli. The action was from the gun on this lumpy course and the break of the day went away in the first meters. The money was on Mathieu van der Poel and Biniam Girmay, but it was Thomas De Gendt who sneaked away in a counter-attack and won the sprint.

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The final K

Thomas De Gendt wins a Giro stage 10 years after his first

Thomas De Gendt won the eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia. In Naples, the Belgian was the best in the final sprint from a small leading group. He beat Davide Gabburo, Jorge Arcas and Harm Vanhoucke with whom he was part of a sizeable early break. Mathieu van der Poel was also part of the break and finished in seventh place, just behind Biniam Girmay in fifth.

López had pizza for breakfast in Napoli

The Route:
This challenging and intense stage, raced entirely on urban roads, sets off by passing over the finish line. The route climbs up the Posillipo hill, heading to Bacoli and taking a loop along the coast. Past Bacoli, the riders will cover the Monte di Procida circuit (19km) four times. The roads here are well surfaced but narrow, with a succession of bends and constantly changing gradients. Past Torregaveta, in Baia, the route kicks up at a 14% gradient to Lago Lucino, where the riders will leave the circuit at the end of the last lap. The route goes back to Bacoli and Posillipo along the same route, with a long descent down the Via Petrarca leading to the final kilometres in the city centre.

Final kilometres
The last three pan-flat kilometres run eastwards along the Via Dohrn and Via Caracciolo. At the last kilometre, the route takes a U‑turn at a roundabout and returns along the Via Caracciolo all the way to the finish. The home straight is 900 metres long.

The start from the Piazza del Plebiscito in Napoli

Short ride from the sign-on to the start proper

The 2022 Giro d’Italia continued without Simon Carr. Hugh Carthy’s team-mate couldn’t start due to sickness. The battle for the break of the day started immediately after the start. There were many attacks and a group managed to get away. Other riders tried to cross, including Mathieu van der Poel. This first escape attempt was short-lived, after which Van der Poel tried again. A group of counter-attackers crossed from the peloton and joined the Dutchman.

The sea-front of Napoli

The racing started from the gun and it was Mathieu Van Der Poel who wanted in the break

The break was: Andrea Vendrame, Lilian Calmejane (AG2R), Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), Fabio Felline, Harold Tejada (Astana), Wout Poels, Jasha Sütterlin (Bahrain Victorious), Davide Gabburo (Bardiani-CSF Faizanè), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Simone Ravanelli, Edoardo Zardini (Drone Hopper), Mirco Maestri, Samuele Rivi (EOLO-Kometa), Biniam Girmay (Wanty), Thomas De Gendt, Sylvain Moniquet, Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal), Jorge Arcas (Movistar), Mauro Schmid (Quick-Step), Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (Trek-Segafredo) and Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates).

Van der Poel eventually had company

The break got a little bigger with Mount Vesuvio looking on

This created a leading group with 21 riders, from fourteen different teams. Eight teams were not at the front, including Jumbo-Visma, they initially tried to get Edoardo Affini and Pascal Eenkhoorn across to the break. INEOS Grenadiers, BORA-hansgrohe, EF-EasyPost, Groupama-FDJ, Israel-Premier Tech, BikeExchange-Jayco and DSM also didn’t try to get in the break. Guillaume Martin was the most dangerous rider up front, he was just over 4 minutes behind the pink jersey, so the break was kept within a safe distance by Trek-Segafredo for the leader Juan Pedro López.


Other teams helped Trek-Segafredo, especially Bahrain Victorious and BORA-hansgrohe. Sütterlin came back from the break to the peloton to help his leaders Mikel Landa and Pello Bilbao. On the circuit with the climb of the Monte di Procida, it soon proved too difficult for pure sprinters like Caleb Ewan and Mark Cavendish, who would also have felt the previous stage in their legs. The escape rode ahead of the peloton for a long time between 2 and 3 minutes.

Through the old Romanesque walls

López and Trek-Segafredo wanted to keep the pink jersey

At 46 kilometres from the finish, the race was suddenly shaken by an attack from Van der Poel on the climb of Lago Lucrino. Several riders in the leading group were surprised by this move. Girmay and Schmid were the first to respond, after which the others were also able to return. Calmejane, Tejada, Zardini and Maestri were unable to hold on. Four riders then counter-attacked. Gabburo, De Gendt, Vanhoucke and Arcas took a gap on the others, with Van der Poel and Girmay now having to chase.

The break hovered around 3 minutes

The peloton didn’t want to the break get too far away

Van der Poel and Girmay had the strong Schmid with them. Together with Poels and Martin, they were the first pursuers behind the four leaders, who started the last 20 kilometres with a 30 second lead. De Gendt had the best palmarès at the front. The 35-year-old attacker has had victories in all three Grand Tours; Gabburo, Vanhoucke and Arcas were still waiting for their first professional victory. The foursome managed to maintain their lead of 30 seconds, while cooperation was not great with the pursuers.

A nice day at the beach!

The break had the strongman Thomas De Gendt onboard

The front riders started to look at each other in the finalé, allowing the chasers to get closer. In the final 2 kilometres Van der Poel and Girmay had their sights on them again and the race was ready for an exciting finish. Van der Poel and Girmay were too late and the winner would come from the four at the front. Vanhoucke started the sprint for teammate De Gendt, who finished the job off. The experienced rider had a strong sprint and took the victory. Gabburo was second, Arcas third. Vanhoucke was happy in fourth place.

Van der Poel was his usual attacking self – But did he do too much?

Girmay wanted the stage and more points – Guillaume Martin wanted time and moved up to 4th overall

The peloton crossed the line three minutes after De Gendt. In the final, Lennard Kämna tried to take Juan Pedro López out of the pink jersey the day before the tough stage to the Blockhaus, but the Spaniard was alert. Both riders crossed the line in the big group.

Vanhoucke worked hard for De Gendt in the final

Thomas De Gendt out-sprinted Davide Gabburo, Jorge Arcas and his teammate Harm Vanhoucke

Stage winner, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal): “It was a big front group with riders of the quality of Mathieu van der Poel and Biniam Girmay. We knew we had to look at them and it would be hard to beat them. We forged a bit of an advantage and I was working for Harm (Vanhoucke) so he could attack on the climb but, at the end, he said we should switch roles. I was sure I’d win the sprint of the four riders. Some time ago, I didn’t think I would win a Grand Tour stage again but here we are.”

Thomas De Gendt: “I didn’t think I would win a Grand Tour stage again but here we are”

Maglia Rosa, Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Trek-Segafredo): “It was the plan that if Kämna attacked I had to follow him. I retained the Maglia Rosa thanks to the great work of my team-mates. I will need a lot of help tomorrow to stay in the lead. We’ll see.”

Last day in pink for Juan Pedro López?

# Stay PEZ for a big day of climbing on Sunday. #

Giro d’Italia Stage 8 Result:
1. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 3:32:53
2. Davide Gabburo (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
3. Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar
4. Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:04
5. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:15
6. Mauro Schmid (Swi) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
7. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
8. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:33
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
10. Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan at 2:56.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 8:
1. Juan Pedro López (Spa) Trek-Segafredo in 32:15:31
2. Lennard Kämna (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:38
3. Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:58
4. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 1:06
5. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange-Jayco at 1:42
6. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 1:47
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:55
8. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 1:58
9. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 2:00
10. Richie Porte (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:04.

Watch the most comprehensive live & ad-free coverage of the Giro d’Italia 2022 on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with live polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, results & more – plus stream original and exclusive cycling documentaries. Watch it all with GCN+ on any device.

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