GIRO’19 Stage 8: Ewan Wins Sprint Battle!
Race Report: A wet stage 8 finalé came down to a fight between the top fast-finishers of the 2019 Giro d’Italia – Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) were elbow to elbow in the final meters for the diminutive Australian to cross the line first. The leader’s jersey of Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) was never in danger.
With Sunday’s time trial ahead and 239 kilometres on the days menu, the peloton took it easy in the first one hundred and fifty kilometres of stage 8. From soon after the start there was a leading group of three: Damiano Cima (Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizanè), Marco Frapporti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Nathan Brown (EF Education First).
All the jerseys at the start
Sun at the start turned to rain for the finish
Stage 8 – Tortoreto Lido-Pesaro 239km – total elevation 1,750m
At 239km, the longest stage of the 102nd Giro is divided into two distinct parts: it’s flat for 140km, following the Adriatic coast, before taking in a succession of undulations and punchy climbs for the remaining 100km to the finish. The route features a dozen ascents, including three categorised climbs. After crossing the Monte di Gabicce, the final 7km long descent ends 3km from the finish.
With the 7km technical descent complete the course profile becomes flat as the riders enter the town centre with 3km to go, following broad and straight roads until the finish line. The 250m long home straight is on 7m wide asphalt road.
Nibali and Conti
Marco Frapporti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Nathan Brown (EF Education First) and Damiano Cima (Nippo Vini-Fantini-Faizanè)
Cima, Frapporti and Brown
After 25 kilometres; Brown decided he had had enough of his Italian break-away partners and sat up and waited for the peloton. Their lead had got to 4 minutes.
Cima and Frapporti pushed on
As the two Italians approached the intermediate sprint, the news came that the three-kilometre rule will apply today: In the event of a fall there would be no time loss on the overall. Behind the leaders Pascal Ackermann and Arnaud Démare were fighting for sprint points, with the Frenchman taking it.
The escape was nearly over for Cima and Frapporti
After the sprint, the peloton, led by Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), slowly began to reduce the lead of the two escapees. With 60 kilometres to go the lead was reduced to just over 2 minutes. The peloton was on schedule to start the hill zone as one.
The peloton eventually put the hammer down
With 40 to go, it was Cima who was the first to be caught. As the peloton was about to catch Frapporti, Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) attacked for KOM points, but Frapporti wasn’t going to give up so easily. The Italian sprinted for the points, but Ciccone just managed to cross the line first and that was the day over for Frapporti. Ciccone also dropped back into the peloton, but not for long as the Mountain King thought he could pick up the points on the last mountain. Louis Vervaeke also attacked and the pair were joined by Francois Bidard. The three were together with 20K to go.
New shoes for Chaves
While it started raining in the final, the trio in front had built up a good half-minute lead, with Lotto Soudal is still at the front of the peloton. With a little less than 10 kilometres to go, Bidard accelerated and Vervaeke had to let go. Two remained in front with a lead of 16 seconds on the chasing peloton. Vervaeke did not immediately give up and even managed to reconnected.
Will Sunday be Conti’s last day in pink
Behind the front riders preparations for the sprint were in full swing. This meant that it was soon over for the three leaders. With just under 7 kilometres to go it was finished. The peloton was nervous because both the sprinters and the team leaders wanted to be at the front. The main bunch thinned on the descent to Pesaro. The overall classification men dropped back with 3 kilometres to go due to the change in rules. It was up to the sprinter teams to determine the final. Bora-Hansgrohe (for Pascal Ackermann) and Deceuninck – Quick-Step (for Elia Viviani) set the pace.
Will Primoz Roglic be back in pink on Sunday
Deceuninck – Quick-Step went ‘full gas’ in the winding final kilometre, but Viviani was not on the wheel, he was connected to the Ackermann train. Immediately after the last right angled bend, it was the German who started his sprint, but Ewan easily came off his wheel and rewarded the work that his team had done all day. Viviani also managed to pass Ackermann for second place.
Big scalps for the little Australian
Stage winner Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “Determination and the help of the team made me a winner today. We’ve been trying for seven days to get this win. I’m just so happy to win this stage. I wanted to be first in the last corner but it was still a long way away so it worked better to get out of Ackermann’s wheel. I knew I had a good kick and I went around him.”
Happy with a Grand Tour stage win
Overall leader Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a hard finale because of dangerous downhills. But I have a big team and I was well protected today. I think I will keep the Maglia Rosa also tomorrow after the time trial.”
Overall leader Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) with UCI President David Lappartient
Giro d’Italia Stage 8 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 5:43:32
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
4. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
6. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
7. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
8. Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane
9. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Dimension Data
10. Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
11. José Rojas (Spa) Movistar
12. Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
13. Paul Martens (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
14. Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo
15. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana
16. Amaro Antunes (Por) CCC
17. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
18. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
19. Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
20. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar
21. Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana
22. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb
23. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
24. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
25. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale.
Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 8:
1. Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates in 35:13:06
2. José Rojas (Spa) Movistar at 1:32
3. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 1:41
4. Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 2:09
5. Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 2:17
6. Amaro Antunes (Por) CCC at 2:45
7. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 3:14
8. Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 3:25
9. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 3:27
10. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb at 4:57
11. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana at 5:23
12. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 5:24
13. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
14. Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 5:34
15. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 5:59
16. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 6:03
17. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 6:08
18. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 6:13
19. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 6:16
20. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 6:19
21. Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 6:26
22. Victor De La Parte (Spa) CCC at 6:34
23. Hugh John Carthy (GB) EF Education First at 6:40
24. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott
25. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar at 6:45.