April 19, 2018
Movistar's Richard Carapaz wins Stage 8 of the 101st Giro d'Italia, The win is a first for an Ecuadorian at a Grand Tour.
Praia a Mare to Montevergine di Mercogliano, 209 km
Richard Carpraz made history on Stage 8 to Praia a Mare-Montevergine di Mercogliano, becoming the first Ecudaorian to win a stage of a Grand Tour. He finished seven seconds ahead of the maglia rosa group with Davide Formolo (Bora - Hansgrohe) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama - FDJ) finishing second and third, respectively.
The days action started with a seven man breakaway that went away with 153km to race and wasn't fully caught until a kilometre left of the 209km stage. The comprising, Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Fix All), Davide Villella (Astana), Matteo Montaguti (AG2R La Mondiale), Rodolfo Torres (Androni Giocattoli), Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida), Koen Bouwman (LottoNL-Jumbo), and Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) developed a solid lead
With heavy rain taking over form the fine conditions at the start of the race the final challenge was the climb to the finish Praia a Mare-Montevergine di Mercogliano with the added menace of slick roads. Sky's Chris Froome was a high profile victim, slipping untouched on a tight uphill corner and accummulating another batch of grazes to go with those sustained in Jerusalem. Froome was up and being paced back within seconds but the crash had clearly unnerved the group as well as his team.
With the break in its deaththroes as the maglia rosa group led by Team Sky closed in on it, Lotto NL Jumbo's Koen Bouwmen chanced it all for glory. His chances looked good until Carpraz attacked out of the maglia rosa group and swept by the last of the break, reaching and passing andf exhausted Bouwman with one kilometre to go.
Behind him the chasing group containing Yates, Dumoulin, Froome, Pinot and the other GC contenders had upped the pace but not enough to catch the Ecuadorian who was soiring liek one of native eagles
Carapaz showed no sign of letting up and while the peloton had closed in within seven seconds thanks to the efforts of Formolo and Pinot there was time to celebrate an historic moment in Ecuadorian andf Giro cycling
Speaking seconds after the stage finish, the stage winner, Richard Carapaz, said: “I'm very happy and emotional. It's my first Grand Tour victory. I've worked hard to get here. I had good legs from the bottom of the climb. I had to try from far out because I had little chance to win a sprint. I chose the right moment from 2km to go. It's still a long way to Rome and I'm yet to understand what else I can achieve but this is already beautiful.”
The race leader, Simon Yates, said: “I wanted to ride at the front because of the rain in the final. The hairpin in the corners were slippery. We rode an easy tempo. I would have liked to take some bonus seconds but I got a little boxed in. However, it's still a good day for us, I think.”
Team Sky's De La Cruz was well-placed to aid Froome at the end and he told Eurosport that he was encouraged by how the team rallied after a tough opening week at the Giro d'Italia: ”It was a nasty climb and every corner was really slippery, he had bad luck and he crashed. But as a team we worked well, we brought him back to the front and we made it so we can fight another day.
“It has been a difficult first week of the Giro for us, but we are working well, we are highly motivated and we are sure that Chris can win the race and we will got for it.
“It looks like [as a team] we are getting better day by day. Early on there were flatter stages, but from now on the parcours get better for us and the race looks better for us.”
Race Results - Stage 8 and GC