Napoli (Procida Capitale Italiana della Cultura), 14 May 2022. Thomas de Gendt invaded Naples today as part of a four man group to seal a second win at a Giro d’Italia. This one on the shores of the bay of Naples could not be much more different from the one he claimed ten years on Stage 20 of the 2012 edition at Passo dello Stelvio.
1 – Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) – 153 km in 3h32’53’’, average speed 43.122 km/h
2 – Davide Gabburo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) s.t.
3 – Jorge Arcas Peña (Movistar Team) s.t.
1 – Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Trek-Segafredo)
2 – Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 38″
3 – Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) at 58”
The Lungomare Caracciolo in Napoli, with an impressive crowd on a summer-like day, welcomed the second success in the Corsa Rosa, 10 years after the first one, by Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal). The Belgian rider won the sprint between four of the 21 riders who were part of the breakaway that started at the beginning of the stage, pushed on by Mathieu van der Poel.
De Gendt, in the company of Davide Gabburo, Jorge Arcas Peña and his team-mate Harm Vanhoucke, anticipated the other fugitives by attacking 43km from the finish and resisting the return in the final of van der Poel himself, who tried in vain to take the lead in the company of Mauro Schmid and Biniam Girmay.
Among the escapees, Guillaume Martin moved up on GC and now stands in fourth place 1’06” behind the Maglia Rosa Juan Pedro Lopez, who defended the lead despite numerous attacks launched in the final kilometres by Lennard Kämna.
The stage winner, Thomas De Gendt, said in the press conference: “I won races in previous years but I’ve felt it’s become harder and harder to be in the good breakaway. I only managed to do it for the third time this year. There are always good riders up there. Today, again, it was the case with Mathieu van der Poel and Biniam Grmay. We also knew that everyone would look at them; normally everyone looks at me. We took advantage of that. I’ve had bad luck and bad shape in the last two years. Today I proved that I’m still able to win races. It was a really nice circuit today – something like a championship but I can only talk about the Belgian championship because I’ve never won the Europeans or the Worlds. I think it’s nice to do it in a Grand Tour. It felt like a classic today. It made for an attractive racing, not exactly what people expected.”
Tomorrow sees the second uphill finish of this Giro d’Italia at the top of the Blockhaus.
Stage 8: Top Ten Results – full results here