Giro d'Italia Stage 8
Fiuggi to Campitello Matese
186.3 (2 KOMs, 2 Sprints)
1st – Benat Intxausti, Movistar (4:51:34)
2nd – Mikel Landa, Astana
3rd – Sebastien Reichenbach, IAM Cycling
Pink Jersey – Alberto Contador, Tinkoff-Saxo
King of the Mountains – Benta Intxausti, Movistar
Sprint – Elia Viviani, Team Sky
Best Young Rider – Fabio Aru, Astana
Team Competition – Astana
Stage 8 of the Giro d'Italia delivered a nail-biter day with all the drama and anticipation we love to see from a Grand Tour.
Challenging weather, fast paces, two category climbs, an ever-changing peloton structure and breakaways on breakaways all combined to make for a gripping race.
The day's victory went to Movistar's Benat Intxausti who, after catching the head breakaway at the final climb and with only some 6km remaining, maintained a great and comfortable-looking click as he ascended up to and over the line, Mikel Landa of Astana and Sebastien Reichenbach of IAM Cycling less than half a minute off his tail.
Behind the podium finishers rocketed the GC giants of Aru (Astana), Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Porte (Sky) and Uran (Etixx-Quick Step).
Contador not only defied doubters to maintain his pink jersey; he even managed to score bonus sprint points early on in the race and, despite losing all his men but for Kreuziger, maintained a strong pace to finish with his key GC rivals.
Tomorrow things really ramp up, with three KOMs along a 215km race, making for a long day in the saddle.