Diego Ulissi claimed stage 8 of this year’s Giro d’Italia, during the race’s first major mountain stage.
A select group of riders containing Ulissi, Dani Moreno, Robert Kiserlovksi, Wilco Kelderman, Cadel Evans and Nairo Quintana, ultimately chased down the lone breakaway leader, Pierre Rolland, in the waning moments of today’s stage.
Dani Moreno was the first rider to bridge himself to Rolland, followed by Kiserlovski – who proceeded to take the front. However, Ulissi in turn commenced an acceleration out of nowhere to overhaul Kiserlovski just before the line.
Wilco Kelderman followed in third place – six seconds later.
“I really didn’t expect the win,” Ulissi said. “Of course, it was a difficult race today, too difficult, but I’m really, really happy.”
“I am extremely pleased to win, because it’s not my ideal terrain,” said an exuberant Ulissi. “The pace was hard today, but I was able to stay with the front leaders.
“When we were close to Rolland, I thought there might be a chance to win. I am happy with two stage victories so far in this Giro. It’s more than I expected. Let’s see how far I can go.”
Meanwhile, Evans moved into the overall race lead, as Michael Matthews "cracked" during today’s first difficult mountain stage. Evans now leads Rigoberto Uran by 57 seconds, with Rafal Maika in throw place at 1:10 behind.
“We’re in a good position,” said Evans. “We saw a hard stage, with all the contenders there. I think we’ll see a different kind of racing in the mountains. Steve (Morabito) was really the man of the day for us. We all started the stage a bit fatigued today and I think it showed in the final.”
Stage 8 Results ITA 1 ULISSI, Diego (LAMPRE – MERIDA) 4:47:47 CRO 2 KISERLOVSKI, Robert (TREK FACTORY RACING) NED 3 KELDERMAN, Wilco (BELKIN) + 6 COL 4 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR) AUS 5 EVANS, Cadel (BMC RACING) + 8 COL 6 URAN URAN, Rigoberto (OMEGA PHARMA – QUICK-STEP) ITA 7 POZZOVIVO, Domenico (AG2R LA MONDIALE) POL 8 MAJKA, Rafal (TINKOFF-SAXO) + 14 ITA 9 ARU, Fabio (ASTANA) + 17 CAN 10 HESJEDAL, Ryder (GARMIN SHARP) + 20 NED 11 POELS, Wouter (OMEGA PHARMA – QUICK-STEP) + 22 ITA 12 PELLIZOTTI, Franco (ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI) + 24 ITA 13 BASSO, Ivan (CANNONDALE) FRA 14 MOUREY, Francis (FDJ.fr) FRA 15 ROLLAND, Pierre (EUROPCAR) BLR 16 SIUTSOU, Kanstantsin (SKY) + 28 ESP 17 LANDA MEANA, Mikel (ASTANA) ESP 18 MORENO FERNANDEZ, Daniel (KATUSHA) + 33 ITA 19 BRAMBILLA, Gianluca (OMEGA PHARMA – QUICK-STEP) + 35 SUI 20 MORABITO, Steve (BMC RACING) BEL 21 MONFORT, Maxime (LOTTO BELISOL) + 1:22 FRA 22 VUILLERMOZ, Alexis (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 1:26 ESP 23 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, Samuel (BMC RACING) + 1:47 FRA 24 DUPONT, Hubert (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 2:17 FRA 25 GENIEZ, Alexandre (FDJ.fr) + 2:59 ITA 26 RABOTTINI, Matteo (NERI SOTTOLI) + 3:07 COL 27 ARREDONDO MORENO, Julian David (TREK FACTORY RACING) + 3:10 COL 28 PANTANO, Jarlinson (COLOMBIA) + 3:12 ITA 29 CUNEGO, Damiano (LAMPRE – MERIDA) + 3:18 ESP 30 HERRADA LOPEZ, José (MOVISTAR)
General Classification after Stage 8 AUS 1 EVANS, Cadel (BMC RACING) 0
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