Gatto Wins Stage 8 of Giro d'Italia 2011
Oscar Gatto (Farnese Vini) has won Stage 8 of the 2011 Giro d'Italia.
Oscar Gatto (Farnese Vini) has won Stage 8 of the 2011 Giro. Gatto shot away from the peloton in the final two km and held off Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) to win the flat, 217-km run from Sapri to Tropea in 4:59:45. Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) finished third at 0:05.
The hostilities began early. With two km ridden, Leonardo Giordani (Farnese Vini) and Mirko Selvaggi (Vacansoleil) slipped away from the peloton. The two ran up a 10:50 lead before the bunch began to chase.
The bunch gradually cut the break's lead. With 35 km left, four minutes separated the leaders from the peloton. Fifteen km later, the field was 2:30 behind the escapees. With 7.5 km left, Giordani and Selvaggi shook hands and embraced as the peloton, led by HTC and Lampre, engulfed them.
With two km remaining, the riders encountered a small climb. The sprinters' teams were supposed to be able to control the field on the climb to set up their team captains. Gatto had other ideas. He burst out of the peloton.
With one km left, Contador set out after the Italian. He narrowly failed to catch Gatto, but he picked up 12 bonus seconds for his second-place finish. The seconds were the other GC contenders' punishment for not being alert.
In the overall, Weening leads Konstantin Sivtsov and Marco Pinotti (both from HTC) by 0:02. The maglia rosa will change backs tomorrow. Stage 9, a 169-km ride from Messina to Etna, will feature two Category 1 ascents of Mount Etna, Europe's tallest active volcano. The climb to the finish will see a battle among the GC contenders. Who will win it? Contador? Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas)? Denis Menchov (Rabobank)? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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You'll find complete results and more photos from stage 8 here.