Izaguirre Soloes to Victory in Stage 8 of Giro d'Italia
Izaguirre claimed his first Grand Tour stage victory following the example of his younger brother Ion who won stage 16 of the 2012 Giro d'Italia in Falzes. Izaguirre accelerated in the ascent to Peschici with about one kilometer to the finish line when Valerio Conti crashed while initiating an attack for the stage victory on the Adriatic Coast.
Giovanni Visconti finished second for Team Bahrain-Merida, 5 seconds behind the stage winner. Luis Leon Sanchez crossed the finish line in third position, 10 seconds behind.
"It was our goal to have someone in the breakaway. The race was very fast. As Giovanni Visconti went into the breakaway, I went as well because we're in the same kind of situation as the Bahrain-Merida team," Izaguirre explained following the victory celebration.
"I wasn't the strongest rider in the front group, it was Valerio Conti who was also the highest ranked in the general classification, but he had some problems and as I saw a gap behind me after he crashed, I went full gas. There was one kilometer uphill remaining. I normally go pretty well on that terrain. I won today due to circumstances of luck and our goal remains to win the Giro d'Italia with Nairo Quintana."
The general classification lead is held by Bob Jungels of Team Quick Step Floors. The Luxembourger will wear the maglia rosa for the fifth consecutive day, after overcoming a crash in what he refers to as one of the race's toughest stages.
"I crashed on my knee, but I am not in pain. It’s all my own fault. I didn’t pay enough attention and I touched the back wheel of a teammate. We had to be patient after the first climb, then our big engines went back to the front to reduce the gap to the breakaway group to defend my Maglia Rosa," Jungels told Roadcycling.com.
"Apparently now the big general classification battle begins. Tomorrow I expect a hard finale to Blockhaus. It'll be time for favourites to show themselves. For myself, it'll be a question of hanging on and seeing how far I can go. I’m not scared of anyone, but if somebody has more power than me, I might lose the lead on Sunday."
"Come Tuesday there will be a pretty long individual time trial, and not an easy one, which should suit me pretty well. I’m looking forward to it," Jungels concluded.
Team Sky's Geraint Thomas is second in the general classification, 6 seconds behind Jungels. Adam Yates (Team Orica-Scott) is third, 10 seconds behind Jungels. Vincenzo Nibali is also ten seconds behind in 4th position.
Team Cannondale-Drapac again showed determined activity in today's stage and was represented by Alex Howes and Davide Villela in different breakaway groups. Michael Woods secured the team a top 5 stage finish and the team is hoping to feature Pierre Rolland in a breakaway group, which will hunt for the stage victory on the famous Blockhaus climb on Sunday.