Pogacar Climbs to Victory in Stage 8 at Giro d’Italia

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05/11/2024| 0 comments
by Roadcycling.com
Tadej Pogacar wins stage 8 of Giro d'Italia 2024
Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) crosses the finish line as winner of stage 8 RCS Sport - LaPresse

Pogacar Climbs to Victory in Stage 8 at Giro d’Italia

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) has won stage 8 of Giro d’Italia 2024 and increased his General Classification lead

Saturday’s stage 8 of Giro d’Italia 2024 followed Friday’s important individual time trial in which race leader Tadej Pogacar had increased his race lead over Daniel Martinez (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Geraint Thomas (Ineos-Grenadiers). Stage 8 was 152 kilometers long and took the Giro peloton from Spoleto to Prati di Tivo on a mountainous route that included one Category 2 climb (Forca Capistrello, 16.4 km, 5.6%), one Category 3 climb (Croce Abbio, 8.1 km; 4.8%), and culminated with a finish on the Category 1 Prati di Tivo (14.7 km, 7%).

Riders were active from the very first kilometer of the stage – a stage which had been anticipated by the participants and spectators around the world because of the appealing route design chosen by Giro d’Italia race organizer R.C.S. Sport in Italy.

Several attacks were launched, and smaller and larger groups built small advantages, though their attacks were soon neutralized by the chasing peloton led by UAE Team Emirates for their race leader Tadej Pogacar.

Eventually four riders managed to escape from the chasers and form a front group on the Forca Capistrello (Caregory 2; 16.4 km; 5.6%). The riders were Simon Geschke (Cofidis), Georg Steinhauser (EF Education-EasyPost), Romain Bardet (DSM-Firmenich), and Valentin Paret-Peintre (Decathlon-AG2R-La Mondiale).

Geschke was the first rider across the top of the climb and the German rider from Berlin secured points for the Best Climber Classification.

The quintet was then joined by other riders on the downward slope. Ineos-Grenadiers had sent Jhonatan Narvaez and Magnus Sheffield to the frontlines in an attempt to compensate for yesterday’s disappointing performance from team leader Geraint Thomas. Additional riders were Alessandro Verre (Arkea-B&B Hotels), Henok Mulubrhan (Astana), Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team), Pelayo Sanchez (Movistar Team), Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-QuickStep), Alessandro De Marchi (Team Jayco-Alula), Michael Storer (Tudor Pro Cycling Team), and VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizane’s Martin Marcellusi.

The group formed a two-minute gap and pressed on hoping to take a beautiful and memorable stage victory in the first Grand Tour of the season.

The front group lost some time on the false flat that followed. The riders appeared unable to cooperate well and not least Bardet and Alaphilippe were dissatisfied with the performance of other riders. Team Movistar and Team Ineos-Grenadiers were expected to contribute significant energy at the front to set a fast pace because they were each represented with two riders in the front group.

But who should the Movistar team ride for? Experienced Grand Tour winner Nairo Quintana, or young stage winner Pelayo Sanchez? Ineos-Grenadiers was faced with the same conundrum: should they ride in the breakaway for stage winner Jhonatan Narvaez or for young talent Magnus Sheffield, who delivered the sixth best time on the finishing climb in yesterday’s time trial? 

The breakaway participants were brought to order and the group started to increase their time advantage over the chasing peloton, which was still spearheaded by UAE Team Emirates. Their lead was now 02:15 minutes after it had previously been reduced to 01:40 minutes.

The riders were cruising though the Abruzzo region. Fifty kilometers remained and the lead of the front group had been reduced to 01:30 minutes thanks to the hard work from Mikkel Bjerg and other UAE Team Emirates riders at the front of the main peloton.

The front group was now approaching the Croce Abbio climb – a category 3 challenge for the already exhausted breakaway hopefuls. Geschke was first across the top and thereby won the KOM Sprint. Steinhauser was second.

As the riders approached the final climb of the day, which would take the riders to the finish, the front group had a meager advantage of approximately thirty seconds.

The Prati di Tivo climb is a category 1 climb. The climb is 14.7 kilometers long and has an average incline percentage of seven percent, with sections of up to 8.2 percent.

Verre attacked solo early in the climb. Geschke, Paret-Peintre, Steinhauser, Bardet and Storer were chasing. Verre was caught by the chasers with 11 kilometers left. Paret-Peintre launched a counterattack. Steinhauser tried to follow.

Paret-Peintre was now solo in front while the other participants in the early breakaway had been caught by the chasing peloton. Paret-Peintre had a twenty second lead with six kilometers left, but the General Classification favorites were chasing a stage victory.

Romain Bardet was dropped from the favorites group.

Paret-Peintre was caught by the chasers. There would unfortunately not be any stage victory for Valentin today.

Major General Classification favorites such as Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), Geraint Thomas (Ineos-Grenadiers), Thymen Arensman (Ineos-Grenadiers), Daniel Martinez (Bora-Hansgrohe), and Ben O’Connor (Decathlon-AG2R-La Mondiale) were now present at the front. The speed was intense, and the group was spearheaded by UAE Team Emirates riders.

Surprisingly, Michael Storer was struggling to keep up with the front group. The Tudor Pro Cycling rider was made for success in stages like this one.

Antonio Tiberi attacked with two kilometers left. Pogacar closed the gap followed by Cian Uijtdebroeks (Team Visma-Lease a Bike). Arensman closed the gap and moved to the front to set a high pace for team captain Geraint Thomas.

Tiberi tried again. He was caught. Storer had rediscovered his energy and moved to the front.

The favorites approached the finish line together and a small group sprint would decide the stage.

Pogacar and Martinez launched their sprints. No other rider could respond to their accelerations. 

Pogacar was first across the finish line and thereby took an additional stage victory in this year’s Giro d’Italia. Daniel Martinez was second and Ben O’Connor third.

In the general classification Pogacar increased his lead slightly thanks to bonus seconds. Martinez is in second, while Geraint Thomas is third. 

Stay tuned to Roadcycling.com for complete race coverage from Giro d’Italia 2024.

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