Formolo misses out to Carapaz on stage 8 of Giro d'Italia

Italian and Ecuadorian young guns among favourites for Sunday's stage 9

Italy's Davide Formolo just missed out on taking Bora-Hansgrohe's second stage win in a row on Saturday when seven seconds separated him from Movistar's victorious Richard Carapaz.

Sunday's mountainous stage 9 from Pesco Sannita to Gran Sasso d’Italia, however, will give Formolo another good opportunity to try for a stage victory.

"It was a hard stage, especially with the rain in the finale making the race difficult," Formolo said in a team statement, referring to the ice-rink-like road surface as a result of the downpour towards the end of Saturday's stage, which saw Chris Froome crash on the final climb.

Having crashed and lost time on stage 6 between Caltanissetta and Mount Etna himself, 25-year-old Formolo was pleased to discover that he'd recovered enough to be competitive again on the climbs.

"The team worked well together, and supported me the whole day," Formolo said. "In the last few kilometres, I thought I'd give it a try, and went up the road. Of course, to win the stage would have been nice, but I'm satisfied with my second place, especially after my crash, and I now feel confident going into the next mountain stages. There's still a long way to go in this Giro, so we’ll see what happens."

Carapaz took an impressive solo victory on Saturday after attacking with less than 2km to go, opening up a lead that was still seven seconds as a fast-finishing Formolo brought home the best of the rest.

"It's a long, tough race, and with everything that's left before Rome, we must take things easy," Carapaz said. "Whatever good comes after this will be welcome – and I'm sure many more chances will arise."

'Richie', as his teammates call him, will now look for further opportunities, while also trying to keep hold of the white jersey as best young rider – a competition in which his victory on stage 8 allowed him to extended his lead over Team Sunweb's Sam Oomen to 36 seconds.

Having shown what he could do in the mountains by winning the 'queen stage' en route to the overall title at the Vuelta a Asturias in April, the third-year pro with Movistar was given the opportunity to ride his first Grand Tour with his Giro start – a decision that has already paid dividends for Movistar management, and may yet reap more reward.

"For the time being, it's all about enjoying this victory," the 24-year-old said. "It's another tough stage on Sunday. We’ll try to rekindle our goals and keep on trying to get some more good results."

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