Ivan Basso (CSC) has made his first big move in this year's Giro, winning the eighth stage between Civitanova Marche and Maielletta Passo Lanciano. Basso countered a move by Damiano Cunego in the last four kilometres of the final 12.3 km climb, and finished with a 30 second advantage on Lampre's 'Little Prince'. Third place, in the same time, was Phonak's José E. Gutierrez, while the rest of the favourites lost between one and three minutes: Simoni lost 1'15, Di Luca 1'32, Savoldelli 2'20, and Gonchar 2'35.
The general classification shows some big time gaps for the first time, as Basso took the maglia rosa. Gutierrez is the next best placed at 1'34, then Cunego at 1'48. Savoldelli slipped back to fourth at 2'35, and all of the top GC riders will have to rely on Basso having a bad day to get that time back.
The stage was run at a very fast average speed of just under 42 km/h. A break of 14 riders escaped on the flat after 54 km, with Marzio Bruseghin (Lampre-Fondital) the best placed on GC at 3'46. The breakaways were never given that much room by the bunch, and the gap was only 50 seconds once the foot of the final climb was reached. Bruseghin persisted for the longest, until the bunch blew to bits under the impulse of CSC and Saunier Duval. Gonchar was dropped with 9 km to go, then Savoldelli a couple of km later. Basso, Sastre, Simoni, Piepoli, Cunego, Mazzanti, Gutierrez, Caruso, Di Luca and Rujano were left, but when the real attacking started with 5 km to go, Basso emerged as the most powerful rider.
See also: Stage 8 full results, report & photos and .