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Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana)
Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) executed a perfect final 500 metres to win the eighth stage on a...
Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) executed a perfect final 500 metres to win the eighth stage on a deceptive uphill finish in Lugo. After coming so close yesterday, it was a great comeback from the combative Kazakhstani, who also shaved another 21 seconds off his time deficit on the general classification. Second in the stage was Ruggero Marzoli (Lampre-Fondital), while third went to Uros Murn (Phonak). Janez Brajkovic kept the leader's jersey.
The 181 km stage saw a very fast first hour, with over 53 km covered as riders tried to get away. But nothing stuck until Kevin Van Impe (Quick.Step) escaped after 68 km, and rode away alone. Van Impe built up a maximum lead of 5'48, but was reeled in by the sprinters' teams with 9 km to go. The final kilometre was mostly uphill, and Luca Paolini (Liquigas) tried to go it alone from around 700 metres. But with less than 400m to go, it was Alexandre Vinokourov who powered off the front, passed Paolini, and went onto win the stage by one second.