Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-QuickStep) soloed to victory on stage 8 of the Giro d'Italia to Arezzo. The Italian jumped clear on the final climb of the day and built up enough of a lead to take hold of the maglia rosa, as Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) suffered a terrible day on the bike.
Below are a selection of reactions from today's stage.
Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-Quickstep) - stage 8 winner and race leader
"This is amazing! My idea at the beginning of the Giro was to focus on today's stage and I've made it but I cannot believe that I've done it. I have to thank Matteo Trentin because he did an excellent job. I was the rider who initiated the breakaway but he did most of the work until I rode away in the steep part of the climb. I'm delighted. Everything is going well for me this year. The birth of my daughter Asia twenty days ago has also changed my life. It's beautiful."
Matteo Montaguti (AG2R La Mondiale) - second on stage 8
"Today was a tough day. The break took a while to go because it was hard. We were very scared about the wind and it wasn’t an easy thing to do to get into the break. Brambilla was in fantastic form and of course he was up in the overall standings so it didn’t look like they would let us away. Not everyone was co-operating in the break and then he managed to get some advantage in the end. I wanted to do a great job to win the stage, I tried to attack. I wanted to anticipate Brambilla because I know that he is stronger than me on the climb and I was caught in the last sector. Maybe if I’d stayed in his wheel but it is too easy to say now."
Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quickstep) - best young rider overall
"This was a big day for our team, we had Matteo [Trentin] and Gianluca [Brambilla] in front. Gianluca was really good in the GC, so the other teams had to work. But nobody wanted to take responsibility. I think Giant-Alpecin was left a little bit alone. In the last climb they started full gas and I didn't have the legs to follow the big guys 100 per cent. But I didn't finish too far off, so it should be some margin to play tomorrow.
It's a hard time trial. It's pretty technical and depends a bit on the weather. There are a lot of ups and downs. I really think it's going to be one of the critical points of this Giro. The most important is that we have the pink and the white jersey now, which is unbelievable in the first week. We couldn't be more happy."
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) - moved into fourth overall
"We did a great job today, we managed to make a big gap. We gave everything on the climb and I think that the team did a fantastic job. Everybody that was there in the group with me felt good so a lot of my rivals were good. We tried to get as much time as possible on Dumoulin because of the time trial tomorrow. [Tom] Dumoulin and [Jakob] Fuglsang got dropped but this Giro d’Italia is long."
Tom Stamsnijder (Giant-Alpecin) - teammate of Tom Dumoulin
"It was hard all day because there was a big group that got away and we had to make sure that it was under control. Then you come here [Arezzo] where it is very narrow and then right away afterwards you go up on a steep climb. I just came in so I don’t know how he did on the climb but I saw that he lost the pink jersey. Too bad.
"[On Dumoulin's chances in the stage 9 TT] He was always keen on winning the time trial. He did it already in the prologue and I hope that he can do it again. It will be a very technical one, especially with the weather forecast. So let’s see what it brings tomorrow. One thing for sure, it is going to be an interesting race."
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