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Giro d'Italia 2016: Stage 8


It's the second weekend of this year's Giro d'Italia and we're less than 30 minutes from the start of stage 8 from Foligno to Arezzo.

Today will be a very interesting day, it is neither for the sprinters or the climbers so we could see a breakaway making it to the line. Here is what the riders will face. 


Tom Dumoulin is still in pink and tells Italian television that he's going to go full-gas on today's main climb. The Dutchman is not going to hand over the maglia rosa without a fight. 


The weather has certainly been mixed over the past week but for now the riders are beginning to line-up at the start with sunny skies above them in Foligno. 


All the jerseys are lined up at the front of the bunch. Here is a look at the general classification this morning before the racing gets underway.


1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 29:23:23
2 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:26
3 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 0:00:28
4 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:35
5 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:38
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:41
7 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida
8 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:47
9 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data 0:00:49
10 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:51


Bob Jungels remains at the top of the young rider classification. 


1 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step 29:23:58
2 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:01:25
3 Carlos Verona (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:01:52
4 Sebastian Henao (Col) Team Sky 0:03:23
5 Valerio Conti (Ita) Lampre - Merida 0:04:35
6 Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data 0:04:36
7 Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:12:53
8 Ian Boswell (USA) Team Sky 0:13:12
9 Stefan Kueng (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:14:37
10 Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:14:57


The riders have departed from Foligno and we should have racing proper in around 5 minutes. 


Here were the riders just before the start



The flag has dropped so now we await to see who makes it into the breakaway. Dimension Data team manager Doug Ryder told Cyclingnews this morning that they will be looking to get Songezo Jim into the escape group. The South African is feeling much better after getting sick at the start of the race. 


The flag has dropped so now we await to see who makes it into the breakaway. Dimension Data team manager Doug Ryder told Cyclingnews this morning that they will be looking to get Songezo Jim into the escape group. The South African is feeling much better after getting sick at the start of the race. 


While it looks good for a breakaway to succeed today, it is far from simple. Today's stage will take the riders over the famed Strade Bianche. The final climb is part dirt track, and narrow and twisting to boot. Tinkoff rider Daniele Bennati posted this shot of the climb earlier. 



The bunch are about to head through Assisi and the pace is pretty high. There have been a few attempts at getting away but nothing has stuck yet and it's all together for now. 


It has been a good few days for Lotto-Soudal. The Belgian team has won the last three stages with Andre Greipel taking two and Tim Wellens taking one. Could we see Adam Hansen going into the break and looking for the fourth straight win today? Greipel was the victor yesterday after a hugely impressive sprint and here was how it finished.


1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 5:01:08
2 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
3 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre - Merida
4 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
5 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
6 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
7 Alexander Porsev (Rus) Team Katusha
8 Aleksei Tsatevich (Rus) Team Katusha
9 Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani CSF
10 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky


After another impressive performance in the sprint, Greipel played down his chances at the World Championships later this season. You can read his thoughts here


We have the first serious breakaway attempt going off the front after passing through Assisi. Around 20 riders have moved clear of the bunch. 


155km remaining from 186km

The bunch has split into four groups with 13 riders now leading the maglia rosa group by just 20 seconds. There are two further groups at 30 and 50 seconds respectively. 


The 13 riders in that leading group are: Blel Kadri, Matteo Montaguti, Alessandro De Marchi, Moreno Moser, Jaco Venter, Gianluca Brambilla, Matteo Trentin, Sean De Bie, Jose Joaquin Rojas, Jasha Sutterlin, Giacomo Berlato, Nikias Arndt, Alexey Tcatevitch.


Tom Dumoulin appears to have missed the split in the peloton and is actually in the third group on the road while Vincenzo Nibali is in the second. 


The peloton is now coming back together after that frantic bit of racing so it looks like Dumoulin can breath a slight sigh of relief. 


There are a lot of very strong riders in this move off the front and the peloton don't appear happy with the composition. They're still chasing and the gap is just 14 seconds. 


The peloton is back together but now we have a group of chasers who have set off in pursuit of the leaders. They are 22 seconds back on the break with the peloton a further 21 seconds down. 


The chasers have been brought back by the peloton while the escapees have grown their advantage to 1:38 after 43km of racing. 


If you missed yesterday's stage of the Giro d'Italia, you can read our report here, with full results, photos and video highlights. 


The advantage to the escapees cointinues to grow out to 1:53. They're not home and dry yet but it is a good buffer. 


Tomorrow's stage will see the second of three time trials at this year's race and Mikel Landa will have a new bike to ride after Pinarello released their new Bolide TT. Take a closer look at the bike right here


119km remaining from 186km

After passing through the first intermediate sprint of the day, the break's lead goes up to 2:45


Matteo Trentin takes the full points at the intermediate sprint, followed by Alexey Tsatevich and Giacomo Berlato.


114km remaining from 186km

After 72km of racing, the 13 leaders have a three-minute gap on the peloton. 


Former World Champion Igor Astarloa is now working on the Giro d'Italia as a driver. We spoke to the Spaniard about his new role and you can read what he had to say here


@SadhbhOS unless Brambilla drops out I fear the break won't get the gap it needs

You may well be right Tom, Brambilla is just 1:56 down on the overall classification in 22nd. Giant-Alpecin will not want to let him get too far away. 


It appears that some members of the public have spread tacks on the strade bianche and now fans are picking them up before the riders reach them. Again, it's Daniele Bennati who posted this photo.


The leaders have dipped under the 100km to go banner and their advantage has gone up to 3:20.


If this break does make it to the line, there are a number of riders who could potentially take victory. Moreno Moser has won on the white roads of Italy in the past and has shown that he is in good form. Fellow Italian Alessandro de Marchi is also a threat, as is Blel Kadri and Gianluca Brambilla (should he stay with the break and not be forced to drop back for its sake).


Away from the Giro d'Italia and the Tour of California starts tomorrow. Peter Stetina will be one of the home favourites and he has penned his latest blog for Cyclingnews on returning to racing in the USA


91km remaining from 186km

The halfway point has been breached and the gap grows just a little bit more to 4:10. Giant-Alpecin are keeping this well under control though. 


After two hours of racing, the average speed of the peloton is a zippy 46.9kph. 


Tom Dumoulin has spent all but one day in the pink since winning the opening time trial. We took a deeper look at the team that is helping him stay in pink and you can read that here


Giant-Alpecin continue to managed things on the front of the bunch. They're controlling things fairly well so far but they'll want some help from their rivals soon enough. The gap is now 4:11 to the escapees. 


Fabian Cancellara has a good record on the white roads with three wins at Strade Bianche but the Trek rider says that he's not going to be in contention at today's finish. 


"There is one difficult point today and that is the uphill but it is also on white roads. I have good memories on wide roads but it is definitely not my terrain because it is uphill. It is more for the GC riders so it looks like we will be on the back and enjoy the white roads in a different way."

"No it is a few days gone and we have done a lot of kilometres. I’m getting better but I’m not how I would want to be because the first days were quite hard. I just did how I could and I’m taking it day by day."


Huge crowds as the riders pass through Anghiari. They 13 leaders are ascending and had 4:35 on the peloton at the moment. 


Don't forget, you can follow the Giro d'Italia on our Tour Tracker as well as here. Download the app here


The leaders are now approaching the first classified climb of Scheggia, which crests at 66km to go. 


The peloton look like they're going at a reasonably relaxed pace in comparison to the opening kilometres of today's stage and the gap is still edging out. 


Matteo Trentin riding on the front of the bunch. The team have obviously decided to get him to work for Brambilla with a chance at pink and the stage win.


Sean de Bie took the points at the top of the first classified climb. It is his teammate Tim Wellens that has a very slim lead in the mountains classification ahead of Damiano Cunego. 


1 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 21 pts
2 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini 20
3 Alessandro Bisolti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini 16
4 Stefan Kueng (Swi) BMC Racing Team 15
5 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 8
6 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff Team 8
7 Alexander Kolobnev (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 8
8 Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani CSF 7
9 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 6
10 Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani CSF 6


The Giro d'Italia has an inordinate amount of classifications and one of those is the breakaway competition. Giacomo Berlato is the leader of this competition with 368km spent in breaks compared to Maarten Tjallingii's 348. Today is Berlato's third breakaway of this year's Giro d'Italia, but because there is more than 10 riders in the escape non of the kilometres racked up so far today will count. 


Esteban Chaves is one of the GC favourites at this year's Giro d'Italia. He says that today won't crown a winner but it could certainly end someone's hopes. 


"It’s very special day and I had a good chance to go and see this stage with my team. It is quite a difficult finale. You have to be very careful to be at the front because there will be a lot of nerves. You won’t find out who wins the Giro here but you will find out who doesn’t."


"For the riders like Tom Dumoulin it is a good stage and I think for me it is probably a better idea to go in the group together. There may be a possibility that the race splits on the descent rather than the climb and we have to make sure that we’re in the right place on the descent because it is tricky."


49km remaining from 186km

Giant-Alpecin have put Ji Cheng, also known as the breakaway killer, on the front of the bunch. He's not eating into the lead though with the 13 riders holding a 5-minute lead over the peloton. Brambilla is currently in the virtual race lead. 


The peloton is now stung out in a long line under the strain of the chase. The second intermediate sprint is fast approaching and that will be quickly followed by the second climb of the day. 


If you missed it earlier today, Pinarello have revealed their new Bolide TT which Mikel Landa is set to ride in tomorrow's time trial. Take a look at the bike here


A shot of the peloton a little while earlier with Giant-Alpecin leading the charge. 



Trentin easily takes the points and the bonus secondsat the intermediate sprint ahead of Tsatevich. 


38km remaining from 186km

The pace is really on behind and that seems to have spooked the breakaway which has broken up under the pressure. 


This has bee a very quick speed right from the off and at the moment, the riders are 10 minutes ahead of the quickest schedule. 


The escapees have entered Arezzo and they're heading towards Alpe di Poti. 


The Alpi de Poti is a 10.2km climb with a maximum gradient of 14 per cent and over half of it is on dirt roads but it is the descent of the climb that could be crucial to the stage win. 


31km remaining from 186km

The breakaway ride through the finish line for the first time as they head onto the final loop. The road to the line is narrow and there is a lengthy drag from the final corner. 


Lots of teams have now moved to the front of the bunch, including Astana, LottoNL-Jumbo, Movistar and Etixx-QuickStep, and that has had a big impact on the advantage of the escapees. They have just 3:35 now as they too cross the finish line for the first time. 


Away from the Giro d'Italia briefly and three riders were disqualified from the Tour de Banyuwangi under the UCI's technical fraud/mechanical doping rule. Read the story here


26km remaining from 186km

Attack from Montaguti and he takes Berlato with him. 


The riders are on the foot of the Alpe di Poti and they have just 3:26 on the chasing peloton. 


De Marchi is now bridging over to the two attackers Montaguti and Berlato. There is not much between the two leading groups. 


 Montaguti is now on his own as Berlato is dropped. The Nippo Vini Fantini rider looked in trouble fairly early on. 

Brambilla has attacked and is powering up the dirt roads. He's passed Montaguti and has a small gap. Montaguti has been joined by De Marchi with Moser just behind them. 


Several riders have gone out the back of the group, such at Tsatevich, Trentin and Kadri. 


24km remaining from 186km

The peloton are still on the tarmac for now and Astana have moved Nibali up to the front. 


Valverde attacks


Valverde goes just as the riders hit the white roads and it is Scarponi that is pulling the bunch back to him. 


Nibali, Chaves, Zakarin, Kruisjwijk, Uan and Majka are with Valverde as the bunch explodes. Pink jersey Dumoulin has been dropped. 


Dumoulin really does look in trouble now. He is a long way off. No sign of Landa in that Valverde group. 


There are some riders coming back to this group and it looks like Pozzovivo and Firsanov are joining the back of the bunch. Still no sign of Mikel Landa. 


21km remaining from 186km

We've spotted Landa now. He has made it back to the Valverde group. He wasn't immediately able to keep in touch following the attack but he has ground his way back. 


Valverde ups the pace again and Landa looks in trouble again. 


Dumoulin continues to lose time as riders keep passing him on this climb. Perhaps he is struggling with the roads or maybe he's on a bad day. We'll have to wait and see. 


Trentin brought back by the chasers as they bring the gap to Brambilla to 2:44. Dumoulin is a further 30 seconds down on that group of favourites. 


Amador is now in that Valverde group and that will be a boost for the Movistar rider. There is around 20 riders in that group. 


Valverde attacks again, followed by Majka and Nibali. They bring back several more of the escapees and drop some of the members of their group. 


18km remaining from 186km

Brambilla needs 1:46 on Dumoulin to take the pink jersey. He's got 3:22 at the moment and 2:37 on the chasers. 


The leaders are on the ascent as the chasers near the top. Sutterlin is caught and is immediately set to work for Valverde. 


Valverde is really trying to test his riders and keeps having digs off the front. Is this too much too early for the Spaniard? Chaves moves to the fore as they hit the top of the climb and leads them down the descent. 


14km remaining from 186km

Dumoulin is now being dropped by Trentin and Boaro. This shows you how much the Dutchman is struggling. 


Montaguti is chasing hard behind Brambilla but he is still 27 seconds behind the Italian. 


This descent is very technical but the favourites group is scything its way down and is bringing the gap back little by little but it is unlikely that they'll catch Brambilla. 


Landa moving to the front of the group for the first time as Valverde picks up the pace again. 


11km remaining from 186km

Brambilla really going for it and nearly overcooks it on a corner. He makes it through though. 


It appears Dumoulin has a teammate with him but the gap to his rivals is still over a minute and growing. 


Montaguti is managing to close Brambilla down and only 19 seconds separate the two. The stage win is not done and dusted. 


Valverde is taking no prisoners on this descent and is getting very close to the camera bike. Only Nibali and Chaves are able to stick with him. Nibali, of course, one of the best descenders in the peloton. 


5km remaining from 186km

Now that they're not climbing, Dumoulin is limiting his losses. He's likely to lose pink at the end of the day but he could still take it back tomorrow if he makes sufficient time back. 


Dumoulin is now 3:16 back on Brambilla and around 45 seconds down on the Valverde group. 


Brambilla is back on the flat and he's extending his lead over Montaguti. It remains flat until the final kilometre. 


Brambilla has a 33-second on Montaguti while the group of favourites is 2 minutes back. 


1km remaining from 186km

There is now 45 seconds between Brambilla and Montaguti. It is looking increasingly likely that he will take the win and the pink jersey. 


Flamme rouge for Bramila


Brambilla climbing again and he's about to take the win. 


Plenty of time to celebrate, there is nobody in sight as Brambilla crosses the line. 


Montaguti coming to the line now at just over a minute behind.


Moser finishes third, with Venter in fourth and De Marchi fifth.


Valverde leads the favourites over the line at 1:46 which means that Brambilla should be in pink.


The new GC puts Brambilla up at the top with a 23-second gap on Ilnur Zakarin while Steven Kruijswijk moves up to third. 


Here is confirmation of the top 10 in today's stage.


1 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step 4:14:05
2 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:06
3 Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:01:27
4 Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data 0:01:28
5 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:01:33
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:41
7 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
8 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Team Sky
9 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge
10 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha


And here we have the new GC, which looks very different to how it did at the start of the day. 


1 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step 33:39:14
2 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 0:00:23
3 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:33
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:36
5 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:45
6 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge 0:00:48
7 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:49
8 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team 0:00:54
9 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:54
10 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Team Sky 0:01:03


Valverde will be pretty happy with himself this evening after cracking the maglia rosa. This is what he had to say at the finish. 


"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. Dumoulin and Fuglsang got dropped but this Giro d’Italia is long.


"We tried to get as much time as possible on Dumoulin because of the time trial tomorrow."


Stage winner and new maglia rosa said this after the stage. 

"I can't believe what I've done. Thanks to Matteo Trentin, we did an amazing job all day. It was a hard stage in the final. He pulled until the last climb then it was my turn. I'm really happy - this victory is for my girlfriend Christina, and my little girl who was born 20 days ago.


"My idea at the beginning of the Giro was this stage, and I did it. I can't believe I have the pink jersey."


Montaguti had a good attempt at catching Brambilla today but just didn't have the legs. Here is what he had to say after the stage. 


"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."


We've got lots of photos, a report and results right here and the race highlights will be soon to follow. 


That is it from us today but keep tuned for all the reaction and live coverage of tomorrow's time trial.


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