Giro d'Italia: Gorka Izagirre wins in Peschici

Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) fought his way up the difficult finish in Peschici to win stage 8 of the Giro d'Italia. He came out of a four-man group to take the win ahead of Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana).

Bob Jungels crossed the line only 12 seconds later with the peloton, holding on to his race lead for another day, with six seconds over Geraint Thomas (Sky) and 10 on Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) and the rest.

Izagirre was not part of the day's early breakaway, but saw an opportunity on the descent of the day's category 2 Monte Sant'Angelo when the group was not too far off the front.

"We saw the opportunity to go for the stage and I'm so glad we could finish it off," Izagirre said. "This victory means a lot to me, it's the biggest I've ever achieved. I've spent so many years chasing a Grand Tour stage success, so many times into breakaways, many close calls, and reaching it in such a Giro stage - this is f-ing amazing."

The race saw some major action, although not amongst the GC candidates. A large breakaway eventually went clear, and although they never got a large lead, the group changed size and composition several times. In the end, Izaguirre, Visconti, Sanchez and Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) were alone in the lead.

Conti was looking to take Italy's first win in this year's Giro, but crashed on a turn within the last kilometer and was swallowed up by the peloton.

"When Conti crashed just in front of me I was a bit hesitant, because there was still around one kilometer remaining," Izagirre said. "However, I looked back, saw that there was a split in our group, and I chose to go on full steam until the very end. It was really a long ascent with that action, but I'm just incredibly happy that I got this!"

The only GC rider to show any movement on the stage was Mikel Landa (Sky). The Spaniard jumped from the peloton inside the final 10km but was unable to stay away. The rest stayed tucked safely inside the group.

Luis Leon Sanchez was the most active rider of the day. He was not part of the original breakaway but was able to bridge up before the first climb of the day. He soon was at the head of the group and won both mountain sprints. He continued to race aggressively, continually attacking and pushing the pace. His hard work showed in the end as he weakened on the steep curving final meters, finishing only two seconds ahead of the peloton.

Jungels was happy to retain the pink jersey. "We did a pretty good job today. We showed we had some patience in the team because on the climb our best guys to pull were dropped. Then with Conti in front, there was a little game but in the end, we did really well to wait for our strong horses to come back and then pull the breakaway almost back at the finish."

How it unfolded

Stage 8 started with an 84 km long flat-as-a-pancake stretch, which just begged for a breakaway to form. The problem was that everyone wanted to be in it, and no one wanted anyone else to be in it. So it is no surprise that it took nearly 60km for the break of the day to form.

13 riders struggled to get away but were finally successful: Jan Barta (Bora-Hansgrohe), Laurent Didier (Trek-Segafredo), Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data), Maciej Paterski and Branislau Samoilau (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal), Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Katusha-Alpecin), Roberto Ferrari (UAE Team Emirates), Mirco Maestri and Vincenzo Albanese (Bardiani-CSF), Iljo Keisse (Quick-Step), Chris Juul-Jensen (Orica-Scott), and Alex Howes (Cannondale-Drapac).

An additional three riders gave chase. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Lukas Pöstlberger and Gregor Mühlberger (Bora Hansgrohe) caught up with the larger group and the gap quickly grew to some 3 minutes.

The pace was very high and the riders came to the first climb of the day sooner than expected, the category 2 Monte St Angelo, with a long ascent. And finally, some real action started. Sanchez took off and climbed all the way up by himself. Behind him, many riders fell out of the group on the long climb with its many hairpin curves, but equally, riders jumped from the peloton, and at one point the peloton broke into two parts.

Sanchez soloed over the summit and started flying down the descent. Behind him, the chasing group fell apart, and a chasing group of 12 formed with Visconti, Conti and Izagirre coming across to Mühlberger, Pöstlberger, Samoilau, Sbaragli and Didier with Davide Villella (Cannondale - Drapac), Julien Amezqueta (Wilier - Selle Italia), Clement Chevrier (AG2R La Mondiale), and Ivan Rovny (Gazprom - Rusvelo). They joined Sanchez on the descent.

But the maglia rosa group kept falling further and further back. Someone finally woke up and the chase started when the gap had reached over 4 minutes.

The second and last classified climb came at the 143km marker, with Sanchez once again taking the maximum points.

With 34km to go, the gap had dropped to 2:30. Five riders had broken from the lead group: Conti, Sanchez, Izagirre, Mühlberger, and Visconti. Conti, who had moved into the virtual race lead, jumped to get the bonus seconds at the second intermediate sprint. Behind them, the gap had gone back up to about three minutes, and uneasiness was setting in.

The finale promised to be a tricky one, with barely a flat or straight kilometre. The five leaders were about 40 seconds ahead of their nearest chasers, and with 15 km to go, the gap to the field was dropping towards the two-minute mark, dropping Conti out of virtual pink jersey.

Conti was not willing to give up and the group threatened to break up, as the others scurried to catch up. The next to go was Visconti with 10.7km to go and his move was more successful. Mühlberger was no longer able to keep up, as the other three soon caught Visconti, although Sanchez was starting to get into difficulty.

Mikel Landa of Sky was no longer willing to put up with the delays and jumped from the peloton. Only 10 seconds behind race leader Jungels, he was a danger to the overall rankings. The gap was down to just over a minute.

Sanchez was not as weak as he appeared to be, as he was in the next break with Visconti. But again, the other two caught up, and soon Izagirre and Visconti were in the lead. Landa caught up with Pöstlberger, who had earlier been in the break group. The Austrian was not able to stay with him.  Quick-Step was now out of the lead work in the field, as the GC teams came to the fore.

The four leaders again came together before the top of the unranked Coppa del Fornaro at 6.2 kilometres from the line. Landa never had more than 15 seconds or so and soon drifted back to the field.

The descent started with just over 3km to go and a minute for the peloton. But there were still difficulties to be faced, with the uphill finish on Peschici's Via Montesanto. The road kicked up throughout the final 1500 metres, with the gradient stiffening to 12% in the final 400 metres.

The quartet stayed together on the final kilometre, but Conti took one risk to many and crashed on a right-hand curve. He was soon caught by the peloton. Izaguirre proved to be the best climber, pulling away on the steep twists and turns. His lead was narrow but he held on to take the win ahead of Visconti and Sanchez with the peloton sprinting in 12 seconds later.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team4:24:59
2Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:00:05
3Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:00:10
4Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:00:12
5Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-DrapacRow 4 - Cell 2
6Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJRow 5 - Cell 2
7Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 6 - Cell 2
8Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-ScottRow 7 - Cell 2
9Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 8 - Cell 2
10Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step FloorsRow 9 - Cell 2
11Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team SkyRow 10 - Cell 2
12Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team SunwebRow 11 - Cell 2
13Mikel Landa (Spa) Team SkyRow 12 - Cell 2
14Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 13 - Cell 2
15Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team SunwebRow 14 - Cell 2
16Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 17 - Cell 2
19Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 18 - Cell 2
20Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-DrapacRow 19 - Cell 2
21Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team EmiratesRow 20 - Cell 2
22Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 21 - Cell 2
23Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team EmiratesRow 23 - Cell 2
25Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 24 - Cell 2
26Simone Petilli (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 25 - Cell 2
27Natnael Berhane (Eri) Dimension DataRow 26 - Cell 2
28Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 28 - Cell 2
30Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:21
31Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:22
32Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro TeamRow 31 - Cell 2
33Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data0:00:26
34Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale-DrapacRow 34 - Cell 2
36Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 35 - Cell 2
37Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJRow 36 - Cell 2
38Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:31
39Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 38 - Cell 2
40Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo0:00:34
41Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:00:38
42Cristian Rodriguez (Spa) Wilier TriestinaRow 41 - Cell 2
43Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 42 - Cell 2
44Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Bahrain-Merida0:00:46
45Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team Sunweb0:00:49
46Stef Clement (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:00:53
47Jose Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:59
48Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ0:01:03
49Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension DataRow 48 - Cell 2
50Jose Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:25
51Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky0:01:28
52Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 51 - Cell 2
53Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 52 - Cell 2
54Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ0:01:42
55Victor De La Parte (Spa) Movistar Team0:02:45
56Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Sunweb0:03:11
57Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto SoudalRow 56 - Cell 2
58Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
59José Mendes (Por) Bora-Hansgrohe0:03:23
60José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 59 - Cell 2
61Hugh Carthy (GBr) Cannondale-DrapacRow 60 - Cell 2
62Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team SkyRow 61 - Cell 2
63Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:04:45
64Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-SegafredoRow 63 - Cell 2
65Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Dimension DataRow 64 - Cell 2
66Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 65 - Cell 2
67Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) FDJRow 66 - Cell 2
68Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJRow 67 - Cell 2
69Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 68 - Cell 2
70Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 69 - Cell 2
71Ivan Rovny (Rus) Gazprom – RusveloRow 70 - Cell 2
72Simon Geschke (Ger) Team SunwebRow 71 - Cell 2
73Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data0:05:12
74Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:05:44
75Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:06:34
76Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo0:06:52
77Branislau Samoilau (Blr) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 76 - Cell 2
78Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:06:59
79Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 78 - Cell 2
80Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Wilier TriestinaRow 79 - Cell 2
81Manuele Boaro (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 80 - Cell 2
82Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 81 - Cell 2
83Bram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 82 - Cell 2
84Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 83 - Cell 2
85Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Katusha-AlpecinRow 84 - Cell 2
86Adam James Hansen (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 85 - Cell 2
87Alberto Losada (Spa) Katusha-AlpecinRow 86 - Cell 2
88Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 87 - Cell 2
89Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJRow 88 - Cell 2
90Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJRow 89 - Cell 2
91Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 90 - Cell 2
92Chad Haga (USA) Team SunwebRow 91 - Cell 2
93François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 92 - Cell 2
94Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 93 - Cell 2
95Philip Deignan (Irl) Team SkyRow 94 - Cell 2
96Sebastian Henao (Col) Team SkyRow 95 - Cell 2
97Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-DrapacRow 96 - Cell 2
98Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 97 - Cell 2
99Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky0:07:36
100Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:08:32
101Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:08:38
102Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 101 - Cell 2
103Julen Amezqueta (Spa) Wilier Triestina0:08:59
104Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:09:37
105Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale-DrapacRow 104 - Cell 2
106Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 105 - Cell 2
107Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar TeamRow 106 - Cell 2
108Michal Golas (Pol) Team SkyRow 107 - Cell 2
109Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 108 - Cell 2
110Michal Schlegel (Cze) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 109 - Cell 2
111Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-SegafredoRow 110 - Cell 2
112Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 111 - Cell 2
113Jos Van Emden (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 112 - Cell 2
114Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 113 - Cell 2
115Ruben Plaza (Spa) Orica-Scott0:10:26
116Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing TeamRow 115 - Cell 2
117Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom – RusveloRow 116 - Cell 2
118Matvey Mamykin (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 117 - Cell 2
119Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension DataRow 118 - Cell 2
120Manuel Senni (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 119 - Cell 2
121Rory Sutherland (Aus) Movistar TeamRow 120 - Cell 2
122Igor Anton (Spa) Dimension DataRow 121 - Cell 2
123Omar Fraile (Spa) Dimension DataRow 122 - Cell 2
124Ángel Vicioso (Spa) Katusha-AlpecinRow 123 - Cell 2
125Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension DataRow 124 - Cell 2
126Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek-SegafredoRow 125 - Cell 2
127Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto SoudalRow 126 - Cell 2
128Moreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto SoudalRow 127 - Cell 2
129Martijn Keizer (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 128 - Cell 2
130Jesus Hernandez (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 129 - Cell 2
131Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (Nor) Team SunwebRow 130 - Cell 2
132Pavel Brutt (Rus) Gazprom – RusveloRow 131 - Cell 2
133Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 132 - Cell 2
134Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Gazprom – RusveloRow 133 - Cell 2
135Aleksei Tcatevich (Rus) Gazprom – RusveloRow 134 - Cell 2
136Dmitriy Kozontchuk (Rus) Gazprom – RusveloRow 135 - Cell 2
137Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom – RusveloRow 136 - Cell 2
138Felix Großschartner (Aut) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 137 - Cell 2
139Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 138 - Cell 2
140Eugert Zhupa (Alb) Wilier TriestinaRow 139 - Cell 2
141Alexander Foliforov (Rus) Gazprom – RusveloRow 140 - Cell 2
142Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 141 - Cell 2
143William Bonnet (Fra) FDJRow 142 - Cell 2
144Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 143 - Cell 2
145Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team SunwebRow 144 - Cell 2
146Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team SkyRow 145 - Cell 2
147Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 146 - Cell 2
148Joe Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 147 - Cell 2
149André Greipel (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 148 - Cell 2
150Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 149 - Cell 2
151Twan Castelijns (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 150 - Cell 2
152Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 151 - Cell 2
153Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 152 - Cell 2
154Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team SunwebRow 153 - Cell 2
155Davide Martinelli (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 154 - Cell 2
156Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Wilier TriestinaRow 155 - Cell 2
157Roberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 156 - Cell 2
158Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 157 - Cell 2
159Matteo Busato (Ita) Wilier TriestinaRow 158 - Cell 2
160Matej Mohoric (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:10:56
161Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step FloorsRow 160 - Cell 2
162Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-ScottRow 161 - Cell 2
163Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-ScottRow 162 - Cell 2
164Alexander Edmondson (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 163 - Cell 2
165Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-ScottRow 164 - Cell 2
166Giuseppe Fonzi (Ita) Wilier Triestina0:13:02
167Simone Ponzi (Ita) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 166 - Cell 2
168Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-DrapacRow 167 - Cell 2
169Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 168 - Cell 2
170Carlos Verona (Spa) Orica-ScottRow 169 - Cell 2
171Marcin Bialoblocki (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 170 - Cell 2
172Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 171 - Cell 2
173Iljo Keisse (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:13:11
174Daniel Martinez (Col) Wilier Triestina0:13:17
175Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 174 - Cell 2
176Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:13:23
177Jan Tratnik (Slo) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 176 - Cell 2
178Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-HansgroheRow 177 - Cell 2
179Jan Bárta (Cze) Bora-HansgroheRow 178 - Cell 2
180Zhandos Bizhigitov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:13:25
181Ilia Koshevoy (Blr) Wilier TriestinaRow 180 - Cell 2
182Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 181 - Cell 2
183Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 182 - Cell 2
184Lorenzo Rota (Ita) B