Giro d'Italia (st. 8)
Movistar Team makes an enormous performance on stage eight in the Giro, with Amador on the break for 200k and a final move by Intxausti, 2nd in the stage and fifth in the provisional overall
After a big stage on Saturday -with Herrada caught only 700 meters from the finish line, plus six Blues making it into the overall top 30-, Movistar Team went even better today on the second mountain stage -the eighth in this year’s Corsa Rosa– of the 2012 Giro d’Italia, over 229 kilometers from Sulmona to Lago Laceno. Costa Rican Andrey Amador kept from the front for 198 kilometers into a really long break starting at the 14th kilometer, firstly with Mínguez (EUS), Berard (ALM) and Marczynski (VCD) and then only with the Polish rider before getting caught in the first slopes of the Cat. 2 Colle Molella, whose summit was located just 5k from the finish line.
With 1k from the top of the steep ascent, Beñat Intxausti jumped strong from a group of favourites also including Sergio Pardilla, and went in pursuit of Domenico Pozzovivo (COG), who had earned a 30-second gap earlier. The immense effort by the Basque climber in the flat leading to the line allowed him to approach to 20 seconds, the same gap he once had over the maglia rosa group, eventually coming five seconds before the group and earning a 12-second bonus that puts him into the 5th place in the GC, 35 seconds behind Ryder Hesjedal (GRM), with Pardilla in 18th place, 1.20 back. Mountains will leave place for a potential sprint finish on Monday, with 166k proposed for stage nine from San Giorgio del Sannio to Frosinone.
QUOTES / Beñat Intxausti: “There’s a lot from winning to taking second, but to I’m really happy, to be honest, because the day turned out really well, we took some seconds back… At the climb, I saw nobody was moving due to the pace by Szmyd and I gave it a try, though Pozzovivo had already too much gap. It’s true that there was a moment when I was only 20s behind, but I knew it was going to be really hard, because those 5k were a one-on-one, and even though I did my best, I couldn’t reach him. Seems like things are going well for me in a GT at last, but this has just started and there’s still a long way to go in this Giro. Getting up-front so early doesn’t change anything. The only goal is riding day by day, because it’s obvious that there’s some guys really more experienced than me, always at the fore in the Giro. We’ll try to keep these performances coming, profiting from chances like today’s and searching for a stage win. We were close already during the stage when Lastras crashed; we already miss him a lot because he was a crucial piece here. Also Herrada yesterday, Amador on the breakaway for all stage today… the team is looking strong like they always go. Tomorrow’s stage seems like a relatively calm one, and it will do well for me to recover from the efforts of these three days.”
Madrazo on the break in Picardie
The telephone squad also went into the moves during the final stage of the Tour de Picardie on French soil. Spaniard Ángel Madrazo made the 5-man break of the day along with Leonardo Duque (COF), Brice Feillu (SAU), Johan Le Bon (BSC) and Leif Hoste (ACC) -Nairo Quintana had tried previously-, lasting for 140k of 171 from Fressenneville to Maignelay-Montigny. Madrazo was reluctant to get caught and made a solo move from the leading group before getting caught with 8k from the finish line, the peloton charging for another sprint finish taken by overall victor John Degenkolb (ARG). Enrique Sanz, the best Movistar Team (17th) in the overall, took 8th, as Iván Gutiérrez did not take the start due to gastroenteritis.