Giro d'Italia (st. 8)
Dowsett (ISN) wins from the break as peloton leaves battle for Sunday’s climbs to Lanciano and Aremogna. Pedrero, Samitier remain 15th, 16th overall.
/ Today’s route
Quite like a race for everyone in the Giro on Saturday! Many scenarios were likely in the beautiful Gargano mountains, which many call the ‘spur’ of the imaginary boot the Italian Peninsula drays in the world map. A completely flat course on the first part of the 200km route would lead to a demanding profile in the second, with the Monte Sant’Angelo (Cat-2) halfway through the course, several slopes before the final circuit in Vieste and a tough ascent (1km at 9%), to be climbed twice, inside that final loop.
/ Weather report
Almost nothing of those strong winds that struck the peloton during Friday’s fastest road stage in the Giro’s recent history were left for Saturday. Temperatures also made us forget we’re already in mid October: a warm 23ºC and clear, sunny conditions all day. We’ll surely miss that as we get to the north further into the race!
/ Keys to the race
- It took nearly 30km to establish a break, yet it ended up being the winning one. Holmes (LTS), Dowsett, Brändle (ISN), Ravanelli (ANS), Rosskopf (CCC) and Puccio (IGD) jumped away from the field as Deceuninck – Quick Step, the team of race leader João Almeida, fulfilled their assigned duties at the front of the bunch yet didn’t show any interesting on chasing them down. That’s why the peloton got to the foot of Sant Angelo (-105km) more than 10′ behind the escapees – and no teams with sprinters made an attempt to reduce the gap into the climb. It was still around 10’30” at the summit.
- The downhill did see a chance in the bunch: Trek-Segafredo, which looked forward to protecting team leader Vincenzo Nibali, picked up the pace at the descent and added stress to a peloton where Jakob Fuglsang (AST) was forced to chase hard after losing contact. The US-registered team’s attempt, which reduced the gap to about 8′, wasn’t followed by any other squads and the six-man break comfortably played their cards for the stage between themselves. The winner was Alex Dowsett, who attacked with no opposition with less than 20km to go after a great comeback from losing ground at the first ascent to the final circuit’s main climb.
- For the Movistar Team, as with many other teams, it was a day to think about the tough mountains coming up on Sunday. Dario Cataldo -together with Davide Villella, Albert Torres or Eduardo Sepúlveda- fulfilled another valuable piece of work to lead his team-mates out and protect Antonio Pedrero, who always kept the front of the pack. It was a bit more difficult for Sergio Samitier, who lost contact at the same incident sustained by Fuglsang, yet the Aragón native did not have any difficulties to finish inside the main peloton and retain their places overall -Antonio in 15th, Sergio in 16th-.
/ Upcoming goals
Sunday will bring the curtain down to the first week of the 2020 Giro with a tough mountain stage. 208km between San Salvo, at sea level, and the top of Aremogna, in Roccaraso (Cat-1), through the previous climbs of Lanciano (Cat-1), San Leonardo (Cat-2) and Bosco di Sant’Antonio (Cat-2) en route to the final 10km at 6%, including a last kilometer at nearly 10%. The GC favourites will be fighting against each other again.
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto