Gorka Izagirre (Movistar Team) took the biggest win of his career today when he won the eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia, a 189-kilometre rolling parcours from Molfetta to Peschici. The Basque rider took the win ahead of Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana).

The first hour of racing today was covered at an incredible 53.5kph average, with a 16-man break not getting too much leeway. Izagirre had missed the original move but bridged across on the descent of the Cat-2 Sant’Angelo, 80km from the end.

Izagirre, Sanchez, and Visconti along with Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-hansgrohe) and Valerio Conti (UAD) formed the decisive break, but Mühlberger was subsequently dropped leaving the other four to fight out the finish. On a tight hairpin bend as they raced towards the finish, Conti crashed and Izagirre launched his attack soon after on the climb (1.5km, 5% average) to the finish in Via Montesanto.

The Movistar rider went on to finish 5″ clear of Visconti to take the sixth win of his career. The group of favourites finished just 12″ down on Izagirre with Bob Jungles (Quick Step Floors) hanging on to the pink jersey ahead of tomorrow’s summit finish at Blockhaus.

Photo: Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2017

Gorka Izagirre: “It wasn’t on our day’s plan to enter the break, but we saw a chance into that long descent, we also had to keep riders from dangerous teams at reach, and so we decided to give it a try and carry on later on once we made it it. We saw the opportunity to go for the stage and I’m so glad we could finish it off. When Conti crashed just in front of me I was a bit hesitant, because there was still around one kilometre remaining. 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!

“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. And it’s also a huge boost of morale for the team. It really makes us confident for what’s to come. Nairo is super strong at the moment and the whole team is delivering so far, everyone has seen it during this week.

“We’ve more than fulfilled the goal we had our minds on before starting the race, which was keeping him out of trouble and in contention until the Blockhaus ascent – now it’s another completely different Giro, and we could see some interesting things already on Sunday.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here