Richard Carapaz beat the GC contenders on stage 8 of the Giro d’Italia today with a brilliant late attack, to claim a first win for Movistar Team at the 2018 race.
The Ecuadorian climber accelerated with 1.5 kilometres remaining of the climb to the summit finish of Montevergine di Mercogliano and reached the finish alone, having chased down an early breakaway in the process.
Under soaking rain, Carapaz was towards the front of a big group containing all GC favourites, with Groupama-FDJ and Sky chasing the remnants of the day’s escape, having reaching the foot of the 16-kilometre final ascent with a 1’30” deficit.
Carapaz profited from a slight slow down in the group to launch his attack and overtake Koen Bouwman (LottonNL-Jumbo), the last survivor from the break, and he reached the finish line with seven seconds advantage over the chasers, to claim his third pro victory in Europe after the Queen stage and GC wins in the recent Vuelta a Asturias.
The success by Carapaz moves him up to eighth overall, 1’06” behind race leader Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and he retained the Maglia Bianca as best under-26 competitor in the race.
Richard Carapaz: “I’m so happy, so excited about this win. It’s a magnificent one. I can’t really believe I’ve got this. It’s been a very tough few weeks of work to reach this Giro in good condition. It had already been great to win in Asturias, since it was my first victory in Europe, yet notching up this really big one here in the Giro is incredible.
“With the rain, we knew it was going to be a climb quite more difficult than normal, so slippery, especially on the hairpins, where it was difficult to keep balance. There were lots of nerves at the foot of the climb, but later on, there was some big selections and things became calm after that. I was having great legs from the beginning of the ascent and wanted to try it before the finish because I knew I wouldn’t stand much of a chance if going just for the sprint. I told the team car I was going to attack, I saw an AG2R rider jumping after Sky put on an easier pace and I saw there was a good moment to attack with 2km to go. Once I jumped, I saw I had the legs to keep this pace until the finish, and it all turned out well.
“Our next goals? It will really be day-by-day after this. It’s our time to really get to know the Giro. It’s a long, tough race, and with everything that’s left before Rome, we must take things easy. Whatever good comes after this will be welcome – and I’m sure many more chances will arise following this victory. For the time being, it’s all about enjoying this victory. Another tough stage is coming up tomorrow – we’ll try to rekindle our goals and maybe keep on trying to get some more good results.”