Sunday, May 15, 2011

Giro d'Italia, Stage 8

Stage 8, Saturday, May 14th, 2011, SAPRI – TROPEA, km 217

The start to 194 riders at 11:42 am.

At km 2, Giordani and Selvaggi break away. The bunch does not respond, so that at km 10, the two have already a 4’20” lead. At km 16: 6’55”. The gap between the fugitives and the chasers increased. In Marina di Maratea (km 20) they roll 10’15” ahead of the field.

As the Quick Step and Htc – Highroad riders pace the peloton the gap stabilizes at approx. 10’. Average speed after one hour: 41.200 kph. Duarte from Geox – Tmc quits the race.

Giordani and Selvaggi achieve their max advantage with 150 km to go: 10’50”.
At km 75: 10’12”. Average speed after two hours: 42.100 kph.
The gap of the bunch starts to go down and in the feed zone (km 99) the gap is 8’20”.

In Amantea (km 125): 7’20”. Average speed after three hours: 42,500 kph

59 km still to race 42,800 kph is the average speed after four hours. The pace at the front of the field increases, so that Selvaggi and Giordani’s lead goes down. With 30 km to go: 3’22”.

Intermediate Sprint, Vibo Valentia Marina (VV): Selvaggi gets first to the Sprint ahead of Giordani. The bunch, paced by Gretsch (Hct – Highroad) reaches it with a 2’45” delay. The bunch is speeds up strongly and catch Selvaggi and Giordani, who have kept the lead for 207 km, with 1500 metres to go.

– 2 km the short steep ascent leading from the sea to the town center begins.
Gatto is the one who accelerates and earns a few seconds, with Contador (who surprised all the GC contenders) at his heels.

Oscar Gatto takes the stage win ahead of Alberto Contador. Third, Alessandro Petacchi who paces the field at 5” delay. Weening keeps the Pink Jersey. Contador's move gained him five seconds on the peloton and an additional 12-second time bonus, which moved him ahead of Scarponi and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) in the overall standings.

Time of the winner: 4h 59’ 45”, at an average speed of 43,436 kph.

Classification leaders:
Maglia Rosa Estathé è Pieter Weening (Rabobank Cycling Team).
Maglia Rosso Passione Gruppo Saint-Gobain è Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre - ISD).
Maglia Bianca Adecco è Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank Cycling Team).
Maglia Verde Banca Mediolanum è Bart De Clercq (Omega Pharma - Lotto).

Stage 9, Messina-Etna, 169 km, is classified "Alta Montagna". The Giro arrives in Sicily, expect fireworks (and hopefully not from the volcano that has had some small eruptions in the last few days) from the GC contenders as they tackle Mount Etna twice. Nibali should be on fire on his native soil; he will be using a 53/39 x 11/23.

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