MONTECOPIOLO, Italy, May 17, 2014 (AFP) – Veteran Australian Cadel Evans
replaced compatriot Michael Matthews in the overall leader’s pink jersey
following the 179 kilometres eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday
from Foligno to Montecopiolo.
The 37-year-old Evans, Tour de France champion in 2011 and third in this
race last year, came fifth in the stage, eight seconds adrift of Italian Diego
Ulissi, who was winning his second stage of this year’s race.
“The stage went just as we had hoped even if we were a little tired from
the previous days,” said Evans.
“A two-second lead on a climber such as (Nairo) Quintana (who is 1.45sec
behind in the classification)….I am very satisfied with the first week. It
would have been hard to hope for better.
“But the Giro is long. Who do I have to look out for? Again, it’s too early
because there plenty of good riders within two minutes.”
Evans also praised the work of Swiss teammate Steve Morabito who is fourth
“Steve was really the man of the day for us,” said the Australian. “The
team was going all day and he was there all the way to the finish.”
Matthews, who had led for a week, was already a quarter-of-an-hour behind
approaching the final climb which was 6.4km long.
Evans, who saw one of his main rivals for overall victory Joaquim Rodriguez
crash out on Thursday when he broke three ribs, holds a lead of 57 seconds
over Colombian Rigoberto Uran while Polish rider Rafal Majka is third, 1min
Ulissi, who won the fifth stage on Wednesday, came home ahead of Croatian
Robert Kiserlovski with Wilko Kelderman of the Netherlands third.
It was the 24-year-old’s third career stage win in the race.
Frenchman Pierre Rolland had seen victory snatched from his hands 250m from
the line after he had chased down and passed Colombian Julian Arredondo.
Arredondo had been part of a group that had escaped from the peloton early
in the stage and he had gone clear on the first climb of the stage the
Carpegna, where the late legendary Italian climbing specialist Marco Pantani
used to train.
Sunday’s ninth stage is the 172km ride from Lugo to Sestola, with the
climax a 16.5km climb.
Result of the eighth stage of the
Giro d’Italia, over 179km from Foligno at Montecopiolo, on Saturday:
1. Diego Ulissi (ITA/Lampre) 4hr 47min 47sec (average: 37,31 km/h), 2.
Robert Kiserlovski (CRO/TRE) same time, 3. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BKN) at 06sec,
4. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 06, 5. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 08, 6. Rigoberto Uran
(COL/OPQ) 08, 7. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/ALM) 08, 8. Rafal Majka (POL/TIN) 14,
9. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) 17, 10. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) 20.
11. Wout Poels (NED/OPQ) 22, 12. Franco Pellizotti (ITA/AND) 24, 13. Ivan
Basso (ITA/CAN) 24, 14. Francis Mourey (FRA/FDJ) 24, 15. Pierre Rolland
(FRA/EUC) 24, 16. Kanstantsin Siutsou (BLR/SKY) 28, 17. Mikel Landa (ESP/AST)
28, 18. Daniel Moreno (ESP/KAT) 33, 19. Gianluca Brambilla (ITA/OPQ) 35, 20.
Steve Morabito (SUI/BMC) 35
60. Michele Scarponi (ITA/AST) 9min 39sec, 180. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI)
1. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 34hr 22min 35sec, 2. Rigoberto Uran (COL/OPQ) at
57sec, 3. Rafal Majka (POL/TIN) 1min 10sec, 4. Steve Morabito (SUI/BMC) 1:31,
5. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) 1:39, 6. Diego Ulissi (ITA/LAM) 1:43, 7. Wilco
Kelderman (NED/BKN) 1:44, 8. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 1:45, 9. Robert
Kiserlovski (CRO/TRE) 1:49, 10. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/ALM) 1:50, 11. Ivan
Basso (ITA/CAN) 2:01, 12. Gianluca Brambilla (ITA/OPQ) 2:52, 13. Pierre
Rolland (FRA/EUC) 2:56, 14. Wout Poels (NED/OPQ) 3:03, 15. Maxime Monfort
(BEL/LTB) 3:41, 16. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/BMC) 3:52, 17. Matteo Rabottini
(ITA/NRI) 4:03, 18. Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA/ALM) 4:25, 19. Ryder Hesjedal
(CAN/GRM) 4:30, 20. Franco Pellizotti (ITA/AND) 5:03.
25. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) 6:02, 41. Michele Scarponi (ITA/AST) 11:38.74,
Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI) 33:50