Pello Bilbao (Astana Pro Team), sixth in the Giro d’Italia overall last year, made history as he took his first stage victory at the Corsa Rosa through a breakaway that took a long time to develop, and threatened Valerio Conti’s Maglia Rosa. A strong chase was needed by UAE Team Emirates to close on riders including José Joaquin Rojas (Movistar Team) who had been the virtual leader and Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe) who rounded out the podium along with runner-up Tony Gallopin (AG2R-La Mondiale). It was a special stage to recall the effects of the earthquake here, ten years ago.
1 – Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Astana Pro Team) – 185km in 4h06’27”, average speed 45.039km/h
2 – Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale) at 5″
3 – Davide Formolo (Bora – Hansgrohe) at 5″
1 – Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates)
2 – José Rojas (Movistar Team) at 1’32”
3 – Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani CSF) at 1’41”
The stage winner Pello Bilbao said in the press conference: “It’s been an impressive day. I didn’t target the stage victory today. It’s all been improvised. Dario Cataldo had to make the breakaway. At some point, with all attacks going on, I thought I had to start thinking of following the moves too as we preferred to have a rider at the front. We ended up being two of us with Andrey Zeits and it’s been a psychological battle for the stage win, not only a question of legs. I found the right moment to go, I didn’t look behind. It’s a wonderful victory and a very special one, knowing what happened here at L’Aquila. The Giro is also a special race for me because that’s the race that gave me the best shape of my life one year ago. But the most important is yet to come. We want to win the Giro with Miguel Angel Lopez.”
The Maglia Rosa Valerio Conti said in the press conference: “I’ve had an emotional wake up, looking at the jersey and this particular colour that is so beautiful for an Italian. I have to say an enormous thank you to my team. They’ve been all super in defending the Maglia Rosa. I appreciated the respect of the other riders and the encouragement of the crowd but I didn’t enjoy the racing much because it was always flat out.”
Stage 8 – Tortoreto Lido-Pesaro 239km – total elevation 1,750m
At 239km, the longest stage of the 102nd Giro is divided into two distinct parts: it’s flat for 140km, following the Adriatic coast, before taking in a succession of undulations and punchy climbs for the remaining 100km to the finish. The route features a dozen ascents, including three categorised climbs. After crossing the Monte di Gabicce, the final 7km long descent ends 3km from the finish.
With the 7km technical descent complete the course profile becomes flat as the riders enter the town centre with 3km to go, following broad and straight roads until the finish line. The 250m long home straight is on 7m wide asphalt road.