In the great first mountain duel of the Corsa Rosa, Tadej Pogacar took his third stage win in the Giro d’Italia 2024, after beating Colombian Daniel Felipe Martinez (Bora-Hansgrohe) in Prati di Tivo in a memorable duel.

After an uphill finish on the second day, we had to wait until the eighth day for the first real mountain stage of the Italian round with 152 kilometers of racing. The fraction had three categorized passes, including the Prati di Tivo (14.6 km at 7%).

Half of the peloton wanted to be in the breakaway of the day and so we saw several attacks on the first climb, uncategorized. Georg Steinhauser (EF Education-EasyPost) and Ewen Costiou (Arkéa-B&B Hotels) opened a gap, but before climbing the Forca Capistrello (16.3 km at 5.6%), the first climb of the day, they were caught.

Then, uphill, a large group got a little more space. Among them were Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) and Ecuadorian Jhonathan Narvaez (IneosGrenadiers), who were accompanied by Romain Bardet, Michael Storer, Julian Alaphilippe, Simon Geschke, among others. Valentin Paret-Peintre also managed to join in the second part of the climb.

Minutes later Magnus Sheffield (INEOS Grenadiers), Alessandro Verre (Arkéa-B&B Hotels), Pelayo Sanchez (Movistar), Alessandro De Marchi (Jayco AlUla), Martin Marcellusi (VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè) and Henok Mulubhran (Astana Qazaqstan) reached the head of the race.

After the descent of the Forca Capistrello, the different groups gathered at the front. And a breakaway of fourteen riders was formed. The peloton, where UAE Team Emirates set the pace, kept the attackers in check. They had no more than two and a half minutes, so Pogacar’s maglia rosa was never in danger. After all, Bardet was more than five minutes behind.

With 45 kilometers to go, the attackers only had just over a minute left. This caused some movement on the Passo Capannelle (8.1 km at 4.7%), the penultimate climb of the day. But calm returned and the leaders stayed ahead.

Before climbing the Prati di Tivo, the breakaway’s lead was still minimal: less than half a minute. For Valentin Paret-Peintre, that was no reason to give up. The climber left his breakaway companions behind and bravely defended himself against the group of favorites.

Juan Pedro Lopez, Luke Plapp and Alexey Lutsenko, last month’s winner in Prati di Tivo at the Giro degli Abruzzi, among others, stayed a bit at the start of the climb. Meanwhile, Valentin Paret-Peintre continued to fight to stay ahead, but with four kilometers to go, the peloton led by Rafal Majka caught the Frenchman. The Pole kept up the pace, so no one was able to attack. Pogacar himself also waited for the moment.

In the end, it was Antonio Tiberi who was the first to try, with just under two kilometers to go. Pogacar jumped on the wheel, as did Cian Uijtdebroeks, Einer Rubio, Ben O’Connor, Daniel Felipe Martinez, Geraint Thomas and finally Thymen Arensman. The Dutchman attacked immediately after catching the favorites. However, Pogacar did not let him go and then also reacted to a second attack by Tiberi, a move by Storer and another change of pace by Arensman.

In the closing stages, Arensman then decided to set the pace for Geraint Thomas, but Majka came back from behind and set the pace for Pogacar, who had no trouble sprinting to his third Giro win. Martinez finished second, ahead of O’Connor. Einer Rubio finished in the top ten.

The ‘Corsa Rosa’ will continue this Sunday with the ninth fraction, an undulating day of 214 kilometers, between the Italian towns of Avezzano and Naples, in southern Italy.

Giro d’Italia 2024 (2.UWT)
Results Stage 8 | Spoleto – Prati di Tivo (152 km)

1 Tadej PogačarUAE Team Emirates4:02:16
2 Daniel Felipe MartínezBORA – hansgrohe,,
3 Ben O’ConnorDecathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team,,
4 Antonio TiberiBahrain – Victorious,,
5 Geraint ThomasINEOS Grenadiers,,
6 Einer RubioMovistar Team,,
7 Cian UijtdebroeksTeam Visma | Lease a Bike,,
8 Thymen ArensmanINEOS Grenadiers,,
9 Michael StorerTudor Pro Cycling Team,,
10 Alex BaudinDecathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team,,

Ranking General

1 Tadej PogačarUAE Team Emirates28:14:42
2 Daniel Felipe MartínezBORA – hansgrohe2:40
3 Geraint ThomasINEOS Grenadiers2:58
4 Ben O’ConnorDecathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team3:39
5 Cian UijtdebroeksTeam Visma | Lease a Bike4:02
6 Antonio TiberiBahrain – Victorious4:23
7 Lorenzo FortunatoAstana Qazaqstan Team5:15
8 Einer RubioMovistar Team5:28
9 Thymen ArensmanINEOS Grenadiers5:30
10 Jan HirtSoudal Quick-Step5:53

Source: Revista Mundo Ciclístico