The Baby Giro maglia rosa changed shoulders yet again at the summit of Pian delle Fugazze as Mark Donovan (Team Wiggins) moved up from second overnight into the race lead. It was a good day for the British, as Stevie Williams (SEG Racing Academy) won the stage to cut his overall deficit to 57 seconds.
A 19-man break had dominated the day’s racing, building a maximum lead of 3:51 as the race passed back through Schio on its way to the category 3 Passo Xon, with 56km to the finish. At the summit, King of the Mountains leader Edoardo Faresin (Zalf Euromobil) took maximum points to increase his lead in the competition for the green climbers’ jersey.
The Colombian National Team was leading the chase behind in defence of Alejandro Osorio’s overall race lead, and the combination of the Colombians’ work and the category 2 Passo Zovo (37km from the line) reduced the break’s numbers and lead to 1:20 with 10 uphill kilometres to the finish.
With the break not posing a threat to the overall standings, attention turned to the maglia rosa group behind, which was by now down to 14 riders as the weaker climbers were shelled out of the back of the group.
At 6km to go as the climb entered its steepest section (9.8%), Williams attacked, putting race leader Osorio into difficulty as he paid for his efforts on the previous stage. By the finish, Williams had 26 seconds over his nearest rival (Alexandr Vlasov (Russia National Team)) and 1:21 over Osorio. Finding time to celebrate for the length of the home straight, Williams’ delight was clear as he added another mountain-top victory to his palmares.
Behind, Donovan had clearly recovered better than Osorio from the previous day’s breakaway as he came in 28 seconds behind Williams, in a group also containing Will Barta & Joao Almeida (Hagens Berman Axeon). Also in the group was Rob Stannard (Mitchelton BikeExchange), scoring his best high mountain finish of the race.
The biggest loser of the day was Osorio, who now lies second in the general classification after finishing in 11th place, alongside teammate Cristian Munoz. However, he remains a serious threat to Donovan’s pink jersey, lying only 14 seconds behind the Englishman.
Stage 8 is from Levico Terme to Asiago, taking in the race’s highest point – the 1620m “hors categorie” Monte Grappa – before a finish on the Asiago plateau, which comes at the top of a category 1 climb.
1. Stephen Williams (GBR, SEG Racing Academy) 134,2 km in 3h31’49” alla media di 38,014 km/h
2. Alexander Vlasov (RUS, Nazionale Russa) a 26”
3. William Barta (USA, Hagens Berman Axeon) a 28”
4. Joao Almeida (POR, Hagens Berman Axeon) s.t.
5. Mark Donovan (GBR, Team Wiggins) s.t.
6. Robert Stannard (AUS, Mitchelton-BikeExchange) s.t.
7. Michel Ries (LUX, Polartec-Kometa) a 38”
8. Aldo Caiati (ITA, Zalf Euromobil Désirée Fior) a 1’00”
9. Marco Negrente (ITA, Team Colpack) a 1’14”
10. Ivan Moreno Sanchez (SPA, Equipo Lizarte) a 1’19” Altri italiani: 14. Luca Covili (Mastromarco Sensi Nibali) a 2’25”; 15. Alessandro Covi (Team Colpack) a 2’25”; 18. Alessandro Monaco (Petroli Firenze Hopplà Maserati) a 2’36”.
1. Mark Donovan (GBR, Team Wiggins) 944,6 km in 23h28’18” alla media di 40,241 km/h
2. Alejandro Osorio Carvajal (COL, Nazionale Colombia) a 14″
3. Stephen Williams (GBR, SEG Racing Academy) a 57″
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (RUS, Nazionale Russa) a 1’52”
5. Joao Almeida (POR, Hagens Berman Axeon) a 2’13”
6. William Barta (USA, Hagens Berman Axeon) a 2’25”
7. Robert Stannard (AUS, Mitchelton-BikeExchange) a 2’31”
8. Michel Ries (LUX, Polartec-Kometa) a 2’41”
9. Cristian Munoz Lancheros (COL, Nazionale Colombia) a 2’52”
10. Yuriy Natarov (KAZ, Team Astana City) a 4’31″ Italiani: 11. Alessandro Covi (Team Colpack) a 4’37”; 13. Luca Covili (Mastromarco Sensi Nibali) a 5’24”; 20. Matteo Bellia (IAM Excelsior) a 8’41”.
Maglia Rosa Enel – Leader della classifica generale: Mark DONOVAN (GBR, Team Wiggins) Maglia Rossa Vodafone – Leader della classifica a punti: Giovanni LONARDI (ITA, Zalf Euromobil Désirée Fior) Maglia Verde Friliver® Sport – Leader Gran Premio della Montagna: Edoardo Francesco FARESIN (ITA, Zalf Euromobil Désirée Fior) Maglia Bianca Pirelli – Leader della classifica dei Giovani: Mark DONOVAN (GBR, Team Wiggins), indossata da Alejandro OSORIO CARVAJAL (COL, Nazionale Colombia) Maglia Azzurra GLS – Leader della classifica Intergiro: Michele CORRADINI (ITA, Mastromarco Sensi Nibali) Maglia Nera Pinarello – Ultimo della classifica generale: Gianmarco BEGNONI (ITA, Viris Vigevano Lomellina)