Giro d'Italia Stage 8: Uran Improves to 2nd GC with Top 10 Finish on Montecopiolo
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team worked hard to stay in a select group that decided the 179km Stage 8 of Giro d'Italia on Saturday. Rigoberto Uran, Wout Poels, and Gianluca Brambilla finished at different points in the completely shattered group on the summit finish of Montecopiolo (6.4km, 6.3% average gradient, 13% max ramp), but Uran finished 6th, Poels 11th, and Brambilla 19th.
Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) won the final stage, attacking in the final few hundred meters out of the select group that caught the remaining solo rider of the day, Pierre Rolland (Team Europcar). Robert Kiserlovski (Trek Factory Racing) was 2nd, and Wilco Kelderman (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) was 3rd.
Uran gave his all for a top finish and stuck to Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) —who was ahead of him in the GC — until the finish. The Colombian rider moved up to 2nd place in the overall classification. Evans took the Maglia Rosa from Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE), who was unable to maintain contact with the peloton through the categorized climbs.
OPQS looks next to 174km Stage 9 on Sunday, which includes another summit finale in Sestola.
"Today was the first day for the GC guys to have their chance," Sport Director Davide Bramati said. "I think we did a good race. Rigo was always in the front, but also the entire team did a great job covering him First on the flats, and then Poels and Brambilla were there in the climbs. Brambilla had a few troubles on Cippo di Carpegna, but he came back and did well in support of Uran. Considering everything, everyone had a good performance today. Rigo closed with the top riders. Tomorrow is another important day. We will see what can happen, but our objective is not to lose time because we already lost time to to a crash two stages ago. Our goal is to arrive at the time trial next week in the best position possible, and try to do something from that point."
"It was a hard stage," Uran said. "The first climb was really tough but I felt good today. Also it again helped to have a great team with me. In the flat part they were there, but also on the climb with Brambilla and Poels. Tomorrow it will be another uphill finish, but on paper easier than today. Still, in this Giro you have to be careful each stage. You can't take a day and say 'today will be a normal day.' If you want to be in the front for the GC you cannot underestimate any stage."