Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox) held off the attentions of an elite chasing pack to win the eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia.
The Italian, winner of last month’s Giro di Trentino, launched his bid for victory on the wicked slopes of the Colle Molella with less than 10km to go.
Pozzovivo was forced to work to the finish to resist the attentions of Beñat Intxausti (Movistar), who himself held off a group containing race leader, Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin Barracuda).
Pozzovivo said: “I still can not believe I won on Mother’s Day, and I dedicate this victory to my own mother, Maria Rossana.”
Third place went to Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) who is now just nine seconds behind race leader Hesjedal.
Rodriguez said it was still too early to predict how the race would unfold and pledged to “stay calm”.
“I am pleased with the way how Giro is going ahead for me, because in all the major Tours I’ve done so far, in the first week, I’ve always been at a disadvantage for one reason or another,” said the Katusha rider. “This time it’s different.
“I’ve also had a very good first part of the season, so I can be a bit more relaxed about the Giro. Whatever happens, the pressure is off. So I’m taking this Giro d´Italia day by day.”
Hesjedal, an all-rounder who finished sixth in the 2010 Tour de France, suffered to finish just outside the top 10 and retain the pink jersey for another day.
Team Sky’s Rigoberto Uran finished 13th on the stage in a select group of 21 riders, 27 seconds behind the first three. His teammate and fellow Columbian, Sergio Henao, was 19th on the stage and is 15th overall, 1’19” off the leader.
Sky directeur sportif Steven de Jongh said: “It was a really good performance from both Rigo and Sergio and it’s nice to see them moving up the GC.
“They’ve got a few days now where it should be little bit less stressful for them before the big climbing stages come later in the race.”
Giro d’Italia stage eight – result
1) Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – Colnago-CSF Inox – 6.06.05
2) Benat Intxausti (SPA) – Movistar + 23”
3) Joaquim Rodriguez (SPA) – Katusha +27”
4) Thomas De Gendt (BEL) – Vacansoleil-DCM – same time
5) Dario Cataldo (ITA) – Omega Pharma-Quickstep
6) Damiano Caruso (ITA) – Liquigas-Cannondale
7) Gianluca Brambilla (ITA) – Colnago-CSF Inox
8) Bartosz Huzarski (POL) – Team NetApp
9) José Rujano Guillen (VEN) – Androni Giocattoli
10) John Gadret (FRA) – AG2R La Mondiale
1) Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) Garmin-Barracuda – 32.23.25
2) Joaquim Rodriguez (SPA) – Katusha +9”
3) Paolo Tiralongo (ITA) – Astana +15”
4) Roman Kreuziger (CZE) Astana +35”
5) Benat Intxausti (SPA) Movistar – same time
6) Ivan Basso (ITA) Liquigas-Cannondale +40”
7) Damiano Caruso (ITA) – Liquigas-Cannondale +45”
8) Dario Cataldo (ITA) Omega Pharma-Quickstep +46”
9) Frank Schleck (LUX) – RadioShack-Nissan +48”
10) Eros Capecchi (ITA) Liquigas-Cannondale +52”