Cara­paz wins 7th stage as Yates main­tains Giro d’Italia lead


The Malta Independent on Sunday - - SPORT -

Richard Cara­paz pulled off a su­perb fi­nal at­tack to win the eighth stage of the Giro d'Italia yes­ter­day, while British rider Si­mon Yates re­mained in the over­all lead after the sec­ond moun­tain fin­ish of the race.

Cara­paz stormed the end of the fi­nal climb to pass Koen Bouw­man, who led for most of the day. The Mo­vis­tar cy­clist claimed his first win in a Grand Tour, and the first for Ecuador.

Da­vide For­molo led the pelo­ton over the line to fin­ish sec­ond, seven sec­onds be­hind. Thibaut Pinot was third.

"I worked a lot be­fore the Giro," Cara­paz said. "Hav­ing the first Grand Tour win, it's emo­tional.

"I had good legs, so I de­cided to at­tack from far out, two kilo­me­ters to go. I de­cided it was the right time to go alone, be­cause I knew I couldn't win in a sprint."

There was an early break of eight cy­clists, and Mads Ped­er­sen was dropped be­fore the half­way stage.

The gap to the re­main­ing seven hov­ered around the five-minute mark be­fore the pelo­ton be­gan to reel them in.

Their ad­van­tage stood at just over two min­utes as they started up the 15-kilo­me­ter climb to the fin­ish, with the rain lash­ing down, and they were even­tu­ally caught.

Bouw­man, who at­tacked from the break­away early in the climb, was the last to be swept up as Cara­paz passed him in the fi­nal kilo­me­ter.

The gen­eral clas­si­fi­ca­tion was un­changed and Yates, who won the young rider clas­si­fi­ca­tion at last year's Tour de France, re­tained his 16-sec­ond ad­van­tage over de­fend­ing cham­pion Tom Du­moulin.

"We wanted to be in front for the climb," Yates said. "We knew be­cause of the rain in the fi­nal, the hair­pins would be very slip­pery. We wanted to take them in the front. We rode an even tempo. It was a very hard start, so maybe the break­away didn't have good enough legs to stay away.

"Maybe I would have liked to take some bonus sec­onds in the fi­nal, but I got a lit­tle boxed in and I couldn't get out to sprint. It's one of those things."

Four-time Tour de France win­ner Chris Froome also fin­ished in the main group de­spite be­ing in­volved in an­other crash which left him with a bloody el­bow. He re­mained 1 minute, 10 sec­onds be­hind, in eighth place.

To­day's ninth stage has an­other moun­tain fin­ish, at the end of a 225-kilo­me­ter (140-mile) route from Pesco San­nita up to Gran Sasso d'Italia.

The Giro ends in Rome on May 27.

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