PESARO – Australia’s Caleb Ewan celebrated wildly after storming a bunch sprint to win stage eight of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday after coming close to victory three times already in the opening week.
Chief contenders for overall Giro victory, Britain’s Simon Yates, form favourite Primoz Roglic, Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali and Colombian climber Miguel Angel Lopez all finished in the bunch with the same time on the run from Tortoreto Lido to Pesaro.
Italy’s Valerio Conti, of the UAE Emirate Team, who took the pink jersey on stage six, remains in the overall lead for a third day.
The 24-year-old Ewan, of the Lotto-Soudal team, produced an astonishing burst of power to relegate Italy’s Elia Viviani to second and Bora-hansgrohe’s Pascal Ackermann, who has two wins on this Giro, to third.
Ewan’s new team had spent much of the day keeping tabs on a long range escape, signalling their intent, and the powerfully built Sydneysider was overcome with emotion after several near misses so far.
“I have a lot of pressure to win races (since his move from Michelton-Scott) and to win here means the absolute world to me,” said Ewan, who had finished in the top five on three occasions in the first seven stages of this year’s Giro.
“We have been trying to win every day, and I’m happy to repay the team.
“I wasn’t feeling that good, so I waited and had a good kick and came round them (Akermann and Viviani).”
Sunday’s stage could prove to be key with a 34.8km individual time-trial awaiting the riders, with poor weather and undulating terrain expected on the road to San Marino.AFP