The race came back together inside 30 kilometers to go with CCC Team showing consistently strong teamwork once again to help keep Antunes and de la Parte well-positioned in the tricky finale before both riders found themselves near the front of the field in the reduced bunch sprint, won by Caleb Ewan (Lotto – Soudal).
It was a tough ask for the breakaway to go all the way for a third consecutive day in Italy with just two riders going up against the peloton on the longest stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia.
The leading duo had opened up an advantage of around five minutes 30 seconds at the halfway point of the 239-kilometer race but, once the main bunch decide to pick up the pace, the leaders’ time in front was numbered.
The road began to roll towards the finish in Pesaro inside 80 kilometers to go, with three categorized climbs and a fast, steep descent down to the three-kilometer to go mark.
It was on this more technical section of the course that teams started to pile on the pressure at the front of the bunch but, despite riders starting to drop off the back, CCC Team was still well-represented with Łukasz Owsian and Francisco Ventoso keeping Antunes Víctor de la Parte out of trouble in the closing kilometers of the day.
In the end, Antunes was the team’s first rider across the line, finishing 16th, and with no changes to the General Classification, the Portuguese rider remains sixth overall, 2 minutes 45 seconds behind Valerio Conti (UAE-Team Emirates) going into tomorrow’s individual time trial.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“Today was a very long day for us but my rhythm felt better today than yesterday. It was a technical finale but we looked closely at it before the race today and that helped me I think. I was able to arrive in front with the main bunch and me and Víctor had no problems so we are still in a good position. At the moment, I have a good position and both me and Víctor are in a good place overall. I am happy with where I am at this moment. Tomorrow is another hard day but we are taking the race stage by stage and will see how my legs are for the time trial.’
Víctor de la Parte:
“I think even though it was a long stage, the tempo was really nice all day. It was fast and at the end, we knew that it was a difficult finish so we tried to stay in front. It started to rain near the end but I don’t think it was that dangerous really. My legs feel good right now. Tomorrow is an important day so we will how I am recovering and how my form is there.”
Sports Director, Gabriele Missaglia:
“Overall, it was a good stage for us. Both Amaro and Víctor finished with the main bunch so that keeps us in a good position looking at the General Classification and thinking about the time trial tomorrow. This stage was not really suited to Jakub and so, he lost contact on the final climb but I was actually pleased with how deep into the race he could go and we still have some more opportunities to try to do something in the upcoming days.”
Stage 8: Tortoreto Lido > Pesaro (239km)
Top 3: 1.Caleb Ewan (Lotto – Soudal) 2. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) 3. Pascal Ackermann (BORA – hansgrohe)
CCC Team Top 3: 16. Amaro Antunes 30. Víctor de la Parte 85. Łukasz Owsian