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Gatto upstages sprinters as Deignan counts losses

Posted 14 May 2011

Italian Oscar Gatto upstaged the sprinters to celebrate the finest win of his career of stage eight of the Giro d’Italia as the tough run into the finish in Tropea caused Philip Deignan to concede another 2’18” to race leader Peter Weening.

The stage was dominated by a two-man break with Mirko Selvaggi (Vacansoleil) and Leonardo Giordani (Farnese Vini – Neri Sotoli) jumping clear just two kilometres into the 214 kilometre flat stage from Sapri.

The terrain along the Tyrrhenian coast helped them to establish a maximum lead of 10’50” before the HTC Columbia team of Mark Cavendish and Lampre-ISD team of Alessandro Petacchi set to work.

The gap tumbled rapidly but the leading two persevered to hold onto a lead of just over two minutes as the road started to rise upwards over the closing 25 kilometres of the stage.

They were finally recaptured with 7.5 kilometres to go but the Farnese Vini team were far from done with Gatto seizing his opportunity as the peloton hurtled into the final two kilometres of the steep and technical finish.

He sprung for home soloing to victory ahead of none other than Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Sungard) whose second place saw him collect time bonuses which moved him to 5th in the GC just 13 seconds behind Weening (Rabonbank) while Petacchi held out for third with the peloton 5 second behind.

Deignan continued to struggle finishing the stage 2’18” down in 173rd place. He dropped slightly to 148th in the GC and is 42’20” down on Weening heading into Sunday’s decisive Sicilian stage which features two ascents of the Mount Etna volcano.

Results:

2011 Giro d’Italia

Stage 8: Sapri – Tropea, 214 kilometres

1.  Oscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli 4 hours, 59 minutes, 45 seconds
2.  Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard
3.  Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre – ISD at 0:00:05
4.  Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing Team
5.  Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
6.  Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling
7.  Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team
8.  Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
9.  Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Team Garmin-Cervelo
10.  Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto

173. Philip Deignan (Irl) Team Radioshack at 2 minutes, 18 seconds

General classification after stage 8:

1.  Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 28:09:49
2.  Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Highroad at 0:00:02
3.  Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Highroad
4.  Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Team Garmin-Cervelo at 0:00:05
5.  Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard at 0:00:13
6.  Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre – ISD at 0:00:14
7.  Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team at 0:00:22
8.  Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:00:24
9.  Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team at 0:00:28
10. Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Androni Giocattoli at 0:00:33

148. Philip Deignan (Irl) Team Radioshack at 41 minutes, 20 seconds

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