Chris Anker Sorensen of Team Saxo Bank this afternoon scored the biggest victory of his career, winning Stage 8 of the Giro d’Italia after pedalling his way alone up through the mist to the summit finish on the Terminillo in the first mountain stage of this year’s race.
Alexandre Vinokourov crossed the line in eighth place 55 seconds behind to retain the maglia rosa in a group that contained most of the main contenders still in with a shout for the overall title, including Cadel Evans, winner of yesterday’s epic stage along the mudswept strade bianche in Tuscany.
Today’s stage, which covered 189 kilometres from Chianciano Terme and as the first mountain test had previously been predicted as the first real indicator of the relative strength of the general classification contenders, didn’t quite match yesterday’s in terms of drama.
In the end it was Sorensen who proved to be the strongest survivor of a 17-man escape that had formed with more than 100 kilometres left of the stage, and which included two British riders from Team Sky, Steve Cummings and Chris Froome.
The 25-year-old Dane finished 30 seconds ahead of fellow escapee Simon Stortoni of CSR-Colnago, who had been the first of the group to attack but couldn’t match Sorensen on the climb. Xavier Tondo of Cervelo TestTeam, who had spent the day riding with the main contenders, got away on the ascent to finish third.
Top 10 Stage 8 Giro d'Italia
1) Chris Sorensen (Team Saxo Bank) 4:50:48 2) Simone Stortoni (Colnago-CSF Inox) 0:00:30 3) Xavier Tondo (Cervelo TestTeam) 0:00:36 4) Evgeni Petrov (Team Katusha) 0:00:49 5) John Gadret (AG2R La Mondiale) 0:00:55 6) Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Farnese Vini) 0:00:56 7) Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) 8) Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) 9) Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) 10) Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo)
Top 10 on general classification after Stage 8
1) Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) 29:01:26 2) Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) 0:01:12 3) Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) 0:01:33 4) Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) 0:01:51 5) Marco Pinotti (Team HTC - Columbia) 0:02:17 6) Richie Porte (Team Saxo Bank) 0:02:26 7) Vladimir Karpets (Team Katusha) 0:02:34 8) Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) 0:02:47 9) Damiano Cunego (Lampre) 0:03:08 10)Michele Scarponi (Androni Giocattoli) 0:03:09 Selected other 23) Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) 0:09:05
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.