Oscar Gatto has surprised the peloton with his sneaky win on the 8th stage of the Giro, a stage that was set to be a sprinters duel. Perhaps even more surprising was that it was a win over Alberto Contador who came in just meters behind and several bike lengths ahead of Alessandro Petacchi. Contador showed a similar race savvy as that which contributed to Giberto Simoni winning in 2003. In 2000, Simoni also launched a surprise attack on the sprinters, then on the flat stage 10, to finish second to Kurt-Asle Arvesen, gaining time on his rivals and taking the pink jersey which he would hold to Milan.
The Giro living up to it’s reputation as being unpredictable and dynamic, with a little more spice on the typical sprinters stage left today’s battle open for those really paying attention. In this instance Contador takes 5 seconds plus 12 bonus seconds out of the leads of the higher placed GC favorites, Michele Scarponi and Vincenzo Nibali. Contador has moved himself into 5th place in the overall and with tomorrow’s climb up Mt.Etna looming, he could be in pink by the end of the weekend.
Stage 8 Top Five
1. Oscar Gatto (Farnese-Vini)_____4h59’45”
2. Alberto Contador
3. Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre)___+:05″
4. Alexander Kristoff (BMC)
5. Roberto Ferrari (Androni)
Full Stage results: Gazzetta official
Overall Classification after 8 stages
1. Pieter Weening (Rabobank)_____28h09’49”
2. Marco Pinotti (HTC)___________+:02″
3. Kanstantsin Sivtsov (HTC)_____+:02″
4. Christophe Le Mevel (Garmin)___+:05″
5. Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank)___+:13″
Full GC: Gazzetta official