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Giro d'Italia, Stage 8: Caruso Into The Top 10

16. May 2015, Campitello Matese (ITA) — Road Team

Damiano Caruso had help on the final climb from teammate Darwin Atapuma (center). ©Tim De Waele/TDWsport

Damiano Caruso of the BMC Racing Team climbed his way into the top 10 Saturday on the first major mountain stage of this year's Giro d'Italia.

Caruso stayed with the group containing all of the race favorites until the last moments of the 186-km race that finished with a 15-km ascent to the ski resort at Campitello Matese. His 10th place result moved him into ninth overall, 94 seconds behind race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).

Today, I was really strong and it was a hard day," Caruso said. "My teammate, Darwin Atapuma, was fantastic. I took the last climb in a good position and he was also on the final climb with me. Only in the last kilometer was it too hard. They (the leaders) took 15 meters and I had a 10 seconds gap to them at the finish. But it is all good. The Giro is very long and we will try later."

Atapuma also had an impressive day, finishing 15th, eight seconds behind Caruso. He is up to 12th in the overall standings, 2:09 off the lead.

"I would have preferred to stay with the group of Contador, Fabio Aru and Richie Porte, but I gave 100 percent and Contador was 200 percent when he attacked," Atapuma said. "I worked for my team leader, Damiano, and today was a good stage for BMC. I would have preferred to try for the win, but it was not easy. The last seven kilometers were very, very fast. Contador, Aru and Porte are on a different level, but I feel in good condition and would like to win a stage of this Giro."

Benat Intxausti (Movistar Team) soloed out of what was once a 12-man breakaway to win the stage 20 seconds ahead of Mike Landa (Astana Pro Team) and 31 seconds in front of Sébastien Reichenbach (IAM Cycling). The group containing all of the race favorites arrived 35 seconds after Intxausti.

BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery

Click here to see photos from the race.

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