Dennis Maintains Sixth Overall After Second Summit Finish12. May 2018, Montevergine di Mercogliano (ITA) — Road Team
The second summit finish of the Giro d’Italia delivered another battle of the General Classification contenders on the climb to Montevergine di Mercogliano, with Rohan Dennis crossing the line with the main group to remain in sixth place overall.
The battle for the breakaway was on the moment the flag dropped at kilometer 0, and it took multiple attempts, including those from Alessandro De Marchi, for six riders to go clear.
After more riders jumped from the peloton and made the junction, it was eventually an eight-rider breakaway that established itself while behind, all of BMC Racing Team’s riders remained in the bunch.
The peloton allowed the breakaway to go six minutes down the road and for the next 100km of racing, the breakaway was able to maintain their advantage.
With the 17km final climb, featuring a maximum gradient of 10 percent, to come, race leader Simon Yates’ Mitchelton-SCOTT team waited until the final 30km before starting to pick up the chase.
The breakaway started to fragment as heavy rain started to fall, which caused a battle for position at the front of the bunch as they approached the climb.
With the help of his teammates, Dennis was positioned well as the road started to rise and up ahead, the breakaway riders started to attack each other as their advantage continued to decrease.
More and more riders started to drop from the bunch with the fast pace being set at the front, but Dennis looked strong as he stayed with the main General Classification contenders.
The winning attack was made until the final kilometer when Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) went clear and managed to take the solo win ahead of Dennis’ group which crossed the line six seconds behind.
The climbing continues on stage 9 with three categorized climbs littered across the 225km course, including the category one climb to Gran Sasso d’Italia.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I thought a breakaway would go away fairly fast but then they decided that they wanted to race for about an hour and a half, which mentally I wasn’t prepared for. Then the break went and they weren’t happy with it again, so it was a bit up and down with trying to get my head around what was going on. Then, basically we had to refocus on that final climb. I felt really good considering it was such a hard start. I knew that it was only a 5 percent average and the kick up was always going to ease up, so mentally it was pretty easy. It was just about the time and distance that we were climbing, which was still quite long."
Stage 8 Praia a Mare > Montevergine di Mercogliano (209km)
Top 3: 1. Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team), 2. Davide Formolo (BORA-hansgrohe), 3. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 13. Rohan Dennis, 52. Nicolas Roche, 89. Francisco Ventoso.
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See photos from the race.