Stage 8 - Gabicce Mare – Saltara - Individual time trial - 54.8km
Published: 11 May 2013
Report: Scott Hobro
Great Britain’s Alex Dowsett celebrated his first ever Grand Tour stage victory by winning the Giro d’italia stage 8 individual time trial.
The Movistar rider and British time trial champion completed the 54.8-kilometres from Gabicce Mare to Saltara in a time of 1:16:27, 10 seconds ahead of Team Sky’s Sir Bradley Wiggins who was forced in to an early bike change due to a rear tyre puncture.
Wiggins’ effort lifts the 33-year-old up to fourth in the general classification, one minute and 16 seconds adrift of Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) who moves into the maglia rosa.
After his win, Dowsett tweeted: "I cannot thank you all enough. This is the stuff dreams are made of."
He told BBC Sport: "I feel like I got everything out, it was super difficult and there was no opportunity to get into a rhythm and I was just riding as hard as my legs would let me.
"It's different doing a time trial in a tour because you are fatigued before you start but I've proved I can turn my hand to any type of time trial."
Former Team Sky rider Dowsett, 24, was forced to wait for his triumph to be confirmed having been one of the earlier riders out to the course - 39th of the 201 riders - and watched nervously as a number of general classification riders tackled the route.
Wiggins, one of the pre-stage favourites, suffered a difficult first sector, a bike change compounding the challenging conditions to leave the Tour de France champion one minute down on Dowsett at the opening time check in Pesaro, 26-kilometres into the stage.
The gap was only marginally better by the Calcinelli time check, standing at 59 seconds with just over three kilometres remaining.
But the Olympic time trial champion recovered impressively on the final sector with an uphill finish to the line to end 10 seconds shy of his compatriot and lay down the marker for his general classification rivals.
Australian Cadel Evans finshed 39 seconds back from Dowsett whilst Ryder Hesjedal suffered a loss of two minutes and 13 seconds on Wiggins to dent his chances of defending his title.
Italian Nibali then posted the quickest opening sector time, eight seconds up on Dowsett but slowed and by Calcinelli was over a minute down. He did, however, cut the deficit to just 21 seconds by the finish and with that took the overall lead.
After the stage Sir Bradley Wiggins told teamsky.com: “I think there was some initial disappointment because I wanted to win the stage."
"It’s been a challenging few days with the crash yesterday and then to come back up. It wasn’t an easy course. I’ve said all along that it wasn’t one of those ones where you could take three or four minutes out of people because it was so technical at the start.
"Then obviously to have a puncture and have to change bikes and disrupt the rhythm is never going to help. But then the second part of the course was really suited to me and I took back a lot of time on people there. It is what it is and it’s put us right back up there now. It’s going to be a hell of a race for the next two weeks."
“I think I rode it pretty well," he continued. "I was a bit ruffled after the bike change and didn’t get the best out of myself on that technical part of the course. It was a bit damp still as well so I was a bit cautious – especially after crashing yesterday.
"But from Pesaro onwards I really got into my stride and I think physically I was as good as I’ve ever been. But it is the way it is. We’ll deal with it now, but I’m pleased at the same for Alex Dowsett. It’s a brilliant start to his Grand Tour career.
“There are two weeks to go. The last week’s going to be very difficult and the time gaps are relatively small still. A minute and 16 to Nibali still with all the problems yesterday isn't that bad it’s all to play for. It’s not easy to defend a Grand Tour lead so it’s not a bad position to be in.
"We’re still here and we’ve got three guys in the top 10 now. We’ve got a few cards to play.”
Red points classification jersey holder Mark Cavendish ended 170th, with fellow Brits Stephen Cummings 77th, David Millar 195th and Adam Blyth 199th.
1. DOWSETT Alex Movistar Team 01:16:27
2. WIGGINS Bradley Sky Procycling 00:10
3. KANGERT Tanel Astana Pro Team 00:14
4. NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team 00:21
5. CLEMENT Stef Blanco Pro Cycling Team 00:32
6. DURBRIDGE Luke Orica GreenEDGE 00:35
7. EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team 00:39
8. BOARO Manuele Team Saxo-Tinkoff 00:45
9. HENAO MONTOYA Sergio Luis Sky Procycling 00:53
10. SCARPONI Michele Lampre - Merida ,,
1. NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team 29:46:57
2. EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team 00:29
3. GESINK Robert Blanco Pro Cycling Team 01:15
4. WIGGINS Bradley Sky Procycling 01:16
5. SCARPONI Michele Lampre - Merida 01:24
6. HESJEDAL Ryder Garmin - Sharp 02:05
7. HENAO MONTOYA Sergio Luis Sky Procycling 02:11
8. SANTAMBROGIO Mauro Vini Fantini 02:43
9. NIEMIEC Przemyslaw Lampre - Merida 02:44
10. URAN Rigoberto Sky Procycling 02:49