Giro 2018 Favourites stage 8: Escapees or GC-contenders?

It's all about the last climb in the 8th stage of the Giro d'Italia. Following a hilly opening, the route's middle section is flat before the final haul up to the Santuario di Montevergine. The steady climb amounts to 17.1 kilometres at 5%. (Slideshow route/profile)

The final climb is extremely predictable. The first 9.1 kilometres rise at 4.5% and the last 8 kilometres go up at 5.5%. Theoretically, this is the climb of ascent that title defender Tom Dumoulin should fancy. Last year he won the stage to Santuario di Oropa, which was all about the final haul up, too. The Oropa-climb was much more irregular and also steeper than the Montevergine-ascent. The long and steady character of today’s finale is perfect for the the kind of rider the Dutchman is – not a pure-bred climber at all, but really a time trialist who, despite his stature, performs well when the road begins to point uphill.

In fact, the last climb amounts to approximately 60 kilometres. In Salerno the route turns inland and starts to climb slightly. Interrupted by flat and false flat sections the race continues to the foot of the Montevergine and from here on the uphill grades are ranked as KOM climb.

Obviously, this could be a day for attackers, too. Wellens, Gesink, Formolo… The Italian will be granted the opportunity to distance the peloton as he buried his GC-ambitions on Mount Etna, while former GC-rider Gesink is definitely eyeing up the stage win.

The Michelton-Scott duo Chaves/Yates were by far the best GC-climbers on the Etna, are they ready to pull it of once more? López is the only GC rider who has no choice but to attack as he is more than 2 minutes down on GC.

Favourites 8th stage 2018 Giro d’Italia

*** Tom Dumoulin, Miguel Ángel López, Simon Yates, Esteban Chaves
** Robert Gesink, Matej Mohoric, Davide Formolo, Tim Wellens, Louis Meintjes
* George Bennett, Pello Bilbao, Giulio Ciccone, Richard Carapaz, Jan Hirt

Read also: route 8th stage 2018 Giro d’Italia.

Giro d’Italia 2018 stage 8: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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