This is how Eurosport cycling expert Felix Lowe called things during the live blog.
80KM TO GO: PROBLEM FOR FUGLSANG
Nibali set for reunion with Astana ahead of potential 2022 retirement
Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang needs a new bike or wheel after a mechanical on the descent. The Astana leader will need to chase back on now - and has a few team-mates waiting for him. He's a minute down on the pack but has time to return to the fold.
75KM TO GO: BREAK COMPLETE THE DESCENT, FUGLSANG HAS FIVE TEAM-MATES
The six leaders have reached the bottom of the downhill with a gap of 8'35" over the pack. There have been big splits in the pack, which is all strung out on what is a beautiful stretch of road overlooking the Adriatic sea. Fuglsang is still a further minute back but has five team-mates with him.
72KM TO GO: TREK PUSHING THE PACE
With Fuglsang off the back and still over a minute in arrears, Nibali's Trek-Sagefredo team are really pushing things on the front. Unsportsmanlike? Perhaps. But this is a race and they're entitled to ride hard. Nibali, after all, was already putting the hammer down going over the summit before the Dane picked up his puncture...
68KM TO GO: TREK KNOCK IT OFF
The pace has eased in the pack as Trek-Segafredo decide to slow down. Demare is actually not in the Fuglsang group but in a smaller one between the two factions of the peloton. But Sagan is in that distanced group and so that's why Bora did not fully commit to helping Trek.
So, it looks like the peloton will come back together - and with the tempo suddenly coming to a near stand-still, the pendulum swings back towards the breakaway. They have 8'20" and it's looking good for them - although these rolling roads will be a big test.
- Giro d'Italia 2020 Stage 8 - as it happened
- Giro d'Italia 2020 route and stage profiles
- Alex Dowsett makes history with stunning win on Stage 8
UNSPORTSMANLIKE? OR JUST THE BEHAVIOUR OF A RACER?
Was Nibali and Trek-Segafredo's conduct unsportsmanlike? That is open to debate considering the plethora of unwritten rules that govern cycling. However, Rob Hatch on commentary saw it as all part of the game, saying:
He is a racer – he is always a racer. You can say actually it is fair game. It is all part of the game for me – I know people prefer things to be done in certain ways but it is all part of the Giro, all part of the drama.
‘He is always a racer’ - Nibali and Trek Segafredo push the pace after Fuglsang mechanical
IS THERE AN EXTRA EDGE, THOUGH?
Complicating matters is the fact that there appears no love lost between Nibali and Fuglsang. The pair are barely on speaking terms.
That is according to Fuglsang himself in a column for Danish tabloid BT, who says the Shark might be jealous of the Dane’s increasing profile.
“He can hardly greet me,” writes Fuglsang.
We rode together for Astana for four years, and now I do not know if he is jealous, ambitious, or what it is. Perhaps it was that I was his domestique but I am now riding faster than him, and I think he is having a hard time accepting it.
“It seems easier for me to accept that we are competing against each other than it is for him.”
Vincenzo Nibali and Trek Segafredo appeared to cast aside an unwritten rule of cycling when they pushed the pace after Jakob Fuglsang suffered a mechanical on Stage 8. This opened a debate as to whether it was unsportsmanlike behaviour. However, there might be something more than competitiveness at play here - Fuglsang has previously written in his column for Danish paper BT that he feels a jealousy might be consuming the Shark.
Could this side story erupt on Stage 9? Follow live uninterrupted coverage on the eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app.
Sagan to miss Tokyo 2020 road race after undergoing knee surgery
Tour de France
The big winners and losers after a day of GC carnage