Catch up on all the drama...

All GC riders cross on same time

'Too stupid for words' – Evenepoel to Ineos rumours shut down by Lefevere
Moscon shepherds Bernal while Almeida looks after Evenepoel. They all make it over the line together with no clear gaps.
That means Valter continues in the pink for another day.

Crash for Matteo Fabbro in the peloton

Just a little touch of wheels there that brings him down. Valter is in the bunch in about 20th place. It's EF Education turning the screw at the front right now with Ruben Guerreiro.

Lafay wins the stage

And he has plenty of time to get his arms up and salute the crowd. A beautiful breakaway win today. Now, just the small matter of what happens to the pink jersey..

Flamme rouge!

Cofidis are looking like bagging their first Giro win in eleven long years through the young Victor Lafay. Francisco Gavazzi is chasing hard for Eolo though!

Deceuninck driving the peloton

The Belgian team has really picked up the pace now, trying to keep Evenepoel safe and out of trouble.

2km to go – And it's Carboni who emerges the strongest of that pair

The Italian has dispensed with Campenaerts and goes on alone. Victor Lafay realises the race is getting away and sets off in pursuit.
It takes no time at all for Lafay to catch the sole leader and he blows right by. He's the new leader of this race and looks good for his first pro win!

5km to go – The Indefatigable Mr Campenaerts

He just keeps attacking and attacking, this time in the company of Carboni from Bardiani. Gougeard is trying to bridge over to them.
In the peloton, it's still looking pretty chilled. Israel StartUp Nation has come to the front of the bunch.

10km to go – Road begins to rise once more

We're not quite at the classified part of the day's final climb, but make no mistake it's all uphill from here to the finish. Alex Gougeard just tried a solo dig but was brought back. This is going to be a spicy finale.
Then Kobe Goossens attacks with Campenaerts immediately in the wheel! Gaviria is dropped, but claws his way back on.

15km to go – Breakaway victory guaranteed

Whether Campenaerts succeeds in dropping them or not, these nine riders are going to contest the victory today. The peloton are still 6'01" back and not looking particularly hurried. We'll see if GC hostilities break out later on.

20km to go – Campenaerts goes solo

The Belgian attempts to leave his colleagues in the dust. He's chased by the other eight breakaway members who are:
Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Citroen), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani CSF), Victor Lafay (Cofidis), Francesco Gavazzi (Eolo Kometa), Kobe Goossens (Lottou Soudal), Nikias Arndt (Team DSM) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates)
They succeed in bringing him back, but he goes again a few moments later. He's adamant he won't be going to the finish in the company of any other climbers (at least not if he can help it).

25km to go – Guess who's back!

"Oh yeah, hi guys, it's me, the one who attacked y'all 15 minutes ago and then immediately crashed. Nice to see you again."
Gaviria is back in the breakaway. A little battered and bruised, but ready to take on the final 25km of this race.

30km to go – Antoine Duschesne living dangeorusly

The climb is bottoming out here and Gaviria doesn't seem to be riding too hard to get back. I think he'll try and recover, take it easy into the finish, and live to fight another day. He's being seen by the medic's car at the moment.
Meanwhile, the peloton are navigating their way down and the French rider Duschesne almost comes acropper on the same climb as Gaviria. He then almost misjudges a second turn on the descent – none of which can be filling the rest of the peloton with confidence.

40km to go – Terrible two minutes for Gaviria

The Colombian just put in a big dig on the descent and left the rest of the breakaway in his dust. Unfortunately, he almost immediately slipped out and went skidding into the concrete barrier by the roadside.
He seemed to be holding his collarbone there, but is back up on his bike now and about 30 seconds in arrears of the other eight escapees.

45km to go – Goossens takes maximum over the top

So it'll almost certainly be no change of jersey-holder in the mountains classification tonight. Mader is safe for another day.
Gavazzi looked to get third. There's a very remote chance that, if he wins this stage, he might just be able to equal Mader, but the probability of that is remote.

Contador talks the future for Eolo Kometa!

This is a great little featurette from the live broadcast, with Alberto Contador telling us about the way he and his colleagues at the Eolo Kometa team are approaching this Giro, and their intentions for the future too.

'We want to keep growing and investing' - Contador gives Giro update

50km to go – A second bike swap for Martin in minutes

He's not having the best of climbs here, it must be said! We also saw Simon Yates take a new bike so I wonder if there was some sharp stuff in the road that they've fallen foul of.
The gap is 7'17" and the breakaway are not far from the summit and the KOM points. Gavazzi has the most points in that competition as it stands – he might go for this, but don't be surprised if Alex Gougeard pushes him all the way for them. If Gavazzi takes the maximum of 18 points, by my count he'll top the KOM classification.
There's been a suggestion that there could be rain on the other side of the mountain, which will add some drama to the descent. Lots of riders have been taking capes from their cars.

First signs of fatigue for the wunderkind?

What do you think? Bit of mindgames from the young Prince of Belgium, or genuinely feeling the heat? tI think as of today this is officially the longest race Remco Evenepoel has ever done, don't forget.

'I'm starting to feel tired' - Evenepoel gives honest interview pre-Stage 8

55km to go – 'Dream come true'

It has been a great year for the debutant teams at the Giro so far. Here's a nice little feature on just that phenomenon.
The rookie teams tasting success at the 2021 Giro

Mechanical for Dan Martin

The Irishman who is ninth on GC has just had what looks like a flat tyre.

65km to go – Groupama controlling

This is looking good for the French team right now, who as you know are currently protecting the maglia rosa on the shoulders of Atilla Valter. It seems more and more likely that the stage win will come from the break – and so all Valter needs to do today is finish on the same time as the other GC men. I would be surprised if anyone from the peloton tries to unseat him today, but there are a handful of GC guys in need of big time after losing a lot in the first week. Maybe George Bennett will go on a mad one.
The gap is 7'26".

70km to go – Quieting down

The gap has ballooned out to seven minutes now, as the nine leaders combine their efforts beautifully and efficiently.
It will be some time now until we see some fireworkks – they have 25km, give or take, before they reach the tummit of today's category two climb. I think we might see the break break down towards its summit and particularly on the descent. Until then though, it's just a case of riding through and off.

🏰 Castello! 🏰

Been a tough day for castle-spotting what with all that tiresome bike racing in the first couple of hours occupying my attention, but now we've got an entry into the Giro Castelli hashtag contest. And it's not a bad one.
Also, Fernando Gaviria just copped the maximum points at the intermediate sprint – nobody else looked terribly interested.

95km to go – Gap established

Ahhhhh that's a bit of a relief! The gap is up at 3'38" now and finally the riders have a chance to take on some food from their cars. It's Groupama, team of the maglia rosa Atilla Valter, who are now making the pace in the peloton.
Here's a little bit more about that withdrawal from Ewan.
Ewan withdraws from Giro

105km to go – Victor Campenaerts makes the bridge

The Belgian TT rider has made a massive effort to get across to our octet of leaders and that makes it nine in the lead. As well as the Qhubeka Assos rider, these are the names in the lead of this race
Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Citroen), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani CSF), Victor Lafay (Cofidis), Francesco Gavazzi (Eolo Kometa), Kobe Goossens (Lottou Soudal), Nikias Arndt (Team DSM) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates)
The gap is about a minute at the moment, and they have begun to climb uphill towards Campobasso.

What's the Spanish for 'sling your hook, pal'?

'It's chaos!' - Bernal told to go away in comical breakaway

115km to go – Warp speed!

If you are a sprinter or having a bad day then you are literally just clinging on for dear life at the moment. The pace has been absolutely frenetic, as we see an octet get a little bit of leeway now. Fernando Gaviria looks to have got himself in there, along with Nelson Oliveira of Movistar and Nikias Arndt of Team DSM.
This could be it, now. There are still some riders attempting to bridge but the peloton is finally calming down.


Caleb Ewan will not finish the stage today. He has thrown in the towel, as we expected he might – and what a day to do it, as well. It may have been a crash in that tunnel I just mentioned that precipitated his withdrawal.

130km to go – Splits in the tunnel!

The race reaches the top of an uncategorised climb and goes through a tunnel. They come out of the other side and it's Samuele Battistella and Gino Mader leading – and they actually have a gap. Something must've happened in that tunnel, because there are also now some gaps in the peloton. Mader is on great form at the moment and already has one stage win in this year's Giro.
We have covered 40 kilometres already today and the escape is still far from established.

'Glory for Mader' - Watch the finish to wild Stage 6

135km to go – It just won't stop!

Ten riders go clear. 19 jump to bridge. One Bardiani guy goes, Ineos use Ganna to obliterate the move like the Incredible Hulk pummelling an uncooked quail's egg. Remco sneezes, Israel StartUp Nation assign two domestiques to sneeze as well just in case.
The riders aren't even taking bottles from their soigneurs at the roadside right now, so frantic and aggressive has been the racing thus far!

Natnael Tesfatsion in the mix!

The young Eritrean rider for Androni who won the 2020 Tour du Rwanda has been very active today. He's a superb climber with a punchy finish and could be a strong candidate for a win today, if this break ever actually gets up the road.
Who is Tesfatsion? The 21-year-old Tour du Rwanda champion from Eritrea

145km to go – Loads more attacking

It might, might be about to coalesce into a recognisable breakaway.
But even by the time I have typed that out it all seems to be going to pot again. A little trio had escaped, including Ruben Guerreiro of EF Education Nippo – but then six more leapt across, and five more, and then all of a sudden we were back to one very large peloton!

150km to go – Bahrain & Ineos battling for control

It looks like these two teams are the main ones interested in driving on the peloton. Bahrain, presumably, want to try and launch one of their men into the move, while for Ineos it's more of a 'watching and controlling' situation.
Peter Sagan is also uncharacteristically close to the front of the bunch.
Sagan would love to get away up the road and claim some ciclamino points today.

155km to go – Back together

Well that was thrilling stuff!
The two echelons are back together now in one big peloton, including Atilla Valter. We'll see if there are more echelons that form – but that was far from a relaxing way to start the race for the maglia rosa and his team.

160km to go – Echelons!

We thought it might happen and look at that! We have a huge split in the race. No break has got away, it's more like the peloton has dropped a slightly smaller second peloton.
It's Ineos doing the driving of this move and their main man Bernal is safely tucked under the wing of Filippo Ganna. We think the maglia rosa is in the second group.

165km to go – Everybody wants in!

The flag is waved and straight away, waves after waves of attacks. We're talking 35 riders in the current 'break', but the peloton seems extremely unwilling to let it go way.
A little-known rider called Egan Bernal has infiltrated the latest iteration of the break, which immediately dooms it once his compatriots realise exactly who he is.

170km to go – Neutral rollout

Theyre gliding through the city streets of Foggia right now and it looks absolutely heavenly there, compared with drizzly England where I am.
One of the best developments in recent years has been the broadcasts of all Grand Tour stage in full. That means, on days like today, we get to witness a furious battle to get in the breakaway.
With a real chance to take the victory today, most teams will want a rider in the escape – and it'll be down to a combination of Atilla Valter's Groupama and the other interested GC teams to control the mayhem.

Good morning!

And welcome to the stage eight live blog. We've got mountains on the menu today, a nice little aperitivo ahead of the all-out battle of the climbers we can expect tomorrow.
It's an interesting profile today, and it might suit an attacker like Thomas De Gendt or Matej Mohoric. We know that the latter has lost his team leader with the crash of Mikel Landa – so don't be surprised if we see him or another Bahrain-Victorious rider in the break.

Giro d'Italia 2021 Stage 8 Profile

GC standings

  • 1. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ 26:59:18
  • 2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep +11
  • 3. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers +16
  • 4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech +24
  • 5. Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix +25
  • 6. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education - Nippo +38
  • 7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious +39
  • 8. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo +41
  • 9. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation +47
  • 10. Simon Yates (GB) Team BikeExchange +49

Ewan chases down Gaviria to win Stage 7 at Giro

In the noble tradition of the very best Grand Tour sprint stages, today's race from Notaresco to Termoli on Italy's Adriatic coast unfurled with all the languidity of a house cat stretching in a patch of afternoon sun. The slow, deliberate movement – the flirtation with the shoreline before turning back inland – it all added a sense of immaculate anticipation. An air of expectation that was met and exceeded by an unbeatable Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal).
The Australian entered the final three kilometres with plenty of teammates around him, but a rapid series of sharp turns and roundabouts quickly decimated his train, and that of many of the other sprinters in contention. He was left with only Jasper De Buyst for assistance when Francesco Gavazzi (Eolo Kometa) fired off an opportunistic attack.
The Italian's move was matched and covered by Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe), who acted like a dead weight, anchoring the Eolo rider and preventing him from stealing a march on the sprinters – who had long waited for their moment across 181 kilometres of flat coastal terrain. Gavazzi quickly gave up his attack and for just a second Oss looked like he might continue on instead, only for the pair to be caught at 600m from the line.
Then came a sharp left-hander, Ewan still shepherded by De Buyst, took the turn in fourth position. At 500m, Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) swung across Ewan's path, from the extreme left of the road to the right with a big injection of speed.
The Colombian, who has struggled to make an impression on the race's sprints so far, had decided to change his tactics, with the hope of springing a surprise on the field – perhaps relying on the soporific nature of the preceding four hours' racing to dull their reactions. Unfortunately for Gaviria, Ewan was more than equal to the challenge. De Buyst pulled off and Ewan went immediately for the UAE rider's wheel. In 200 metre he had caught him, after another 100 he was in front. By the line, Ewan was more than a bike length ahead of the next finisher. Davide Cimolai (Israel StartUp Nation) rode Ewan's wheel to second place, with Tim Merlier (Alpecin Fenix) in third spot. Gaviria's gamble was only good enough to land him seventh.
Read Tom Owen's full Stage 7 report here.
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