Giro d’Italia: Liquigas-Cannondale team flexes muscles on stage 8
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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Giro d’Italia: Liquigas-Cannondale team flexes muscles on stage 8

by Kyle Moore at 7:10 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Szmyd and Capecchi punish the peloton into final climb, Caruso nabs white jersey

Ivan BassoOverall threat Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago CSF-Inox) motored away on the final climb of the day to take the win, but Liquigas-Cannondale showed a bit of force in the finale of stage eight of the Giro d’Italia as well.

The lime-green Italian squad led the peloton into the Colle Molella, the decisive climb that hit with 12 kilometers to race, and while they didn’t take a win out of it, they helped shed a group of GC favourites that would come across the line nearly a minute behind the lead group.

Liquigas-Cannondale did get one reward however, as Damiano Caruso moved into the white jersey after former holder Peter Stetina (Garmin Barracuda) finished in the second group.

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) now sits second overall after taking an eight-second time bonus in third at the finish of stage eight, and Benat Intxausti (Movistar) moves up to fifth after breaking away behind Pozzovivo and coming home second on the stage. Liquigas-Cannondale leader Ivan Basso is just behind in sixth, and based on the strength of their solid finish today, team rider Eros Capecchi is tenth, and Sylvester Szmyd is sixteenth.

“The stage played out as we wanted it to,” said Basso after finishing safely in the first group. “It was more demanding than yesterday but still too fast to try any kind of attack. My team-mates were great and they kept the pace high, which was useful to avoid dangerous moves, to sap the legs of opponents, and to help our young Damiano Caruso into the white jersey. He is a boy with big prospects.

Caruso sprinted with the lead group to take sixth on the stage, pulling out 57 seconds on Stetina, who had previously faced a long chase back to the bunch as the pace was picking up toward the bottom of the Colle Molella climb.

Though Basso was pleased with the accomplishments of the stage, he didn’t want to give more time to Rodriguez, who bested Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) in the sprint for third and picked up a bonus.

“The only drawback to the day is the time [we gave] Rodriguez,” Basso added. “But we finish the stage with confidence. The feelings are good, my team-mates are great, and step-by-step we are growing.”

Caruso, the 24-year-old Italian, was over the moon with taking the white jersey in his debut Giro d’Italia.

“Putting on the white jersey brings a wonderful emotion,” Caruso enthused afterward. “This morning, I felt convinced that I could do it. Our guys who led the bunch were the biggest help in making the selection and dropping Stetina. As long as there is a possibility to keep the jersey, I will fight, but the objective is only and always to help Ivan. When the team asks me to work for him, I’ll be in the front row.

“This experience is still important to me. I’m a rider for stage races and my goal is to grow more in this direction. Today I wore the white jersey, and it is a dream to someday wear the pink one.”


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