Despite the flatter roads, day 8 of the Giro Rosa proved to be a tough one. The consecutive days of racing and unwavering heat had begun to take its toll on many riders.

Approaching the base of the first short climb, the peloton was all together. However attacks soon began to fly at the crest, splitting the bunch into small groups on the descent.

At 100 km left to race, GC leaders Annemiek Van Vlueten and Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) were in a vulnerable position with only Gracie Elvin able to stay with the front group to help them.

The bunch reduced further the second time over the climb, with more riders dropping off the back. Attacks continued to fire at the front of the race as the peloton took to the flatter roads. In the 33โ„ƒ humidity, there was little respite for the riders before approaching the final climb of the day.

Elisa Longo-Borghini (Wiggle-High5) put the pressure on up the climb, setting the pace to take the GPM points, but Marianne Vos (WaowDeals) pushed on past creating a gap as she commenced the descent. Only Longo-Borghini was able to follow and soon Lucinda Brand used her descending skills to bridge across to the duo.

The three worked together and rode clear of the chasing peloton, maintaining a small gap all the way into the final kilometres. Entering the finishing straight, it was Vos who produced the superior sprint, taking her 21st Giro Rosa win.

โ€œTo be in a breakaway with Brand and Borghini was perfect over the last climbโ€, said Vos, โ€œThe team brought me in the perfect position just over top and then we attacked.โ€

All General Classification contenders finished safely in the bunch, 23โ€ down from the winning breakaway.

Vos also claims the lead in the Points Classification and will start stage 9 wearing the green jersey.

Brand moves up to 2nd in the General Classification and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio resumes 3rd after gaining time bonuses in the intermediate sprints. Spratt is now sitting in 4th.

Results:

https://www.procyclingstats.com/race/giro-d-italia-femminile/2018/stage-8

Stage: Marianne Vos (WaowDeals)

General classification: Annemiek Van Vlueten (Mitchelton-Scott)

Points classification: Marianne Vos (WaowDeals)

Mountain classification: Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott)

Youth classification: Sofia Bertizzolo (Astana)

Teams classification: Team Sunweb

Stage 9 preview

Saturday is the the day everyone has been waiting for. It is the Queen stage of the Giro Rosa, where the peloton will tackle the famous Monte Zoncolan, a 10km climb with a relentless average gradient of 11%.

The race begins in Tricesimo, near the Slovenian border. From here the peloton will head 95 km north along relatively flat roads before reaching the base of the foreboding Zoncolan.

This stage is truly for the climbers. We will see those same riders, who excelled in the uphill time trial on stage 7, do well here again. There may be some opportunists looking for a breakaway to provide a headstart on the climb, but these will likely be caught.

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