Belgian veteran Thomas de Gendt scored another big breakaway victory in a Grand Tour by winning the eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia in Naples.
The 35-year-old was part of an early breakaway before attacking again in the closing stages and winning a four-man sprint at the end of a hilly circuit.
It is the fifth stage win in a Grand Tour for the rider from Lotto-Soudal, 10 years after his first at the Giro.
The Spanish Juan Pedro López kept the pink leader’s jersey.
Lopez, the early leader but not seen as a true challenger for the overall race victory, finished in the pack with most of the main contenders for the general classification.
Frenchman Guillaume Martin was part of the opening breakaway that ended three minutes ahead of the pack, allowing him to jump from 14th to fourth in the overall standings.
Sunday’s stage, which features a series of big climbs, will be the first test for the contenders, who include Britain’s Simon Yates.
Of his stage win, De Gendt said: “Today was one of those days that suits me.
“Ten years after the Stelvio stage [his first Giro win] At last I win a stage again in the Giro.
“If you had asked me two weeks ago if I could, I would have said no because I was in such bad shape. Now comes the good legs.”
eighth stage results
- Thomas de Gendt (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) 3hrs 32mins 52secs
- Davide Gaburro (Ita/Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) same time
- Jorge Arcas (Spa/Movistar) same time
- Harm Vanhoucke (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) +4 seconds
- Biniam Girmay (Eri/Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux) +15 seconds
- Mauro Schmid (Sui/Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) at the same time
- Mathieu van der Poel (Ned/Alpecin-Fenix) at the same time
- Woet Poels (Ned/Team Bahrain) +33 seconds
- Guillaume Martin (Fra/Cofidis) same time
- Fabio Felline (Ita/Astana Qazaqstan) +2 minutes 56 seconds
General classification positions
- Juan Pedro Lopez (Spa/Trek-Segafredo) 32h 15min 31sec
- Lennard Kamna (Germany/Bora-Hansgrohe) +38 seconds
- Rein Taaramae (Est/Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +58 seconds
- Guillaume Martin (Fra/Cofidis) +1min 6sec
- Simon Yates (GB/Team BikeExchange-Jayco) +1min 42s
- Mauri Vansevenant (Bel/Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) +1min 47s
- Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Bora-Hansgrohe) +1min 55s
- Joao Almeida (For/UAE Team Emirates) +1min 58sec
- Pello Bilbao (Spa/Bahrain Victorious) +2mins
- Richie Porte (Aus/Ineos Grenadiers) +2 minutes 4 seconds