Brambilla wins stage to take Giro lead

Gianluca Brambilla

Brambilla finished third in the Strada Bianche in March

Italy’s Gianluca Brambilla claimed the Giro d’Italia leader’s jersey from Tom Dumoulin with a brilliant ride on stage eight in Umbria.

Brambilla, 28, began the 186km stage from Foligno to Arezzo one minute 56 seconds behind Dutchman Tom Dumoulin.

Etixx Quick-Step’s Brambilla was part of an early break and went on to win by a minute and six seconds from compatriot Matteo Montaguti.

Dumoulin finished 38th – 2mins 51secs back – to slip to 11th overall.

Brambilla’s first Grand Tour stage win – and a 10-second time bonus – gave him a 23-second advantage over Russia’s Ilnur Zakarin in the general classification before Sunday’s 40.5km individual time-trial from Radda to Greve in Chianti.

Brambilla and Montaguti were part of an early 13-man breakaway.

Montaguti broke clear later but Brambilla caught and passed him on the white chalk road of the Alpe di Ponti, the final climb of the day, with around 25km of the stage remaining.

The Giro – the first of the three Grand Tours in the year before the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana – finishes in Torino on 29 May.

Stage eight result:

1. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita/Etixx Quick-Step) 4hrs 14mins 5secs

2. Matteo Montaguti (Ita/AG2R) +1min 6secs

3. Moreno Moser (Ita/Cannondale) +1min 27secs

4. Jaco Venter (SA/Dimension) +1min 28secs

5. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita/BMC) +1min 33secs

6. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +1min 41secs

Overall standings:

1. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita/Etixx Quick-Step) 33hrs 39mins 14secs

2. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus/Katusha) +23secs

3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/Lotto) +33secs

4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +36secs

5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) +45secs

6. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica) +48secs

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