Froome recovers from late setback

12 May 2018

Froome recovers from late setback

Chris Froome recovered from a small crash late on stage eight at the Giro d'Italia to retain his time gap to race leader Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).

Froome slipped coming out of a hairpin turn towards the top of the final ascent to Montevergine di Mercogliano with five kilometres to go, but was immediately back on his bike, with teammates David De La Cruz, Kenny Elissonde and Wout Poels quickly bringing him back into the main group of leaders.

The bonus seconds earned by stage winner Richard Carapaz (Movistar), after a perfectly-timed late attack, mean Froome drops to ninth overall, while Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) sprinted to third to reduce his time deficit to Yates in the only other general classification change.

Speaking to TeamSky.com Froome praised his teammates, who expertly guided him back to the pack.

He said: “The guys were fantastic. They helped me get straight back into the race - and straight back to the front of the race - within a kilometre.

“It’s never much fun crashing in the final of a race, especially on a hilltop finish, but the roads were really slippery and I just lost my back wheel when I went over a white line accelerating out of the corner.

“I didn’t want to be caught off guard coming into that final, so I think it was the right thing to do, to get back to the front and stay in control of things. I think the guys did a really good job of getting me back up there.

“I’m happy to tick off another day. Tomorrow is going to be a really tough stage.”

De La Cruz was well-placed to aid Froome at the end and he told Eurosport that he was encouraged by how the team rallied after a tough opening week at the Giro d'Italia.

He said: "It was a nasty climb and every corner was really slippery, he had bad luck and he crashed. But as a team we worked well, we brought him back to the front and we made it so we can fight another day.

“It has been a difficult first week of the Giro for us, but we are working well, we are highly motivated and we are sure that Chris can win the race and we will got for it.

“It looks like [as a team] we are getting better day by day. Early on there were flatter stages, but from now on the parcours get better for us and the race looks better for us.”
Earlier, a group of seven were able to break free following a tense opening 23km which saw break attempts scuppered by an active Mitchelton-Scott team at the front of the peloton.
 
Eventually Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Fix All), Davide Villella (Astana), Matteo Montaguti (AG2R La Mondiale), Rodolfo Torres (Androni Giocattoli), Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida), Koen Bouwman (LottoNL-Jumbo), and Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) all escaped and stayed clear for most of the day.

Indeed, the breakaway looked as though they would contest the stage, only for the weather to change on the final descent which forced the hand of the teams with GC contenders, all wanting to place their men safely at the foot of the final climb. 

As the rain started to pour and conditions worsened, the Team Sky-led peloton picked up the pace to bring the breakaway closer and excellent work from Vasil Kiryienka helped Froome into position.   
  
Up ahead, Van Der Sande, Mohoric and Bouwman all tried to attack from the front group, but it was the LottoNL-Jumbo rider who was able to finally break free only to be cruelly denied victory by Carapaz’s late surge.
Stage eight result

1. Richard Carapaz (Movistar) 5:11:35
2. Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe) +7"
3. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) s.t.
4. Enrico Battaglin (LottoNL-Jumbo) s.t.
5. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) s.t.
22. Chris Froome (Team Sky) s.t.

Overall standings:
 
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 31:43:12
2. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) +16”
3. Estaben Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) +26”
4. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +41”
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain Merida) +45”
9. Chris Froome (Team Sky) +1’10”

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