Giro d'Italia: 'Breakaway King' De Gendt ends long wait for second stage win

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Thomas De Gendt celebrated "finally winning a stage again" as he claimed victory in stage eight of the Giro d'Italia.

De Gendt, who was dubbed the 'Breakaway King' earlier in his career, won his first Giro stage back in 2012 and the 35-year-old Belgian rolled back the years to cross the line first on Saturday.

It was a superb ride from the Lotto-Soudal man who, as his nickname would suggest, led from the breakaway and then held off Davide Gabburo's late charge in Naples.

De Gendt, who took the King of the Mountains jersey at the Vuelta a Espana in 2018 and has two Tour de France stage wins to his name, suggested he thought his time had past, but was thrilled to finally end his wait for another Giro success.

He told reporters, as quoted by cyclingnews.com: "Today was one of those days that suits me. It looks a little bit like the Barcelona stage in Volta a Catalunya, always up and down.

"It's hard to recover. It's also hard to close the gap. But 10 years after the Stelvio stage, I finally won a stage in the Giro again.

"If you would have asked me two weeks ago, if I was able to win a stage in the Giro I would have said no because I was in such bad shape. But now the good legs are coming."

Juan Pedro Lopez had a bit of work to do to maintain his 38-second lead in the general classification standings, but he fended off an attack from Lennard Kamna, who stays second ahead of Rein Taaramae.

Guillaume Martin was the big mover, leaping up 24 places into fourth as he finished three minutes ahead of the peloton.

SLOW DOWN!

Spectators are a huge part of any Grand Tour, and while sometimes they can get too close, the support is always appreciated, and one fan took to the side of the road with an amusing request.

With stage eight being a 153km circuit around Naples, there were four ascents of the Lago Lucrino, and it appears this particular spectator holds – or, held – the record pace up the climb on Strava, a website that amateurs and professionals alike use to track their rides.

"Slow down, don't take my KOM pls", read his sign. It is doubtful the pros met that request.

STAGE RESULT

1. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) 3:32:53
2. Davide Gabburo (Bardiani CSF Faizane) same time
3. Jorge Arcas (Movistar) same time
4. Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto-Soudal) +0:04
5. Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) +0:15

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 32:15:31
2. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:38
3. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +0:58

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 147
2. Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 120
3. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) 78

King of the Mountains

1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 68
2. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) 43
3. Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious) 27

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