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Preview Giro stage 8: Hills around Naples seem ideal for Van der Poel | NOW

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The eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia resembles a small version of the Amstel Gold Race. Saturday’s stage with start and finish in Naples therefore seems to suit Mathieu van der Poel.

According to the route book, the eighth stage has only one categorized ascent of the fourth category, but it goes up and down all day in the south of Italy.

From the center of Naples, the riders will cover about 50 kilometers to Bacoli. There follows a local circuit of 19 kilometers that the peloton has to complete four times, each time with the ascent of Monte di Procida (2.1 kilometers at 6 percent) and a short climb to Lake Lucrinus (600 meters at 9.4 per cent).

After 129 of a total of 154 kilometers, the peloton heads back to Naples. It also remains undulating in the final, with a hill of 3.3 kilometers at 7 kilometers from the finish with an average rise of 4.7 percent.

A bunch sprint seems very unlikely; top sprinters Arnaud Démare, Caleb Ewan and Mark Cavendish will normally be released in the hills around Naples.


Démare was the fastest twice already

Van der Poel and his team Alpecin-Fenix ​​will bet on a very difficult course. The Dutchman can then finish it in the sprint of a thinned out group or with an attack on one of the climbs.

In Friday’s very tough seventh stage, Van der Poel tried to get into the leading group in the initial phase, but he was unable to do so. In the rest of the ride, he did not insist anymore. He came in more than fifteen minutes from day winner Koen Bouwman.

Biniam Girmay already proved last Friday that he can be a big challenger for Van der Poel on a hilly course. He was then second, just behind the leader of Alpecin-Fenix. Magnus Cort is another fast man who can get over the hills well, while adventurers like Thomas De Gendt will also see a chance at winning.

Official start: 1.40 pm
Expected finish time: around 5.15 pm
Favorites for day success:
⭐⭐⭐ Mathieu van der Poel
⭐⭐ Magnus Cort, Biniam Girmay
⭐ Thomas De Gendt, Diego Ulissi

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Verhoeven: ‘Nice to see Overeem versus Hari first’

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Verhoeven: ‘Nice to see Overeem versus Hari first’

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Pérez is disappointed with team orders in Spain: ‘Thought Max would give back’ | NOW

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Despite his second place in the Spanish Grand Prix, Sergio Pérez was not satisfied with the course of his race. The Mexican was disappointed that he had to leave for Max Verstappen and therefore wants an explanation from his team.

“I think I deserved to win today,” 32-year-old Pérez told Sky Sports† “At the start of the race I gave up my position with the idea that I would get that position back later, but then the strategies suddenly changed. Max’s strategy turned out to be clearly the better one.”

Pérez gave up on lap ten for Verstappen, who had flown into the gravel just before that and fell from second to fourth place as a result. Pérez was stuck behind Russell and wanted to give Verstappen the opportunity to attack the Mercedes driver.

However, Verstappen struggled with problems with his DRS system and was unable to overtake Russell. After the pit stops, Pérez rejoined Verstappen and Russell, but the Mexican did not get his position back from the Dutchman.

In the final phase, Verstappen again ended up behind Pérez. The two-time Grand Prix winner was ordered not to delay Verstappen and indicated over the on-board radio that he thought that was “not fair”. Nevertheless, Pérez stepped aside, after which Verstappen’s victory was no longer in danger.

‘Want to discuss some things with the team’

Although Pérez emphasized that he is happy with the team result, he still hopes to receive an explanation from his team. “There are some things I want to discuss internally with the team so I can understand why certain choices were made,” he continued.

“When I’m driving it’s hard to see the bigger picture. I’m not saying I’ve been a victim of team orders, I just want to understand why the strategies suddenly changed

With his victory, Verstappen took over the World Cup lead from Leclerc. The Red Bull driver has six points more than his competitor from Ferrari (110 to 104 points). The Formula 1 season will continue next week with the Monaco Grand Prix.

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Podcast | Giro Stage 15: Profit warning from Mollema and KOMmetjes yacht from Van der Poel

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Every day, Thijs Zonneveld and Hidde van Warmerdam discuss the stage of the day. Today a tough mountain ride on the way to Cogne. Ciccone, Mollema’s teammate, wins from a large group of refugees that also included many Dutch people.

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