Stage 8, 207km from Terni to Fossombrone, a superb solo effort in the final 50km, saw Ireland’s Ben Healy take stage victory – this is Healy’s first Grand Tour and at 22, another sign of the very real talent that he is. The general classification battle also got going on the day's final climb. The testing I Cappuccin climb, saw one of the pre-race favourites Primoz Roglic launching a solo attack. He was quickly joined by others, including Geraint Thomas and Tao Geohegan Hart. Most notably not the other pre-race favourite Remco Evenepoel, who by the finish had lost 14 seconds of his lead to his GC rivals. The commentary was full of observations about how Evenepoel had shown a weakness that the others were going to exploit. Evenepoel crashed twice on stage 5 and is undoubtedly still feeling that impact. The commentary didn’t major on this aspect, in fact it barely got a mention. Even though Evenepoel still suffers from hitting the ground twice just three days ago, the world has moved on. Sunday will see the second Individual Time Trial. No doubt we will see further changes in the GC standings. Andreas Leknessund, with just an 8-second advantage, will no doubt be forced to give up the overall race lead. To whom is hard to say.
What’s the lesson? People move on quickly. The pace of modern life means people move on quickly from your successes and or challenges. It can be hard to accept that no one really is paying that much attention to your circumstances unless it suits their objectives e.g. in this case, the commentary team focusing more on chinks in Evenepoel’s armour to breathe excitement into the race. Whilst it might be justified to say the circumstances I’m in are less than ideal, chances are that won’t be listened to or skipped over. Accepting that can be empowering.
General Classification after 8 stages
1. Andreas LEKNESSUND 33:52:10
2. Remco EVENEPOEL + 0:08
3. Primoz ROGLIC + 0:38
4. Joao ALMEIDA + 0:40
5. Geraint THOMAS + 0:52
6. Tao GEOGHEGAN HART + 0:56