And welcome to our live rolling blog from stage eight at the Giro d’Italia, the 200km run that heads north from Giovinazzo up along the Adriatic coast before concluding in the hill-top town of Vieste.
Today’s stage is one of two halves: the opening 90km stretch is panflat, before the route cuts inland and towards the category two Monte Sant’Angelo where 18, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1 point will be available to the first six riders over the summit in the race for the mountains jersey. The second climb — Guardiola — is significantly easier and so the leading trio over the top will take 3, 2 and 1 points respectively.
Here are the leaders in the four main classifications, those that are awarded jerseys — the maglia rosa (pink), maglia ciclamino (cyclamen), maglia azzurra (blue) and maglia bianca (white).
Today’s stage got under way at 10.33am (BST) and, as it stands, there is a six-man breakaway leading. Our liveblog gets under way at 12.30pm,
By the way, there were five non-starters after Edoardo Affini (Mitchelton-Scott), Sean Bennett (EF Pro Cycling), Tony Gallopin (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Patrick Gamper (Bora-Hansgrohe) all sustained injuries during Friday’s stage. The big news of the day, however, was the departure of Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) who was forced to abandon after testing positive for Covid-19.