Briton Dowsett wins Giro stage eight, Almeida retains overall lead

FILE PHOTO: Cycling - Tour de France - The 27.5-km Stage 13 Individual Time Trial from Pau to Pau - July 19, 2019 - Team Katusha Alpecin rider Alex Dowsett of Britain finishes. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

(Reuters) - Alex Dowsett of Team Israel Start Up Nation took a second career Giro d’Italia win when he soloed to victory in the eighth stage, a 200-km trek from Giovinazzo to Vieste on Saturday.

The six-time individual time trial British champion attacked from a small group of breakaway riders some 17km from the finish and maintained his advantage to beat Italian Salvatore Puccio and another Briton Matthew Holmes.

Portugal’s Joao Almeida retained the overall leader’s Maglia Rosa after a quiet day in the main bunch.

The overall contenders are set to be the main focus on Sunday when the ninth stage takes the peloton over 208km from San Salvo to Roccaraso in the Abruzzo mountains.

Briton Simon Yates of the Mitchelton-Scott team was withdrawn from the race on Saturday after testing positive for the novel coronavirus. [nL4N2H105G]

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris