Eddie Dunbar puts in late attack in Giro d’Italia and remains seventh overall

Colombian Einer Rubio takes stage shortened to 74.6 kilometres due to poor weather

Eddie Dunbar passed an important mountain test at the Giro d’Italia on Friday, remaining seventh overall at the summit finish of Crans-Montana and even attacking the other overall contenders inside the final kilometre.

The stage was won by the Colombian Einer Rubio (Movistar), who beat breakaway companions Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Jefferson Alexander Cepeda (EF Education-EasyPost) with a long sprint to the line. Pinot had made repeated attempts to distance the other two in search of victory, but came up short.

Dunbar remained with the group of overall contenders as it was thinned out by the gradient and altitude, then put in a final kilometre surge which distanced those other riders.

However, race leader Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) gradually dragged him back, with Dunbar finishing one place ahead of him in eighth. They were one minute 35 seconds behind Rubio, and six seconds behind the Briton Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost), who improved one place to 11th overall.


The stage was shortened to 74.6 kilometres due to adverse weather conditions. The planned climb of the Salita del Gran San Bernardo was excluded, leaving the Croix de Coeur and Crans-Montana climbs on the course.

Thomas holds the pink jersey heading into Saturday, with Dunbar staying seventh, two minutes and 32 seconds back. While he would have liked to have gained time, he can take satisfaction from a strong performance and has shown that he remains well on course to meet his pre-race goal of a top 10 overall finish.

“It was hard to get a proper gauge of where I am at but my legs were good,” he said after the finish. “But I think the real test is when there is a proper full-on GC [general classification] day. We will see how I cope with that. But yeah, every day as it comes, and hopefully we can keep going the same way we are.”

This Giro d’Italia is only his second Grand Tour, and his first as a designated team leader. The Corkman has ridden admirably despite losing two months of competition earlier this season due to a fractured hand.

The Giro d’Italia continues on Saturday with a 194-kilometre stage to Cassano Magnago. There is a category one climb early on but then over 130 kilometres of downhill or flat roads, making a big group sprint likely.

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling