Ben Healy won his first-ever stage at a Grand Tour today, Saturday, May 13, after a sensational solo attack on Stage 8 at the Giro d’Italia.
In his first Grand Tour, the former Irish national champion attacked with over 50km to go from the day’s breakaway.
After an 80km fight to establish the breakaway, the 22-year-old managed to make the move that got away with a group of 13 riders that stayed together until the business end of the day approached.
Proving too strong for those in the breakaway, the EF Education-Easypost attacked over the top of the I Cappuccini climb (2.8km at 7.9%) with two categorised climbs still to go.
But Healy set an extraordinary pace on the descent and the following Monte Delle Cesane climb (7.5km at 6.8%) as his lead grew to two minutes on his chasers and almost six minutes from the peloton with just over 15km to go.
Healy took on the I Cappucinni once again with a gap of 2’06” , which tops out with just 5.9km to go until the finish, and powered up the steep ascent and gained ten seconds on his chasers before making the descent to victory.
A triumphant victory awaited Healy at the bottom of the climb as he had the time to sit up and celebrate his solo win, finishing well ahead of the remnants of the breakaway behind.
Healy has been in spectacular form in recent weeks, earning two stage wins at the Coppa I Bartalli before eye-catching performances in the Ardennes Classics such as second at the Amstel Gold Race and fourth in Liege Bastogne Liege.
A former time trial and road race national champion, Healy becomes the sixth Irish rider to win a stage of the Giro d’Italia and the youngest Irish Grand Tour stage winner since Sean Kelly.
Healy has represented the Irish National Team at the Road World Championships at junior and senior level, most recently finishing sixth in the time trial at the 2022 European Championships.