"The teammates wanted to go for the stage win" - Tadej Pogacar thanks UAE Team Emirates brethren as he continues Giro d'Italia suffocation

For the third time in the opening eight days, Tadej Pogacar has taken victory on a stage of the 2024 Giro d'Italia. Rather than with a blistering attack this time though, the Maglia Rosa opted to ride within himself, suffocating any attacks and then win from a reduced bunch sprint.

"I was not expecting it at all today but as a team we rode super well from the beginning and we come with a good timegap to the last climb and then the team did good to the finish and Rafal Majka did a super leadout. It's great to win again here at Prati di Tivo," the UAE Team Emirates leader reflected in his post-stage interview.

Whilst many expected stage 8 to be a day for the breakaway, UAE Team Emirates had other plans. "The teammates wanted to go for the stage win as soon as we survived the first long categorised climb," Pogacar explains. "Mikkel Bjerg came back to the bunch and he was all-in for chasing the group in front and he and Vegard Stake Laengen did a super good job. At the bottom of the climb, when I saw that our guys are still good, I was confident we could win today."

As mentioned, Pogacar opted against a brutal attack on the final climb however, instead choosing to win from a sprint. "Daniel Martinez has already shown this year some super good finishes so I was obviously thinking about him as my main opponent but I knew there was going to be attacks like Antonio Tiberi tried a few times," Pogacar says. "I had things under control and Rafal helped me so much in the last couple of kilometres so it was so good."

"I hope it's a relaxing day tomorrow but the last 50km is bit tricky and can be dangerous so there's going to still be some nerves and we'll need to be focused," he concludes.

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