SALTARA, Italy — Alex Dowsett won the individual time trial in the eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday after favorite Bradley Wiggins was slowed by a puncture.
Vincenzo Nibali, Wiggins’ main rival for the title, took the overall lead from Benat Intxausti.
Dowsett won his first Grand Tour stage by finishing the hilly 34.05-mile route from Gabicce Mare to Saltara in 1 hour, 16 minutes, 27 seconds, beating fellow Briton Wiggins by 10 seconds. Tanel Kangert of Estonia was third.
Nibali is nearly a half-minute in front of second-place Cadel Evans of Australia. Wiggins moved up to fourth in the overall standings, 1:16 behind the Italian.
Wiggins lost more than a minute to the other contenders Friday after crashing. The Team Sky rider appeared cautious when descending corners and had to change bikes early on due to a flat tire, losing precious seconds.
The Tour de France champion won gold in the in the time trial at the London Olympics, and his impressive climb up the steep ramp Saturday to the finish line reduced his deficit from just under a minute to only 10 seconds.
Nibali enjoyed a promising start but slowed on the second half of the course.
Dowsett was 39th to start and faced a long and anxious wait to see if he could keep hold of top spot.
Sunday’s ninth stage is a hilly 106-mile ride from San Sepolcro to Florence. The Giro’s first rest day is Monday.
The race ends May 26 in Brescia.