Thomas De Gendt earned victory on stage eight at the Giro d'Italia ©Getty Images

Belgium’s Thomas De Gendt triumphed from a breakaway on the eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia in Naples.

De Gendt featured as part of a 21-rider move instigated by Dutch star Mathieu van der Poel on the 153km route in the city in southern Italy.

The Belgian veteran attacked from a breakaway with nearly 40 kilometres remaining, which reduced the group to four.

Fellow Belgian and Lotto-Soudal team-mate Harm Vanhoucke, Italy’s Davide Gaburro and Spain’s Jorge Arcas were also part of the move, which stayed together until the hilly finish.

De Gendt won the sprint to the line to take the stage win in 3hrs 32min 52sec.

The 35-year-old was able to celebrate his first Giro d’Italia stage victory since 2012.

De Gendt has also won two stages at the Tour de France and one at the Vuelta a España.

Gaburro and Arcas completed the top three on the same time, with Vanhoucke ending fourth at four seconds down.

Spain’s Juan Pedro Lopez remains in the race lead ©Getty Images
Spain’s Juan Pedro Lopez remains in the race lead ©Getty Images

"I won races in previous years but I've felt it's become harder and harder to be in the good breakaway," said De Gendt.

"There are always good riders up there.

"Today, again, it was the case with Mathieu van der Poel and Biniam Grmay.

"We also knew that everyone would look at them; normally everyone looks at me, we took advantage of that.

"I’ve had bad luck and bad shape in the last two years, today I proved that I’m still able to win races.

"It was a really nice circuit today - something like a championship but I can only talk about the Belgian Championship because I’ve never won the Europeans or the Worlds.

"I think it’s nice to do it in a Grand Tour, it felt like a classic today."

Guillaume Martin was the big winner in the general classification, having formed part of the breakaway group.

He rose to fourth in the standings from 14th, after being part of a group that finished three minutes clear of the peloton.

Spain’s Juan Pedro Lopez continues to lead the race by 38 seconds from Germany’s Lennard Kamna, with Estonia’s Rein Taaramae 20 seconds further back.

Martin is 1:06 behind the leader.

A 191km mountain stage from Isernia to Blockhaus tomorrow is expected to alter the general classification, with a rest day scheduled to follow on Monday (May 16).