British time-trial champion Alex Dowsett claimed stage eight of the Giro D'Italia today as Bradley Wiggins closed the gap on his general classification rivals.

The Olympic champion was expected to claw some time back on the 54.8-kilometre time trial from Gabicce Mare to Saltara following yesterday's fall but could only finish 10 seconds behind Movistar rider Dowsett in second.

Wiggins suffered an early puncture which saw him lose time but the Team Sky man was strong in the second half of his ride and moved up to fourth in the GC, one minute and 16 seconds behind leader Vincenzo Nibali.

Astana's Nibali claimed the pink jersey as he finished the stage 21 seconds behind Dowsett in fourth after a sensational ride and Wiggins will have been disappointed to only gain 11 seconds on one of his major rivals

Nibali's Astana team-mate Tanel Kangert completed the top three on stage eight with Cadel Evans (BMC) making big strides as he finished seventh.

The Australian, who won the Tour de France in 2011, moved up to second in the GC and sits 29 seconds behind Nibali with Blanco's Robert Gesink a further 46 seconds behind in third place, one second ahead of Wiggins.