Australia’s Caleb Ewan secured a second career stage victory on the Giro d’Italia by winning the 239km eighth stage from Tortoreto Lido to Pesaro.

The Lotto-Soudal rider was in place after a tight bend just 200 metres from the line to edge ahead of Italian champion Elia Viviani in a decisive sprint.

Germany’s Pascal Ackermann took third place and therefore leads the points classification, while another Italian, Valerio Conti, retained the overall leader’s pink jersey.

Briton Simon Yates, of Mitchelton-Scott, finished with the same time as the rest of the peloton at five hours 43 minutes and 32 seconds to remain 15th overall, and a total of 5:59 behind Conti, who rides for UAE-Team Emirates.

The 24-year-old Ewan is also targeting a debut at the Tour de France in July.

“Last year was pretty average, so another average year would have been bad,” he said. “This time, for the first part of the season, this win is the icing on the cake. This one means a lot.

“The pressure was building every time I didn’t win a stage here and it’s disappointing when I can’t win a stage after all the work the team has been doing for me. So I’m happy I could get this one and it means a lot to be back at a Grand Tour, too.

“We haven’t made an exact decision (regarding the Tour) just yet but we’ll have to, because even if I wanted to get through the mountains it’s going to be super tough. And with the Tour in mind I don’t want to dig myself into a hole.”

Sunday’s ninth stage, a 34.8km individual time trial from Riccione to San Marino, concludes with a 12.25km climb.