Giro d’Italia – Stage 9 | Three things that stood out: Bora trumps stand out in series – fall as a reminder

An open-minded exchange of blows was expected on the 9th Giro stage, and the stars owed nothing to the final climb.

In the almost 14 kilometers with an 8.4% increase up to today’s goal, the favorites dueled in the final – if they had not fallen behind earlier. The unexpected weakness of some top riders was just one of the surprises of the endurance test in Abruzzo.

The battle for the pink jersey also ended differently than many experts had expected.

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Three things that stood out on the Giro mountain tape for the Blockhaus:

1.) Bora trumpets celebrate mountain triumphs

Two mountain tops, two impressive victories: The Giro could hardly have gone better for Team Bora. First, Lennard Kennan defeated Etna, now Jai Hindley followed suit. For a long time, such triumphs were in short supply for German fans, who in recent years were often more accustomed to sprinting victories, successes in time trials or breakaway coups on less steep terrain.
The increased focus on riders who are strong climbers and an offensive riding style in the German racing team is paying off, and Aleksander Vlasov and Sergio Higuita have also secured further victories this season with a big height difference. That there is only one sprint success on the list of victories this season (Sam Bennett from Eschborn-Frankfurt) is atypical compared to previous years, but more exciting for many fans.

At the Giro, there is still no end in sight to the storm of the summits, for difficult stages await in series in the last third of the tour, and in the opinion of the team management, everything is still open in the battle for the podium and the overall victory – Hindley and Emanuel Buchmann is still in the leading promising position of waiting in the top ten.

On the last groove: Hindley wins a tough mountain sprint

The only setback on the 9th stage – Wilco Keldermans slipped in the overall standings after a defect at the wrong time – opens up even new possibilities for at least more stage victories in the mountains. “There will still be breakaway groups,” Rolf Aldag told his protégé im Eurosport Velo Club Against. After all, the Dutchman is in good shape, as his performances on Etna, in the time trial in Budapest and on the opening scene in Hungary have shown.

“In cycling, one should never give up before the end. And I think that should be the motivation for everyone from now on,” said sports director Enrico Gasparotto to his riders on their way to the day of rest.

“He benefited from it”: Everyday analyzes Hindley’s victory

2.) Favorite field with climbers and failures

Fans and route planners can be happy: the match in the overall standings is completely open even after two mountain tops and a time trial. Twelve riders are still within less than ninety seconds after nearly 38 hours of racing on the first nine stages.

For top favorite Richard Carapaz and his Ineos team, however, the last ascent to the blockhouse was a bit of a disillusionment: the helpers invested all their efforts, and the Olympic champion himself pushed almost five kilometers from goal – but with Mikel Landa and Romain Bardet, two rivals on the mountain was able to beat him defiantly. The repetition of the overall victory from 2019 will of course not be a sure success.

For Simon Yates, on the other hand, the surprising winner of the time trial a week ago, all dreams of a podium were shattered because he was more than ten minutes behind, and Kelderman (see above) also had to say goodbye to the group of podium candidates. Finally, Giulio Ciccone also suffered a low blow in his home game at Blockhaus, the crowd favorite from Abruzzo lost 9:26 minutes and all opportunities for the podium in Verona.

His Trek teammate Juan Pedro Lopez, however, continued to impress: The Spaniard defended his pink jersey with all his might, including throwing a bottle in frustration after touching a rival’s bike on the final climb and stopping briefly. It was impressive that the 24-year-old defended maglia rosa despite this time-consuming incident. His team-internal leadership is now undisputed, and neither Ciccone nor Mollema still has the prospect of a top spot. If the 13th in the last Vuelta continues to drive so bravely, a single-digit result in the overall rankings may be possible.

In addition to the young, the old men in Blockhaus attracted attention: Domenico Pozzovivo (39), sixth for the day, moved up to eighth place (+0: 54), and in this form of climbing he achieved his best Giro result, so far ( 5.) goal again, Alejandro Valverde (42) sniffs to the top ten again and Vincenzo Nibali (37) proved stronger than at Etna and climbed back to the top 15 as eighth on the stage.

“It remains exciting”: The Giro favorites under the magnifying glass

3.) Fall shock as a reminder

Aside from all the sporting drama, the 9th stage could have been overshadowed by a serious fall. When Natnael Tesfatsion, the leader in the descent from Passo Lanciano, continued straight into a curve after a driving error, he got his breath short.

When the professional from Eritrea a little later climbed up the track again and on top of that was able to continue the race and finish the stage, things quickly started up again as usual.

But even though pictures of minor crashes on mountain stages have always marked the history of cycling (Wim van Est, Johan Bruyneel, Jan Ullrich, John-Lee Augustyn …) – some accidents do not have a happy ending. It should never be forgotten, especially at the Giro d’Italia, where starting number 108 in memory of Wouter Weylandt has not been awarded since his fatal crash in 2011.

Fall shock at the Giro: leader flies off in the descent

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