Sunday, May 12, 2013

2013 Giro d'Italia, Stage 9 Results


Maxim Belkov (Katusha) won Stage 9 from Sansepolcro to Florence through the beautiful Tuscan hills on another rain-affected day of racing. It was a brilliant solo effort: the 28-year-old Russian rider was on the attack for 150 km, first as part of a breakaway, and then alone.

Second and third were two Colombians: Carlos Betancur (AG2R La Mondiale), 44 seconds behind, and Jarlinson Pantano (Colombia), 46 seconds.

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) retained the Maglia Rosa.

After the stage, Belkov and Nibali spoke to the press.

Maxim Belkov (Katusha), Stage Winner:
A planned attack: "Although I’m a time trial specialist, I decided that yesterday’s time trial was very hard. I looked at the road book and I thought a breakaway might get away today, and I thought it would be better to save my legs and try to get into it. I thought that was the best use of my energy."

Never certain of victory: "I knew they were riding very hard behind me, and I was never certain I would win. I simply did the best I could. In the final 2 km, I had so much cramp I could hardly think."

First pro win: "I’ve won 3 team time trials, and this is the first individual win. I made a similar attack in the Tour of Turkey, but I was caught. It was good preparation for this race, and now I have my first individual win, which is very important for me."

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Maglia Rosa:
A difficult day: "The team was always together today. The final part of the stage was probably the most delicate, when your strength, and that of your team-mates, is a bit drained. But Tanel Kangert was always with me, and he was so strong that I had to ask him to hold back a bit in the closing kilometers. We started in the sun and ended in the rain, and at Vallombrosa, the temperature dropped to 10 or 11 degrees. But I’m in good shape and it wasn’t a problem for me."

Wiggins behind the peloton: "We were working hard and riding fast in the downhill sections, but my teammate Gruzdev fell, thankfully without serious consequences. My team car was at the back of the caravan, so I didn’t know Wiggins was behind until Vini Fantini, BMC and Garmin started to pull."

The Giro is long: "Wiggins and Hesjedal have lost time, but they are still among my main rivals, along with Evans and Scarponi. But the Giro is long, we all know that, and you can always have a bad day. Yesterday, Wiggins was very strong, and very close to winning, despite his mechanical problems."

Wiggins had to be paced back to the lead group after he slipped back a minute on the treacherous descent of the first category Vallombrosa climb, he managed not to lose any time to Nibali. Heard on RAI, "Wiggins is embarrassing on wet descents." Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford saw it differently saying, "It was always going to come back. Bradley took it a bit cautiously on that descent and then obviously was confident his teammates would help him regain contact. There was never a problem."

Defending champion Ryder Hesjedal was dropped on the two final climbs of the stage which moved  him from 6th to 11th on GC at 0:03:11 from Nibali. "Riders might seem otherwise but they're not machines", commented Charly Wegelius, Hesjedal's team sports director at Garmin-Sharp. "He's not sick, but it could have been a combination of the rain and the cold today and the efforts of yesterday's time trial all coming together. He really went deep yesterday and this could be the consequences of that."

Lampre-Merida is very happy with their first week: Scarponi is 4th on GC and Niemiec is 8th. "The day after such demanding time trial could be very dangerous but thanks to my teammates I could race without too much effort," commented Scarponi after the stage. "The rain and the hills of the course confirmed that this Giro d'Italia is very difficult and today's victim was Hesjedal. Tomorrow I'll enjoy my rest day, happy to have been very competitive this first week".

Every year, the Giro d’Italia dedicates a stage through Tuscany to Gino Bartali. Today’s stage commemorated this native of Florence. See yesterday's blog post, El Secreto de Bartali (Bartali's Secret).

Today's finishing city, Florence, will host the 2013 UCI World Professional Road Championships in September. Visit for more information.

Tomorrow is the first rest day of the 2013 Giro d’Italia.

Stage 9 highlights:

Top 10 Stage 9:
1 Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha 4:31:31
2 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:00:44
3 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Colombia 0:00:46
4 Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Argos-Shimano 0:00:54
5 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:01:03
6 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team
7 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
8 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
9 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
10 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team

Top 20 GC:
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 34:19:31
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:29
3 Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:01:15
4 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:01:16
5 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:01:24
6 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling 0:02:11
7 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 0:02:43
8 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 0:02:44
9 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:02:49
10 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 0:03:02
11 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp 0:03:11
12 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:03:26
13 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:36
14 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:03:43
15 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:04:05
16 Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:04:09
17 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:04:50
18 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:04:57
19 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:05:03
20 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:05:09

Review of Tuesday's stage will appear tomorrow...

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