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Roglič rules Giro d’Italia Stage 9 time trial

Superman Lopez and Simon Yates falter, Mollema now a main contender

The Giro d’Italia GC battle resumed on Sunday with a difficult, wet time trial finishing in San Marino, where stage winner Primož Roglič put time into Vincenzo Nibali, Simon Yates and Angel Lopez. Jumbo-Visma’s Slovenian also won the time trial race opener last Saturday. Valerio Conti (Italy/UAE-Team Emirates) managed to preserve his race lead.

The Course

Sunday was the second of three time trials with climbs. Riders would have to save something for the climb that began after 22 relatively flat kilometres. Then the road kicked up for 5.2 km at 6.5 percent on its way to San Marino. After four more kilometres of undulating road, the final 2.2 km was 7.8 percent. In total, the route was 34.8 km. Rain dogged the race once more.

Early Riders

Victor Campenaerts rolled the course just after Guillaume Boivin and it was clear at the first time check that the world hour record holder was on a great ride. Even with an unscheduled bike change onto a machine in too big of a gear, Campenaerts had the top time with 52:03. Boivin clocked 59:56.

The Heavy Hitters

With Conti ahead of Roglič by 5:24 and eleven riders in between, who would be wearing pink at the end of the soggy day? The sky contributed by tipping down more rain.

Bob Jungels was 1:02 behind Roglič overnight.

Soon Lopez, Nibali, Yates and Roglič were all on the road, with the sun cutting through the clouds in San Marino. At the first intermediate time, Yates was 10-seconds faster than Nibali and 41-seconds quicker than Lopez. Superman then punctured. Roglič was quicker than all of them.

At the second intermediate time, Nibali had improved and was ahead of Yates before the climb. Yates was also 29 seconds in arrears of “Rogla”. Lopez was having a bad day, and was on his way to seeing Bauke Mollema replace him in “the Big Four”.

Up to San Marino

Mollema produced a 52:52 ride and is now 11-seconds behind Nibali and 1:55 back of Rogla. Finally, the pink jersey got underway, with the rain once more pouring down on the climb.

Nibali wasn’t playing; he slotted in behind Mollema with 52:57. Lopez’s wretched ride–and any chance of winning this Grand Tour–came to and end with 55:37. Yates would be disappointed in 55:03.

Primož Roglič nearly caught his 3-minute man Davide Formolo, and 51:52 bumped Campenaerts off the hot seat.

The focus switched to the week’s breakaway riders who filled the GC top-10 overnight. Could one of them snatch the pink jersey from Conti? JJ Rojas was the closest to him after Stage 8, but he took a wrong turn on the way up. Racing in a monsoon, Conti hung tough.

The riders will now have a much-deserved rest day, with the first high mountains awaiting them in Week 2.

2019 Giro d’Italia Stage 9
1) Primož Roglič (Slovenia/Jumbo-Visma) 51:52
2) Victor Campenaerts (Belgium/Lotto-Soudal) +0:11
3) Bauke Mollema (The Netherland/Trek-Segafredo) +1:00
4) Vincenzo Nibali (Italy/Bahrain-Merida) +1:05
144) Guillaume Boivin (Canada/Israel Cycling Academy) +8:04

2019 Giro d’Italia GC
1) Valerio Conti (Italy/UAE-Team Emirates) 36:08:32
2) Primož Roglič (Slovenia/Jumbo-Visma) +1:50
3) Nan Peters (France/AG2R) +2:21
11) Vincenzo Nibali (Italy/Bahrain-Merida) +3:34
12) Bauke Mollema (The Netherland/Trek-Segafredo) +3:45
14) Bob Jungels (Luxembourg/Deceuninck-Quick Step) +4:08
24) Simon Yates (Great Britain/Mitchelton-Scott) +5:36
27) Angel Lopez (Colombia/Astana) +6:19
137) Guillaume Boivin (Canada/Israel Cycling Academy) +1:02:40