GIRO’21 Stage 9: All For Egan!

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Giro d’Italia stage 9: At the end of a leg shattering stage 9, INEOS Grenadiers’ Egan Bernal shot from the peloton to pass the split break of the day to take the victory on the gravel of Campo Felice. The Colombian also took charge of the pink jersey with 15 seconds on Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step).

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A storming ride form Egan Bernal

xpedo cxr pedalbanner with Brian McCullough

The ninth stage in the Giro d’Italia was won by Egan Bernal. The INEOS Grenadiers leader was the first to finish on the gravel of Campo Felice after an entertaining mountain stage of 158 kilometres. With a sharp attack he managed to take in the last of the early escapees and ride all the others off his wheel for stage and overall.

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Last day in pink for Atila Valter?

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Giro stage 9 route: This queen stage across the Apennines of Abruzzo takes in several ascents, including 4 categorised climbs. From the start until Celano, the route takes in a succession of long climbs on moderately wide roads, followed by sometimes technical descents. Past Ovindoli (categorised climb), the route enters the Piana delle Rocche and becomes somewhat easier, up to Rocca di Cambio. Here, the course makes for Campo Felice, taking in the closing climb. The final climb is nearly 6km long, and the gradients are not very sharp. After a long, well-lit tunnel stretching from 3 to 2km remaining to the finish, the final 1,600 metres, as well as the home straight, are on unpaved roads, with peaks topping out at 14% over the last 500m.

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Peter Sagan checking La Gazzetta at the start

The opening hour flew by as there was a battle on the first two climbs, only the Passo Godi (15km at 3.8%) was worth any KOM points. Mountain jersey Gino Mäder, Bauke Mollema, Ruben Guerreiro, Quinten Hermans and Koen Bouwman, went on the attack. They escaped just before the top of the Godi, but the big teams didn’t want let that happen. A group with Daniel Felipe Mártinez, Damiano Caruso, Diego Ulissi and Luis Léon Sánchez made the jump to the leading group of 22 men.

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Maglia Rosa – Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ), Maglia Ciclamino – Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix), Maglia Azzurra – Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious) and Maglia Bianca – Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ), worn by Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step)

There was a nasty crash in the leading group on the descent of the Passo Godi, Matej Mohoric went over the handlebars, landing on his head and had to be taken away in an an ambulance. The rest of the leaders avoided the crash, but were at 40 seconds. Due to the chase work by UAE Team Emirates, almost everything came back together. Towards the foot of the next climb, there was again plenty of attacks, but those attempts were also reeled back. A subsequent attempt with sixteen men got a gap at 85 kilometres from the finish.

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A short but hard stage ahead

Tony Gallopin, Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën), Luis Léon Sánchez (Astana-Premier Tech), Giovanni Visconti, Filippo Zana (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Matteo Fabbro (BORA-hansgrohe), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Simon Carr, Ruben Guerreiro (EF Education-Nippo), George Bennett, Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma), Einer Rubio (Movistar), Tanel Kangert (BikeExchange), Michael Storer (DSM), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Diego Ulissi ( UAE Emirates) made up the escape. Eduardo Sepúlveda for Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec managed to cross.

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No time to enjoy the village

Groupama-FDJ controlled the peloton behind for the pink jersey Attila Valter. They let the front group take more than 3 minutes. At the top of the Forca Caruso, it was Bouchard who took the mountain points from Mollema. The leading group held onto the lead and knew what was still to come: the Ovindoli (12.4km at 5.1%), Rocca di Cambio and the final climb to Campo Felice (6km at 6%).

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The battle was on from the start

On the Ovindoli climb, George Bennett attacked from the leading group, but the New Zealand champion could not get away. Then it was Carr and Bouchard who hit the front. The Frenchman took the mountain points on the second category climb and took the virtual mountain’s jersey. A group with Mollema, Bouwman and Storer then went on the counterattack. 10 kilometres from the finish they were 10 seconds from the leading duo. Meanwhile, INEOS Grenadiers and Bahrain Victorious had taken the lead from Groupama-FDJ in the peloton, but they were at 2:30. It looked like the stage win would go to a rider in the break.

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The peloton wasn’t keen on the break taking much time

On the Rocca di Cambio, Bouchard dropped Carr. The aggressive Frenchman went solo and kept Mollema, Bouwman and co. at 20 seconds. In the last 5 kilometres he was on his last legs, but still holding them off. Bouwman had shaken off his fellow escapees and Bouchard’s lead started to decline.

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Dario Cataldo said he wanted to get in the break

The chase group of favourites were getting closer. The group was led by INEOS Grenadiers into the last 5 kilometres. Entering the tunnel, the difference was just under 1 minute. Bouwman had managed to close the gap considerably in the tunnel. Coming to the finish the difference was about 5 seconds between Bouchard and Bouwman.

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A break of 17 eventually managed to escape

After powering up the 1.6 kilometre gravel stretch at the top of Campo Felice, Bouwman managed to connect with Bouchard, while the GC men, led by Gianni Moscon, were at 15 seconds. What followed was a vicious attack from Egan Bernal. The Colombian shot past the escapees 400 metres from the finish and didn’t stop.

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New Zealand champion George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) made it into the break

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Groupama-FDJ tried their best

As Valter and later Evenepoel couldn’t follow, Bernal also took the overall lead. The leader of INEOS Grenadiers also took ten bonus seconds, Giulio Ciccone and Aleksandr Vlasov finished second and third. Remco Evenepoel finished fourth at ten seconds and limited the damage.

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INEOS took over the chase work

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The gravel was no problem for the Colombian

Egan Bernal is the new wearer of the pink leader’s jersey in the Giro d’Italia. His lead over Evenepoel is 15 seconds. Vlasov follows at 21 seconds and Ciccone is fourth at 36 seconds. Monday there is no rest day, but a sprinter stage to Foligno. Tuesday is the first day of rest.

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Egan Bernal in pink by 15 seconds

Stage winner and new Maglia Rosa, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers): “I cannot believe what just happened, I just won my first stage in a grand tour. I made a lot of sacrifices to get where I am now. I was thinking I would do well today but I was not sure whether I could have won the stage. My teammates had a lot of confidence in me, they told me I could do it: this victory is for them, they really believe in me.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 9 Result:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 4:08:23
2. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:07
3. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
4. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:10
5. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation
6. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 0:12
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM
8. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar
9. Daniel Felipe Martínez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers
10. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
11. Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
12. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo
13. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
14. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange
15. Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:31
16. Gianni Moscon (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers
17. Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
18. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 0:35
19. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) BikeExchange
20. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo
21. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
22. Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:38
23. Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) eolo-Kometa at 0:49
24. Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
25. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 9:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 35:19:22
2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:15
3. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:21
4. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:36
5. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ at 0:43
6. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 0:44
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 0:45
8. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation at 0:51
9. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 0:55
10. Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:01
11. Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:12
12. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 1:20
13. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM
14. Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 1:33
15. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:46
16. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 2:12
17. Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 2:15
18. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 2:22
19. Gianni Moscon (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:28
20. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) BikeExchange at 2:30
21. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 3:26
22. Jai Hindley (Aus) DSM at 4:27
23. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 4:55
24. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 6:00
25. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo at 7:18.

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