12 May 2013

Giro d'Italia Stage 9 San Sepolcro - Firenze

Yesterday the individual time trial stage was hillier than most and had a monster of a climb to the finish. This may well have been why it was those who are climbers didn't suffer so much and some of the time trial specialists didn't make as big an impression as they may have hoped on a 58.4km stage.

Dowsett during yesterday's stage
That being said there was a British winner, but not the one many were talking about, even though he was wearing the national champion's jersey Alex Dowsett was so far down the GC that he had completed the course before the TV coverage kicked in.but as rider after rider came after him his time was looking more and more secure.

His compatriot Bradley Wiggins was starting 23 from the end and therefore instead of the usual 3 minute intervals he was only 1 minute down on the person in front, so he was capturing people on a regular basis during his run. He even disgarded his new Pinarello Bolide bike for his trusted Graal, on which he won Olympic gold. He was well down at the first intermediate time, but at the end he was only 10 seconds down on Dowsett. However, behind him some of the GC contenders had gone through the split faster than Wiggins, but worryingly Vincenzo Nibali who is not a traditional time trialist.

But as each of the main challengers reached the line time was being clawed back by Wiggins. Franco Pellizotti (AND) who had 30 seconds advantage lost over 4 minutes. Michele Scarponi (LAM) with 35 seconds, lost 43 to still be in touch if behind. Samuel Sanchez (EUS) a further 5 seconds ahead was 3 minutes 7 seconds slower than Wiggins.

Robert Gesink of Blanco had been 1'19" ahead of Wiggins, he lost all but one second of that, to take the virtual Maglia Rosa on the line off Wiggins, with just 8 more men to finish. But next up was Cadel Evans (BMC) who had been ahead of Wiggins at the intermediate and is a decent time trialist and climber. He crossed the line only 29 seconds down on Wiggins on the day but enough to remain 47 seconds in front of the man who succeeded him as Tour de France Champion. Ryder Hesjedal (GRS) was third from the end but he lost 2'13" on Wiggins. Vincenzo Nibali (AST) was next up and rode and very impressive time, for him, losing only 11 seconds to Wiggins, but enough to climb into the Maglia Rosa as Movistar's BeƱat Intxausti who was the surprise leader after the carnage on stage 7 was just over 4 minutes slower than his team mate Dowsett who was winning his first Grand Tour stage.

The GC now after the first major shake up looks like this:

1 Nibali 29:46:57
2. Evans +29
3. Gesink +1:15
4. Wiggins +1:16
5. Scarponi +1:24
6. Hesjedal +2:04
7. Sergio Henao (SKY) +2:11
8. Santambrogio (VIN) +2:43
9. Niemiec (LAM) +2:44
10. Uran (SKY) + 2:49

Today's stage is the first in which the riders will not see the sea at any point of their route. It also contains the first first category climb of the tour the Vallombrosa, coming about the middle of the stage immediately at the ascent and descent of the category 2 Passa Dello Consuma. There remains a category 3 and 4 climb on the run into Firenze, but this is the harderst medium mountain stage so far this Giro.

After the shake up yesterday today may be too early for some to try and make time back, tomorrow is a rest day with the first high mountains coming on Tuesday. So expect control of the race not to let anyone who may have slipped a few minutes back to make up too much time, but not too much attacking, especially as there are still 54km from the summit of Vallombrosa to the end of the stage. It is just possible that another break away might prove successful today as the big guys are waiting and planning for Tuesday.

No comments:

Post a Comment