If you haven’t already, check out the great photos from the first three stages of the Giro here.
When the race resumed in south-east Italy after the first rest day, Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE) was in the leader’s maglia rosa for the second time. The race might have been in a different country to the first three stages, but the weather wasn’t any different. Rain lashed the course on stage 4 with the bunch taking it easy before Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr) took the stage win. Matthews finished safely in the bunch to retain the maglia rosa.
Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) was victorious on the uphill finish to stage 5 while Matthews rode well to stay with the leaders and secure another day in pink.
On stage 6 Michael Matthews not only defended his overall lead, but won the stage as well. A big crash at the bottom of the last climb had decimated the field but Matthews (and compatriot Cadel Evans) were in the front group and were there to contest the finale. Matthews proved too strong in the sprint, taking out a memorable win.
On the flatter roads of stage 7 Nacer Bouhanni got back on the winners’ list while Matthews finished fourth to secure a record sixth day in pink on stage 8.
Stage 8 would prove to Matthews’ last hurrah with the Australian dropped on one of the day’s tougher climbs. But the news wasn’t all bad for Australian fans — Cadel Evans (BMC) finished fifth on the first mountain stage of the race (behind dual stage winner Diego Ulissi) and took the overall lead.
And on stage 9, Cadel Evans’ first day in pink, the day’s breakaway survived (albeit with only two of its initial 14) with Pieter Weening taking yet another victory for Orica-GreenEDGE.
And so, with the race set to resume tomorrow in the north-west of Italy, Cadel Evans leads the general classification by 57 seconds over Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and 1:10 over third-placed Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo). Evans’ other GC rivals include Domenico Pozzovivo (fourth at 1:20) and Nairo Quintana (ninth at 1:45).
Until then, we hope you enjoy the following images from stages 4 to 9.