Roglic pulls ahead, Yates falters: Giro d’Italia, stage 9

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SAN MARINO, Italy (AFP) – Slovenian ace Primoz Roglic set a serious marker on the Giro d’Italia on Sunday, not only winning the stage nine individual time-trial, but damaging several key title rivals in the process.

The Team Jumbo-Visma rider, who also won the opening day’s time-trial, finished the 34.8km rain-sodden run to San Marino in 51mins 52sec, a full 1min 05sec faster than Italy’s two-time Giro winner Vincenzo Nibali, and a devastating 3min 11sec faster than Britain’s Simon Yates, who appeared to struggle on the final climb.

“It’s a perfect performance in my mind,” Roglic said. “I did a good job. I took it easy at the beginning and I gave it all at the end. It’s nice to take some time over the other GC favorites but the Giro is far from over.”

Rain and hail pounded down for much of the day, and led to crashes and missed turns from multiple riders.

Victor Campanaerts, the current hour record holder and European champion, finished in second place, 11 seconds behind. He likely lost the time trial thanks to a botched bike change at the base of the final climb. He jumped on a road bike, but it was in the wrong gear and he struggled to get moving.

The win leaves Roglic in second place in the overall standings behind overnight leader Valerio Conti of Italy, who had promised to fight and keep hold of the pink jersey. But above all, it puts Roglic, who won the Tour of Romandie, the UAE Tour and the Tirreno Adriatico, firmly in the driving seat for a first-ever victory in a three-week tour.

The Slovenian takes a 1min 44sec advantage over Nibali into the mountainous section of the Giro, where Nibali’s cutthroat tactics saw him claim overall wins in 2013 and 2016.

Giro stage 9 results:

1 – Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo – Visma) – 34.8 km in 51’52”, average speed 40.257km/h
2 – Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal) at 11″
3 – Bauke Mollema (Trek – Segafredo) at 1’00”

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