Giro d’Italia Stage 9: GC Showdown on Blockhaus14. May 2017, Blockhaus (ITA) — Road Team
Stage 9 of the Giro d’Italia delivered the second summit finish of the 100th edition of the race, with the General Classification contenders going head to head on the 14km Blockhaus climb.
It was another fight to make the breakaway on the 149km stage and eventually 12 riders went clear, but with many riders on the hunt for the win, the peloton started the chase with 100km to go.
The catch was made with 22km to go and on the approach to Blockhaus, Tejay van Garderen was sitting up the front of the bunch protected by teammates Ben Hermans, Joey Rosskopf and Manuel Senni.
Just prior to the final climb, the rhythm of the General Classification group was disrupted when several riders crashed into a motorbike parked on the course.
Fortunately, van Garderen wasn’t brought down and was able to continue on. The peloton swung onto the final climb and as the selection continued to be made, van Garderen was still there with 9km to go.
As the pace increased at the front of the group, van Garderen lost the wheel and found himself distanced halfway up the climb.
Up ahead, a select group went clear, from which stage winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) launched a solo attack in the last 6km to claim the win and inherit the Maglia Rosa.
Van Garderen was able to settle into a rhythm and was soon joined by Hermans who helped to pace van Garderen to the line, 3’46” behind Quintana.
The peloton enjoys the second rest day on Monday before the first time trial on Tuesday.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Tejay van Garderen:
“Movistar Team just did an insane tempo and I was just trying to hold it thinking things would settle down, but it was just a bit over my limit and I had to back off. Luckily I was able to have Ben Hermans there to help me out to the line.”
“We had Mount Etna, but I’d say this was the first big mountain test of the Giro d’Italia. Sometimes after so many flat stages, it’s always questionable how the legs are going to respond on the first mountain test. I’m definitely going to stay the course and give it all I have in the time trial on Tuesday.”
Maximilian Sciandri, Sports Director:
“It was a hard climb. We actually planned to see it after Tirreno-Adriatico but we didn’t, but I don’t know if it would have been a good thing to see it or not. Hard climb and massive high tempo from Movistar Team. The crash that happened 1.5km before entering the final climb broke the tempo of the race up a little bit. That’s not an excuse for us but some of our guys almost went down and lost a bit of positioning and it took some time to come back.”
“Tejay van Garderen sat on a pretty high tempo the whole way and I think he went into the red a little bit. It took him a bit of time to recover and Ben Hermans eventually picked him up. There’s a bit of damage but we are still not even halfway through the Giro d’Italia. We continue on normal on Tuesday. As Ben and Tejay said, it’s not only about climbing. There’s going to be time trials, descents, corners. Anything can happen in every single km of this Giro. We stay focused and we carry on as normal. Tejay is a good time trialiast and it’s a time trial he knows on Tuesday.”
Stage 9 Montenero di Bisaccia › Blockhaus (149km)
Top 3: 1. Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team), 2. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), 3. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 16. Ben Hermans, 18. Tejay van Garderen, 51. Manuel Senni.
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.