Dennis Shows Climbing Strength on Brutal Giro d’Italia Stage 913. May 2018, Gran Sasso d'Italia — Road Team
Rohan Dennis showed his hard work in the mountains has paid off with an impressive ride on stage 9 of the Giro d’Italia to finish 1’02” behind stage winner and Maglia Rosa Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT), to sit in eighth place overall before the second rest day.
With three categorized climbs over the 225km stage, including the category one summit finish, on the menu, the peloton was happy to let a breakaway go clear immediately when 14 riders went up the road.
The peloton sat up to an extent and allowed the breakaway to establish a maximum advantage of 8’30” with 50km to go, before a big push from Astana Pro Team saw the gap drop rapidly to 4’30” with 33km, and the main climbs, still to come.
The breakaway started to split 10km later and behind, Dennis was sitting well-positioned in the reduced bunch with Alessandro De Marchi by his side.
Inside the final 5km of the summit to Gran Sasso d’Italia, when the gradients reached 10%, the group of General Classification contenders were chasing solo leader Fausto Masnada (Androni-Sidermec), who had a 40-second advantage.
Dennis battled to stay on the wheel in the main group and started to drop back slightly inside 3km to go but continued to fight to stay within reach, while up ahead Masnada was caught and new attacks came from the Maglia Rosa group.
The steep gradient of the final kilometer made it difficult for any riders to attack from behind but in the closing 300 meters, it was Yates who was able to go clear and take the win to increase his overall lead.
Dennis crossed the line in 21st place, 1’02” behind Yates, to maintain his position in the top ten after three big mountain tests.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I think on paper it is one of the hardest stages I have ever done, but physically I’m in better shape for climbing than I ever have been. It still hurt a lot but I’ve felt worse in stages before.”
“The final climb was hard but only because of the penultimate part of the climb. That is where the pace was higher and was actually a harder climb so it hurt the legs a bit. The final climb was about positioning more than anything with the wind.”
“I’ve gained a lot of confidence over the first period in Italy. It hasn’t been easy but I have seen massive gains and progression in my consistency in the finals.”
Stage 9 Pesco Sannita > Gran Sasso d’Italia (225km)
Top 3: 1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT), 2. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ-Groupama), 3. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-SCOTT).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 21. Rohan Dennis, 49. Alessandro De Marchi, 119. Kilian Frankiny.
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.