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Age before beauty - Tiralongo takes the day

In an ever unpredictable Giro, today was a day for the breakaway as Astana's Paolo Tiralongo took a solo stagewin a few seconds ahead of his breakaway-companions. Behind we once agin saw the quartet of Aru, Contador, Porte and Landa take time on everyone else after an attack by Aru on the final climb of the day. Alberto Contador remains in the leader's Maglia Rosa.


The race saw its now customary hectic start where the need to control any potentially dangerous breakaway riders sent the race into speeds that cracked the field in two (or more). After a prolonged period a suitable break went with a handful of very strong riders. Astana got Tiralongo in the break but he was never to become a player in a tactical maneuver by Aru, instead he was able to go for glory himself. Cannondale's Tom Jelte Slagter had decided early to go solo from a non-cooperating breakaway. On the final climb of the day, Tiralongo also attacked the chase and went after a tiring Slagter who lost over a minute and a half on the climb. Shortly after on the descent the two joined on the front and when the road turned up again the Astana rider wasted no time dispensing of the finished Dutchman. The breakaway companions never managed to close in on Tiralongo who took his third Giro stagewin in a long career and became the oldest Giro-stagewinner ever.

Among the favorites we never saw much of a contest on the tough course. After the initial brutal riding, Tinkoff reassembled at the front and controlled the reduced peloton until the final climb. Aru had ambitions to test the others out and attacked early on the Monte Serra, drawing out Contador, Porte and Landa as the only ones able to follow. Uran was once again resigned  to the chase group losing time. The four had some heated debates but in the end cooperated somewhat to put time into Uran who lost 46 seconds to the trio in the end. With that the first week of the Giro came to a close with the top trio only separated by 22 seconds (the time Porte lost in the TTT) but with many of the pre-race favorites way down in the standings. Monday is a rest day before the race heads north with a day for the sprinters on Tuesday.

TOP 10 Stage 9

1 TIRALONGO Paolo ITA AST 5:50:31 0:00 10"
2 KRUIJSWIJK Steven NED TLJ 5:50:52 0:21 6"
3 GESCHKE Simon GER TGA 5:50:54 0:23 5"
4 MOINARD Amael FRA BMC 5:50:54 0:23 2"
5 HERRADA LOPEZ Jesus ESP MOV 5:50:54 0:23 1"
6 BETANCUR GOMEZ Carlos A. COL ALM 5:50:54 0:23
7 SLAGTER Tom Jelte NED TCG 5:50:54 0:23 3"
8 ELISSONDE Kenny FRA FDJ 5:50:54 0:23
9 HESJEDAL Ryder CAN TCG 5:50:58 0:27 3"
10 ARU Fabio ITA AST 5:51:27 0:56