Soudal Quick Step’s Remco Evenepoel recovered from what was a faltering performance in the Giro d’Italia’s longest time trial to snatch away victory in Stage 9 in Cesena by a single second from INEOS Grenadier Geraint Thomas. The Belgian champion against the watch showed some wear and tear for a second consecutive day, and might not be feeling so great about his overall advantage not being larger, especially after coming out fast and putting 30+ seconds into his rivals at the first time check. But he still fulfilled his promise to his mom on Belgian Mother’s Day and got the win, and (as widely expected) the maglia rosa to boot.
Evenepoel did in fact sound disappointed after the stage, but not as disappointed as Thomas, who lies second overall and thought he had taken a stage win as well. Thomas was fastest at the second time check by two seconds, a 13-second reversal from the first one, which boded well. But Evenepoel said he got a bit of recovery from the chicanery in Cesena after struggling in the headwinds. Thomas lies 45 seconds down overall
Maybe the biggest winner on the day, compared to expectations, is Primož Roglič, who surrendered only 17 seconds to Evenepoel and is now third at +0.47. There’s a weird story about Roglič telling Thomas yesterday that he had COVID — in hindsight, either a massive sandbagging or a wry joke? — but in any event, the Slovenian went well on the day and minimized his losses, or saw them minimized by Evenepoel’s intermittent struggles.
Andreas Leknessund lost over a minute and saw his turn in Pink come to an end. Stefan Küng was also a factor today as having set the best time and seemed like he had a chance to get the stage. Then Thomas took three seconds out of him and Evenepoel another to deny him his precious victory. Tao Geoghegan Hart, the former Giro winner and INEOS’ other threat for the overall, was just two seconds back of his teammate, slotting in between him and Küng, and lying a solid 50” back overall. INEOS will have a lot to say over the remaining portion of the Giro.
- EVENEPOEL Remco, Soudal - Quick Step, 41:24
- THOMAS Geraint, INEOS Grenadiers, at 0:01
- GEOGHEGAN HART Tao, INEOS Grenadiers, at 0:02
- KÜNG Stefan, Groupama - FDJ, at 0:04
- ARMIRAIL Bruno, Groupama - FDJ, at 0:08
- ROGLIČ Primož, Jumbo-Visma, at 0:17
- ARENSMAN Thymen, INEOS Grenadiers, at 0:24
- VLASOV Aleksandr, BORA - hansgrohe, at 0:30
- ALMEIDA João, UAE Team Emirates, at 0:35
- CARUSO Damiano, Bahrain - Victorious, at 0:42
- EVENEPOEL Remco, Soudal - Quick Step
- THOMAS Geraint, INEOS Grenadiers, at 0:45
- ROGLIČ Primož, Jumbo-Visma, at 0:47
- GEOGHEGAN HART Tao, INEOS Grenadiers, at 0:50
- ALMEIDA João, UAE Team Emirates, at 1:07
- LEKNESSUND Andreas, Team DSM, s.t.
- VLASOV Aleksandr, BORA - hansgrohe, at 1:48
- CARUSO Damiano, Bahrain - Victorious, at 2:13
- KÄMNA Lennard, BORA - hansgrohe, at 2:37
- SIVAKOV Pavel, INEOS Grenadiers, at 3:00
Savignano sul Rubicone - Cesena 35 km Timetrial
Long timetrial day. This will set the scene for what the contenders will have to do in the mountains to win this thing.
Expected finish time: 17:05 CEST (last rider)
Casting the dice : Remco Evenepoel
Not much of a mystery here. The mystery is all in how much damage he will do this time?