Giro d'Italia: Pieter Weening wins stage nine in Sestola as Cadel Evans retains race lead
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 20/05/14 5:04pm
Breakaway rider Pieter Weening climbed to victory on stage nine of the Giro d’Italia as Cadel Evans consolidated his overall race lead.
Weening outsprinted Davide Malacarne at the summit finish in Sestola after the duo had formed part of the day’s 14-man breakaway and then forged clear on their own at the foot of the final climb.
The big mover of the day, however, was Domenico Pozzovivo, who crossed the line 42 seconds later in third after attacking out of the peloton with just over 4km to go.
The rest of the main favourites followed another 26 seconds later, which was enough to elevate Pozzovivo from tenth in the general classification to fourth and ensure Evans retained his 57-second lead over second-placed Rigoberto Uran.
Weening said: “The guys were working perfect in the [breakaway] group. It went slightly uphill and on a roundabout I saw everybody taking the wrong side, and I went full speed on the right side, and I thought ‘This is going to be the moment’.”
The 172km ninth stage presented the second of back-to-back summit finishes and, as with the day before, a large group of 14 riders with designs on victory formed a breakaway.
They built up a maximum lead of over eight minutes, but after the gap more than halved over the first two of the day’s three climbs, Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) decided to make a move 18.5km from the finish, and only Malacarne (Europcar) could follow.
The duo took a comfortable advantage into the final 1km and although Malacarne was the first to sprint for the line, he was unable to prevent Weening storming past to claim the second Giro stage win of his career.
Back down the road, the general classification favourites had ridden together for much of the final climb, but Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) instantly distanced his rivals with a stinging attack and kept pushing on to claim a place in the top five overall.
Evans (BMC) said: “The GC guys were controlling each other and people were a bit scared to put it on the line. We have to be satisfied with our work so far. We’ll rest happily tomorrow."
Monday is the Giro's second rest day, with racing resuming with a tenth stage suited to sprinters on Tuesday.
Stage nine result
1 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge, 4:25:51
2 Davide Malacarne (Ita) Europcar, same time
3 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +42
4 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida, +1:08
5 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, st
6 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin, st
7 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC, st
8 Dario Cataldo (Ita) team Sky, st
9 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo, st
10 Fabio Duarte (Col) Colombia, st
1 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC, 38:49:34
2 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +57secs
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo, +1:10
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +1:20
5 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC, +1:31
6 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, +1:39
7 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida, +1:43
8 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin, +1:44
9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, +1:45
10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing, +1:49