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Race analysis from the Giro d'Italia

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The overall contenders with Cadel Evans (BMC) in pink

The overall contenders with Cadel Evans (BMC) in pink
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Pieter Weening (Orica - GreenEDGE) shows his delight after winning stage 9

Pieter Weening (Orica - GreenEDGE) shows his delight after winning stage 9
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) in the points jersey at the Giro d'Italia

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) in the points jersey at the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Svein Tuft enjoys a brief moment in the pink jersey before the skies opened up

Svein Tuft enjoys a brief moment in the pink jersey before the skies opened up
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) wins stage 7 of the Giro d'Italia

Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) wins stage 7 of the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) wins stage 8

Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) wins stage 8
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michael Matthews wins the stage.

Michael Matthews wins the stage.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Dan Martin on the ground after crashing in the Giro d'Italia TTT in Belfast

Dan Martin on the ground after crashing in the Giro d'Italia TTT in Belfast
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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A bloodied Michele Scarponi (Astana)

A bloodied Michele Scarponi (Astana)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) was a big winner today

Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) was a big winner today
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

This Giro d'Italia has been pure theatre and the story, so far, can be told in three parts.

Part One: The visit to Ireland

Part Two: The return to the Italy

Part Three: who still has nine lives?

And victory number two for Nacer Bouhanni on stage 7. What I'd consider the first normal stage of this year's race as the result was unaffected by the weather, crashes or unforeseen circumstances. Orica-GreenEdge did their race leader duties, controlling the gap to the early break until the sprinters’ teams took over and ensured a bunch sprint. Despite having to surf the wheels when he lost his lead-out men the FDJ sprinter came round Mezgec and Nizzolo with an impressive acceleration.

Although Evans rode defensively, with the Australian taking over the pink jersey, he will be placed under more scrutiny from now on. Of the old guys Basso was surprisingly solid and hiding in the background was one Ryder Hesjedal, who was looking a lot happier than he was in Belfast.

On stage 9 we saw, for the first time, one of the escapees succeeded in getting to the end without being caught and Orica-GreenEdge's Peter Weening compensated for the team losing the race lead by winning the two-man sprint from Europcar's Davide Malacarne.