The first rest day at the Giro d'Italia is generally a fairly relaxed affair for the riders but for someone like Vincenzo Nibali, who is the current race leader, the day can include a packed schedule of activities.
Nibali took the race lead after an impressive fourth-place ride in the 54.8km time trial from Gabicce Mare to Saltara and relinquished the former wearer of the maglia rosa Benat Intxausti (Movistar) from leadership duties.
The Astana squad duly protected their leader's position at the top of the standings on a difficult Stage 9 but the end result gave perhaps a small hint of concern. The select group that contained nearly all the overall contenders contained just one Astana rider Tanel Kangert at the end of the 170km stage and with plenty of racing still to come his remaining teammates will need to remain on task and at the head of affairs if they are to keep the Italian from being isolated.
The following gallery is a collection of images of the Astana team and its team leader Nibali from the rest day in Italy. From breakfast time, light training, massage and a press conference, Nibali was no doubt happy when the official activities for the day were finally over.
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