Giro d'Italia: Ruben Guerreiro wins stage 9 at Roccaraso

Ruben Guerreiro (EF Pro Cycling) outsprinted Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos Grenadiers) to win stage 9 of the Giro d’Italia on Sunday.

The pair broke clear from the rest of the day's eight-man breakaway on the final two climbs of the day, with Guerreiro getting the better of Castroviejo in the sprint at the line.

"Finally, what a great satisfaction after so many second places! The team and I really deserved this victory. It was very difficult to get into the breakaway this morning and it's extraordinary to win today," Guerreiro said.

Guerreiro's Portuguese compatriot João Almeida successfully defended the pink jersey, as the expected battle among the GC favourites never really materialised.

The peloton stayed together until the final kilometre when Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) managed to gain a few seconds over the other GC candidates.

The time gaps were small, but perhaps revealing of which riders are in better form as we reach the end of the first week. Rafal Majka and Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) were three seconds behind Kelderman and Fuglsang; Pozzovivo six seconds; and Vincenzo Nibali, despite instructing his Trek-Segafredo teammates to set a fast pace over the day's final two climbs, conceded 14 seconds.

Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-McLaren) also lost 14 seconds, meaning he slips to third overall behind Kelderman, while Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) was further back still, losing 21 seconds.

Despite the very difficult parcours, however, the GC race was largely a stalemate, with none of the top candidates willing to make a major attack.

Instead, the breakaway was the main focus of the stage, with Guerreiro proving to be the strongest.

His was EF Pro Cycling's second stage win of this Giro following Jonathan Caicedo's triumph on stage 3, and their sport director Matti Breschel was delighted at the finish.

"It's amazing. I still can't believe what just happened. Ruben Guerreiro rode like a champion today. It was a strong group. He wanted to be in the breakaway, and he was there, and he rode the final perfect. An amazing day for us.

"He's an amazing character, an amazing person. He's a little bit like an artist on the bike, he wants to do a lot of things. But when he's calm he really is a fantastic bike rider. He was close to winning a stage at the Vuelta last year, and this year he's only been progressing. Even during the lockdown, he was very professional, very motivated to do good in this Giro. Finally, he had some success."

How it unfolded

On a cold, drizzly day, it took a little while for the break to get away, but eventually, a seven-man break was formed on the rolling run-in to the first classified climb of the day, the category one Passo Lanciano.

They were: Ruben Guerreiro (EF Pro Cycling), Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos Grenadiers), Eduardo Sepulveda (Movistar) and Ben O'Connor (NTT Pro Cycling), plus Giovanni Visconti (Vini Zabu-Brado-KTM), Kilian Frankiny (Groupama-FDJ) and Larry Warbasse (AG2R La Mondiale), who managed to bridge over a little later.

On the climb, they were joined by an eighth rider, Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates), who put in a huge effort to make up several minutes between himself and the other breakaway riders.

Visconti took the maximum points at the summit ahead of Guerreiro and Castroviejo, and then again on the following category two Passo San Leonardo, meaning he became the new virtual leader of the mountains classification.

With Castroviejo the best-placed man overall in the break on GC at 6:49, the peloton weren't overly concerned with the breakaway and allowed the gap to grow to over seven minutes.

Indeed, the GC riders kept their powder dry until the finishing climb to Roccaraso, on where one of the most important GC showdowns was expected to take place.

Trek-Segafredo were the first team to show intent, upping the pace in the peloton on the penultimate climb, Bosco di Sant'Antonio. That brought the gap down to around 3:30 with 22km to go, but it steadied again once the team allowed Deceuninck-QuickStep to take over, giving the breakaway a realistic shot at competing for the stage win.

Visconti, Sepúlveda and O'Connor were dropped on Bosco di Sant'Antonio, leaving just five in the leading group. At the foot of the final climb, with Team Sunweb having taken control at the front of the peloton, the gap remained at 3:30.

Castroviejo attacked 6.3km from the finish, with only Guerreiro able to follow. The pair managed to build a lead of over half a minute from the other three, ensuring that they would contest for the stage win.

Castroviejo attacked again as the gradient ramped up under the 1km to go banner, but was unable to drop his Portuguese companion. Guerreiro remained glued to Catroviejo's wheel for the rest of the climb, until launching his sprint with 200 metres to go to take the victory.

Back in the peloton, Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-Scott) and Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) were the first to attack, hoping to gain some time and move up from 17th and 19th on GC, respectively.

They managed to stay up the road as the favourites continued to look at each other until Kelderman made his move in the final kilometre.

The gaps between them were limited to only a handful of seconds, meaning the situation at the top of the general classification remains largely the same.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Pro Cycling 5:41:20
2Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:08
3Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:58
4Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:16
5Lawrence Warbasse (USA) AG2R la Mondiale
6Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:01:19
7Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:01:32
8Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:01:38
9Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
10Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb
11Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:41
12Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
13Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:44
14Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
15Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:01:50
16Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:52
17Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren
18Attila Valter (Hun) CCC Team 0:01:55
19Joao Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:01:56
20Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain McLaren
21Tobias Foss (Nor) Team Jumbo-Visma
22Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:01:59
23Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
24Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
25Joe Dombrowski (USA) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:01
26Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) CCC Team 0:02:08
27Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:02:17
28Ben Swift (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:02:25
29Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:27
30Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
31Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:02:38
32Jhonatan Manuel Narvaez Prado (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers 0:02:41
33James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:02:43
34Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:03:06
35Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:03:14
36Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:03:23
37Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:03:29
38Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:50
39Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain McLaren 0:04:00
40Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Movistar Team 0:04:02
41Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:04:32
42Chris Harper (Aus) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:04:58
43Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar Team 0:06:13
44Antonio Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:06:28
45Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis 0:06:52
46Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
47Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:07:03
48Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bahrain McLaren
49Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
50Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
51François Bidard (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
52Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
53Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:07:16
54Nico Denz (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:07:21
55Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:07:22
56Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:08:35
57Louis Meintjes (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling 0:08:50
58Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain McLaren 0:09:21
59Jonas Gregaard Wilsly (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:09:51
60Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Israel Start-Up Nation
61Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana Pro Team
62Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:10:01
63Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb 0:10:53
64Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
65Victor De la Parte (Spa) CCC Team 0:10:55
66Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Pro Cycling 0:11:09
67Cameron Meyer (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:11:15
68Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:12:30
69Rohan Dennis (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:12:36
70Ben O'Connor (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling
71Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:13:38
72Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:15:05
73Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:15:52
74Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal 0:16:09
75Josip Rumac (Cro) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
76Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling
77Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain McLaren
78Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Pro Cycling 0:16:13
79Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
80Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain McLaren
81Kamil Malecki (Pol) CCC Team
82Einer Augusto Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar Team
83Jefferson Alexander Cepeda (Ecu) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:16:20
84Luca Chirico (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:16:32
85Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM 0:16:33
86Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R la Mondiale 0:17:46
87Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM 0:17:51
88Jaakko Hanninen (Fin) AG2R la Mondiale 0:18:46
89Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Pro Cycling
90Danilo Wyss (Swi) NTT Pro Cycling
91Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
92Simone Ravanelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
93Alessandro Bisolti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
94Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 0:18:52
95Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
96Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
97Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
98Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
99Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
100Jos Van Emden (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
101Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
102Matteo Sobrero (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
103Jesper Hansen (Den) Cofidis
104Simon Pellaud (Swi) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
105Kamil Gradek (Pol) CCC Team
106Josef Cerny (Cze) CCC Team
107Jhonatan Restrepo Valencia (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
108Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal
109Joseph Rosskopf (USA) CCC Team
110Amanuel Gebreigzabhier (Eri) NTT Pro Cycling
111Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
112Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
113Eros Capecchi (Ita) Bahrain McLaren
114Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM 0:19:02
115Mathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis
116Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
117Etienne Van Empel (Ned) Vini Zabu' KTM
118Nathan Haas (Aus) Cofidis 0:19:23
119Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:21:03
120Francesco Romano (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:26:46
121Matteo Spreafico (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:26:59
122Mattia Bais (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:27:02
123Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team 0:30:08
124Dario Cataldo (Ita) Movistar Team
125Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Movistar Team
126Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis 0:30:10
127Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:31:29
128James Whelan (Aus) EF Pro Cycling
129Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
130Giovanni Lonardi (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
131Michael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
132Fabio Mazzucco (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
133Lachlan Morton (Aus) EF Pro Cycling 0:31:32
134Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:31:35
135Simone Bevilacqua (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM
136Rick Zabel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
137Marco Mathis (Ger) Cofidis
138Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
139Rodrigo Contreras Pinzon (Col) Astana Pro Team
140Victor Campenaerts (Bel) NTT Pro Cycling
141Alexander Cataford (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation
142Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ
143Matthew Holmes (GBr) Lotto Soudal
144Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (Col) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:31:40
145Marco Frapporti (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM
146Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) UAE Team Emirates 0:31:41
147Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates 0:31:43
148Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
149Jonathan Dibben (GBr) Lotto Soudal
150Iljo Keisse (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep
151Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
152Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:31:47
153Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ
154Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Groupama-FDJ 0:31:49
155Dylan Sunderland (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling 0:33:42
156Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama-FDJ 0:40:18
157Tony Martin (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:40:21
158Matthias Brändle (Aut) Israel Start-Up Nation
159Guy Sagiv (Isr) Israel Start-Up Nation
160Alex Dowsett (GBr) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:40:23
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Intermediate sprint - Guardiagrele - km 75.6
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Pro Cycling 12
2Ben O'Connor (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling 8
3Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers 6
4Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Movistar Team 5
5Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 4
6Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 3
7Chris Harper (Aus) Team Jumbo-Visma 2
8James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-Quickstep 1
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Pos.Rider Name (Country) Team