Giro d'Italia stage 9 - Live coverage
All the race action as Giro d'Italia climbs the gravel of Campo Felice
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Giro d'Italia 2021 start list
Preview: Giro d’Italia enters uncharted terrain on the gravel of Campo Felice
Giro d'Italia: Victor Lafay wins stage 8 from the break
Carthy ready for Sunday’s GC battle in Giro d’Italia
Schultz stepping up to play key role for Simon Yates at Giro d’Italia
Good morning and welcome to our live race coverage from stage 9 of the Giro d'Italia.
The official roll out will take place in about 15 minutes from now but riders have already gathered on the start line in Castel di Sangro for the 158km stage to Campo Felice. We have six climbs in total, not all of them categorised, and of course the gravel climb to the ski station at the end. It's going to be a relatively short but brutal stage for the riders left in the race. We'll have complete text coverage throughout the day.
Here's a reminder of how the race stands on GC heading into today's action.
For our full preview ahead of today's stage, click here.
Not a many of many words during his post-stage interviews but Hugh Carthy has given his take on stage 8 and how he's feeling ahead of today's all-important outing. He sits neatly in the top-ten and is hunting his second straight Grand Tour podium. Here's Hugh.
Yesterday it took a long, long time for the break to form but today should be more straight forward affair. We go uphill almost directly after the start and it's perfect for attacks. Thomas De Gendt - free from looking after Caleb Ewan - looks like a good pick to at least try and make a move.
Another rider to watch is George Bennett. He's lost almost nine minutes on GC so far but he didn't sit up yesterday, which was a bit of an indication that he still has slim hopes of a top-ten. He might try and get in the early move today but I'm not sure that the peloton will let him go. He's such a quality rider allowing him to pull back time in a break would be an error.
Will Guerreiro, a stage winner from last year, be allowed up the road or will EF want him to hang back and support Carthy? We'll find out soon because everyone is on the start line now and we're about to roll out. The sun is out and Valter leads us out for stage 9 of the Giro d'Italia.
Evenepoel, in white by default today, is riding at the front for now and this is a huge day for the young Belgian. We'll see if he's a real contender for the GC or not with the six climbs to come. He's looked impressive so far but this is unknown territory given that he's never raced over 8 days and this is still his first race in 8 months.
Puccio is on the front for now but the flag hasn't dropped yet. He'll be working later in the stage, that's for sure as the riders take on more than 3,000m of climbing. No sign of De Gendt for now.
De Gendt is at the front. Just saying...
To be fair half of Lotto are but it's Intermarche who blink first and fire a rider up the road.
Lotto Soudal have marked the move but there are several riders trying to bridge over to the leaders.
Mohoric is one of the riders chasing but the bunch aren't willing to sit up just yet. This is going to come back together. 155km to go.
The original two leaders are still pressing on actually. They're Harm Vanhoucke and Quinten Hermans. They finally have company but the bunch are at just 4 seconds.
We've got about 15 riders off the front but again the gap is less than five seconds. And it's all back together... for now.
Androni and Astana are the next teams to kick things off. Pellaud is there, of course, but again the chase is on and it's going to regroup.
BikeExchange chased that one down.
Samuele Battistella a former U23 world champion on the road has kept his effort going but he's alone and now on the radio, presumably asking what to do next.
The road is climbing as we take on an uncategorised ascent but it's relatively gentle in terms of gradient for now.
149km to go and Bouchard is the next rider to try his luck and there's a group, lead by EF, that's chasing.
That counter attack has been caught but Bouchard is still trying to press on.
About a dozen riders are off the front now, Bouchard included, but the bunch are immediately on their case. Cataldo goes next.
146km to go
Yesterday's winner Lafay has joined Cataldo on the attack but they're both looking back. There's a group of around 10 though that formed a counter attack and this could be our break. 146k to go.
That counter attack has swelled to about 15 or so riders but more and more are attacking from the bunch.
Gino Mader has made it three leaders alongside Cataldo and Lafay, but the peloton are right on their heels.
Those three leader have returned to the peloton on the descent of that first uncategorised climb and with 140km to go the bunch is all back together again. Mader has tried to go again but no luck.
BikeExchange are now firing riders up the road, which is a different tactic to some of the other GC teams, and there are a few splits. 138km to go.
We're about to take on the second cat climb of the Passo Godi (14km at 4.1 per cent). Surely that's where the break will form.
Valter has put a rider on the front for the first time today and the race is all back together. We it was until Intermarche attacked. 136km to go.
135km to go and we're onto the climb and three riders are leading: Matteo Jorgenson, Jonathan Caicedo and Quinten Hermans.
A wave of attackers join those three leaders. About 20 riders are off the front.
Ruben Guerreiro is leading a group that's probably about 25 strong. Roche is there, Mader and Mollema too.
The large group have about 15 seconds but there's no sign whatsoever of the bunch easing up at this point. It's still full throttle with 133km to go.
Copy and paste: It's all back together.
Ruben Guerreiro goes again with 132km to go but he's easily followed this time as the peloton lines out.
Bouchard has attacked once more and this time he has a gap. It all depends on who wants to join him.
Cataldo is leading a chase and we're about to have two riders at the front of the race. 130km to go.
So Bouchard, Cataldo and Fabbro now lead but there are several riders trying to make it across.
The three leaders have 19 seconds on the peloton with 128km to go as we continue to climb. More riders are trying to get across but there's a lack of cooperation.
I think we have a break. Well two groups that might merge.
Ruben Guerreiro, Mader and about 10 riders are up the road but it's still Fabbro, Bouchard and Cataldo who lead. These two groups should merge but there are still riders attacking from the peloton. It's chaos to be fair. 126km to go.
Store, Mader, Warbasse, Hirt, Mollema are in that second group, along with a few others.
125km to go
Ineos and Bahrain are trying to block the road, so that should be it. We just need to see the riders on the attack merge into one group. 125km to go.
Right, the Mader and and Cataldo groups have formed and they have 25 seconds. We'll have the full list of riders shortly. Mollema is there. Behind them we have five riders BUT UAE have missed the move so they've started to chase. The gap is at 28 seconds.
Well this is getting intense because Caruso and Martinez have attacked. That's a real threat. They're both very close to the maglia rosa.
120km to go
Over the top of the climb and BikeExchange are chasing but this is a really pivotal moment because Bahrain have three riders up the road. Martinez is there for Ineos too and those earlier groups have merged. The gap is at 32 seconds.
Remco has men up the road so his team won't chase but the gap is at 29 seconds. BikeExchange will need help as we see Mohoric lead the break on the descent.
Crash. Massive crash and a man down for Bahrain. 117km to go.
Mohoric is down and his front wheel is off. That was a dreadful crash and he's landed on his neck. His forks have snapped.
He's on his feet and walking around. Someone gives him a new bike but he needs to be looked over my the medical team.
He's sitting down.
He needs help. What a tragic incident because Bahrain had blown this race to pieces.
He landed on his head and I'm shocked he was up so fast. Our last sighting saw him sit down again and his race looks over.
The gap is at 19 seconds and it's still Yates's team on the front and chasing with 112km to go.
The Giro report that the front contains: Warbasse, Battistella, Mäder, Zana, Edet Carr, Guerreiro, Hirt, Bouwman, Villella, Störer, Mollema, Bouchard, Caruso, Fabbro, Cataldo. There are others.
We can confirm that Mohoric has left the race in an ambulance. He's awake, which is a huge relief. In the peloton, BikeExchange have stopped chasing and the gap is at 32 seconds. 108km to go.
Groupama have moved up to the front of the peloton and started to set the pace but UAE still aren't happy having missed the break.
Caruso started the day just 39 seconds off the lead so he's very close to becoming the maglia rosa on the road. 106km to go.
Bouchard has now gone clear from the break but that won't stick.
He's not happy with Martinez or Caruso in the break because he knows that the GC teams will not allow the gap to go out. The peloton are still at 30 seconds due to the fact that UAE are chasing.
UAE are bringing it all back together. 102km to go but the next climb is fast approach.
LL Sanchez has attacked from the break but Martinez and Caruso have been caught.
97km to go
Mollema is leading another chase but it's still Bouchard who leads the race by 11 seconds with 97km to go.
92km to go
Well inside the final 100km and we have a group of around 10 riders off the front. Carr is there, as is Sanchez but the gap isn't any more than 20 seconds.
This stage has been relentless but we're about to climb for another 11km on an uncategorized climb. Ulissi has attacked from the bunch but he's being chased.
Bilbao pushes on from the bunch for Bahrain and that has strung the peloton out as a few drops of rain start to fall. Mollema, Molano, Kangert and about 12 lead with Bilbao leading a counter attack. Today has been brutal.
Ruben Guerreiro has attacked from the peloton. I really feel for the riders having drop back to the cars today for fresh bottles and then need to chase for 15km.
88km to go
88km to go and Simon Carr has attacked but a group containing Mollema and Sanchez are about to catch him.
Seven riders are in the Carr/Sanchez/Mollema group but a few more riders are trying to make it across.
FDJ and Valter want to slow things down at the front of the peloton so with 86km to go we finally have a break. What moron said earlier today that the break would form on the first climb? (me).
Bennett, Storer, Kangert are in the chase group along with three other riders.
The Bennett and Carr groups have merged, so about a dozen riders are in the break right now. 85km to go.
Groupama are leading the peloton and take up the pace setting duties with 85km to go. We'll have a full list of riders in the break very soon.
Pellaud has attacked from the peloton but the break have 1'13 with 83km to go.
82km to go
Are leaders are: Tony Gallopin, Geoffrey Bouchard, Luís León Sánchez, Filippo Zana, Matteo Fabbro, Nicolas Edet, Simon Carr, Ruben Guerreiro, George Bennett, Kevin Bouwman, Tanel Kangert, Michael Störer, Bauke Mollema and Diego Ulissi.
The leaders have 1'34 with 82km to go.
The rain is light once more but there are a few riders already missing turns in the break.
Visconti has made it into the break as they continue to climb this second uncategorized climb.
Sepulveda is chasing for Androni, in between the break and the peloton. The gap between the leaders and the main field is at 1'50. Kangert is the best placed rider in the break at 5'37.
Einer Rubio has also made it into the break but the gap is holding at just under two minutes.
A reminder that our break consists of: Tony Gallopin, Geoffrey Bouchard, Luís León Sánchez, Filippo Zana, Matteo Fabbro, Nicolas Edet, Simon Carr, Ruben Guerreiro, George Bennett, Kevin Bouwman, Tanel Kangert, Michael Störer, Bauke Mollema, Diego Ulissi, Einer Rubio and Giovanni Visconti.
They have 2'21 with 67km to go.
We are closing in on the next climb of the category 3 Forca Caruso (12.7km at 4.3 per cent) and Groupama continue to set the pace at the front of the peloton for the maglia rosa, Attila Valter.
Just behind Valter we have the entire Ineos team - minus Sivakov - and then QuickStep and EF. The gap to the break is out to 2'46.
The break are gaining time but it's hard, at this point at least, to see the winner coming from the leaders. They probably need around 6 minutes before the final 30km of the stage but there's still a lot of climbing to come and there are already a lot of tired legs out there. 3'00 now.
Eduardo Sepúlveda did make it into the break in the end too.
A development on Mohoric's crash:
Daniele Zaccaria (Bahrain Victorious doctor) to Rai:
“Matej was brought to the nearest hospital to undergo further assessment. We’re certainly talking about a concussion, but I can reassure you by saying that he was always conscious. He spoke with the mechanic and directeur sportifs after the crash. They told me he asked them to call his girlfriend, so he could remember her phone number, which made me a bit calmer about the situation. The impact was significant, so he will undergo x-rays too to make sure he hasn’t fractured any bones.”
We all hope that he makes a swift recovery. Here's our story from earlier today.
3'10 so the gap is going out but very, very slow as Groupama keep a lid on things for now. There's still a huge amount of climbing still to come.
It's not just about the road today. Here's our first report from the world of MTB.
Lecomte wins women's UCI MTB World Cup XCO in Nove Mesto
Tony Gallopin is one of three riders in the race hunting for a stage win to complete his set in all three Grand Tours. Dan Martin is another but I can't remember the third.
And it's AG2R who have lifted the pace in the group as they hunt down some KOM points. Looks like Bouchard was first over the top, followed by Mollema.
EF have started to set the pace for the bunch now as we see Carthy scoff down a sandwich. Valter looks pretty calm at the moment but he's facing a huge test later on today with both Evenepoel and Bernal breathing down in his neck on GC.
Those points at the KOM mean that Bouchard is just 11 points behind Mader. Over the top of the climb and it looks like Mollema and Visconti have pressed on.
52km to go
Meanwhile Tony Gallopin has been forced to stop for a mechanical as Visconti and Mollema sit up and wait for the others.
52km to go and the gap is at 3'05.
49km to go
It's been a long chase for Tony Gallopin but he's back in the cars and should be fine. Groupama, meanwhile, are back on the front of the peloton and setting the pace with the gap at 2'52 with 49km to go.
On this long, flat section it's a chance for the break to drop back to the cars and pick up much needed supplies. The gap is holding at 3'00 with 42km to go.
A pivotal role for Kangert today and a good move from BikeExchange after they missed the early moves. He's well placed on GC so other teams need to chase, but he can also help Simon Yates if/when the catch is made on the final climb.
The bunch has eased ever so slightly and Mollema and company use that as a chance to extend their lead to 3'29.
Yes, this is the finish of today's stage at the @giroditalia 🤩📸 @cyclingmedia_ag pic.twitter.com/WznwWHdH5kMay 16, 2021
The skies are getting darker and darker as we dip further into the final 40km of the stage as we head towards the next major obstacle - the climb to Ovindoli.
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The gap has dropped down to 3'04 with 34km to go as the leaders start to climb.
This the penultimate climb and Bennett takes a nice long pull on the front before pulling to one side and letting his teammate take over. There are a few hangers-on at this point in the break. 35km to go and EF, Astana and Alpecin set the pace for the main field.
Mollema and Sanchez know the score and they know that three minutes at this point isn't going to be enough. They both move up and take longer pulls than before but Ineos are starting to move up and they've hit the front with 32km to go. Here's what Bradley Wiggins had to say about Ineos and Bernal this morning.
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Puccio is on the front and this has strung the punch out and several riders have been dropped right away. The gap is down to 2'30 with 31km to go.
31km to go and Ulissi has attacked. Kangert and Bennett have gone after him.
The UAE rider has been brought back by a group of four.
Several more attacks from the 16-rider break but the gap continues to drop. It's at 2'13 with 30km to go.
The leaders are down to just five, now six riders with 28km to go but Ineos are hunting them down on this second to last climb. The pace is really high as Puccio continues to set the tempo.
27km to go
The leaders are Mollema, Edet, Bennett, Fabbro, Carr, Guerreiro Storer, and Bouchard.
Those up front are working well and the gap is holding at 2'35. Puccio is coming though and he's bringing the rest of the peloton with him.
Surprised that Kangert was dropped from the break but he and several others are at 15 seconds.
27km to go and Carr has attacked.
Bouchard has gone with him but Storer is bringing it all back together.
Carr, making his Grand Tour debut, has gone for a second time and this time he has a gap but Bennett is going after him.
The peloton are at 2'44.
EF the only team with two riders left in the break are trying to set something up as Mollema now leads the chase for Carr, who only has about 8 seconds at this point.
Bouchard makes it two leaders with 25km to go.
The rain starts to become a little heavier but further down the climb and Puccio remains on the front. All the maglia rosa contenders are present and accounted for.
The leaders have actually extended the gap to 3'00, so maybe the stage win is back on for the break.
Carr and Bouchard have 16 seconds on the Mollema/Bennett group.
It's only a short descent but the road kicks up for the final climb. Bahrain have now started to chase on the front of the peloton.
Valter is a bit far back at the moment, and he needs to move up.
Bahrain have really lifted the pace and we're down to about 50 riders in the bunch.
2'38 is the gap and the race is really on now. 21km to go.
All the GC riders are still there but Simon Yates and Dan Martin both had to move up before the descent started.
Carr and Bouchard lead with 18 seconds, and 20km to go.
Bouchard should move into the mountains jersey after leading over that last climb and picking up 18 points.
An Ineos rider just about keeps it together as he runs off a corner on the descent.
Heavier rain for Carr and Bouhard as they race towards the final climb. 22 seconds on the chase and 2'33 on the peloton with 16km. This is going to be really close.
The peloton are flat out now as they fight for position before the climb begins.
15km to go for our two leaders.
It's Storer and Mollema who have broken away and closed the gap to 14 seconds.
Groupama empty their tank before the climb starts as they give Valter everything they have left.
And now Evenepoel is taking a turn on the front of the peloton. His team then take over.
Mollema and Storer have been joined by Bouwan with 12.5km to go but they're still 13 seconds off Carr and Bouchard.
10km to go
Mollema, Storer, Bouwan at 11 seconds
Peloton at 2'15
The road is starting to climb. This is going to be so, so close. The bunch are at 2'16.
9.3km to go and Bouchard has dropped Carr.
Big attack from the Frenchman but he's clear.
Alpecin Fenix are setting the pace for the peloton now. 2'07 the gap.
Carr has been picked up by the Mollema group with 8km to go. Bouchard has 18 seconds.
If the peloton want this stage they need to react, and here come Movistar with 7.3km to go.
Good pace from Movistar, who pick up a few riders from the early breakaway. Bernal is well placed and the gap is at 1'59.
Again Valter's positioning isn't ideal as we Bouchard holds 20 seconds on Mollema and co.
Unless Bouchard cracks then he's on course to take his first Giro stage win.
Bouwman looks like the strongest rider in the chase but the gap is holding at 20 seconds. The peloton are now at 1'50.
5km for Bouchard as the road climbs once more. He's in a really position at this point.
Ineos take over again.
Valter has two riders left with him.
Ineos have lined out what's left of the peloton.
Yates could do with moving up too.
25 seconds for Bouchard.
The peloton have closed to 1'30 with 4.2km to go.
Valter is in trouble with 4.1km to go.
The race leader is right at the back of the peloton.
But Bouchard has 28 seconds.
A huge attack from Bouwman with 3.8km to go but the gap is 26 seconds. The bunch are at 1'23.
Bouwman is riding well, and he's closing the gap but the peloton are now at 1'15. 3.4km to go.
Valter is clinging on.
20 seconds for Bouchard with 3.3km to go.
We're down to about 20-30 riders in the peloton.
Bennett and a few others are about to be caught by the peloton.
The gravel is fast approaching.
And the rain is falling with the gap between Bouchard and the maglia rosa down to 56 seconds with 2.8km to go.
The final 1.6km is all on gravel and Bouchard is looking back. Bouwman has him in his sights.
Bouchard is onto the gravel. He has 5 seconds.
Three seconds for Bouchard. The peloton are at 51 seconds. 1.3km to go.
1.2km and Bouwman has made contact.
The bunch are at 37 seconds.
Ineos lead with Moscon. Bernal on his wheel.
Valter has been dropped.
Remco is in about 15th place.
Moscon on the front still with all the GC riders still there.
Evenepoel is a bit far back to be honest.
Up ahead and Bouwman leads Bouchard with 600m to go.
Ciccone follows and Evenepoel has been dropped.
Bernal has dropped everyone. Can he win the stage too?
Massive attack from the Ineos leader.
Ciccone and Vlasov are chasing.
Bernal now lead the stage.
Egan Bernal is racing towards the win.
Egan Bernal wins stage 9 of the Giro d'Italia.
It looks like Evenepoel recovered to finish in the top five but that should give Bernal the maglia rosa. Spare a thought for Bouwman and Bouchard, who were caught in the final few hundred meters.
Ciccone tried to hold Bernal and he matched the first kick but the second one was too good. The Italian was second, Vlasov third. The time gaps were relatively small but that was a massive statement from Bernal and his team.
Bernal leads Evenepoel by 15 seconds with Vlasov at 21. Valter has dropped to fifth.
Our results and photos from the stage are right here.
Lets hear from the stage winner and the new race leader, Egan Bernal:
“I can’t believe what’s happening,” said Bernal at the finish. “I just won my first stage in a Grand Tour. I think I did a lot of sacrifices to be in this position after the Tour last year [where back problems forced him to abandon]. I’m really happy.”
“I was thinking of doing really well today, but I wasn’t sure if I’d go for the stage. But my teammates had a lot of confidence in me. I wasn’t sure, but they told me, ‘you can do it’...I think this victory is more for them, because they really believed in me.”
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