Gorka Izaguirre claimed his first Grand Tour success following the path of his younger brother Ion who won stage 16 of the 2012 Giro d’Italia in Falzes. He powered to victory with one kilometer to go after Valerio Conti crashed in the ascent to Peschici overlooking the Adriatic Coast. Despite a crash earlier on, Bob Jungels retained the Maglia Rosa ahead of the gruelling hilltop finish of the Blockhaus.
1 – Gorka Izaguirre (Movistar Team) – 189km in 4h24’59”, average speed 42.795km/h
2 – Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain – Merida) at 5″
3 – Luis León Sanchez (Astana Pro Team) at 10″
Today’s stage winner Gorka Izaguirre said: “It was our goal to have someone in the breakaway. The race was very fast. As Giovanni Visconti went into the breakaway, I went as well because we’re in the same kind of situation as the Bahrain-Merida team. I wasn’t the strongest rider at the front, it was Valerio Conti who was also the highest ranked on GC but he had some problems and as I saw a gap behind me after he crashed, I went full gas. There was one kilometer uphill remaining. I normally go pretty well on that terrain. I won today due to circumstances and our goal remains to win the Giro with Nairo Quintana.”
The Maglia Rosa Bob Jungels said: “I crashed on my knee but I have no pain. It’s all my fault. I didn’t pay enough attention and I touched the back wheel of a team-mate. We had to be patient after the first climb, then our big engines went back to the front to close the gap onto the breakaway to save my Maglia Rosa. Now apparently the big battle begins. Tomorrow I expect a hard finale to the Blockhaus. It’ll be time for favourites to show themselves. For myself, it’ll be a question of hanging on and see how far I can go. I’m not scared of anybody but if somebody has more power than me, I might lose the lead but on Tuesday there’ll be a pretty long time trial, and not an easy one, which should suit me pretty well. I’m looking forward to it.”
Stage 9 – Montenero di Bisaccia – Blockhaus 149km – total elevation 2,700m