When in a finish like the Blockhaus three riders battle for victory by a few centimetres, it means that the forces in the field are truly balanced. Jai Hindley (Bora-hansgrohe) edged out Romain Bardet (Team DSM) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) by a few centimetres, with Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious), Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) close behind, making it a very uncertain Giro d’Italia that still has everything to say.
If yesterday we were fairly certain that after the Blockhaus the hierarchies would be quite clear, today we have to change our minds, because if the first seven riders in the general classification are within 30 seconds and the first three within 14 (this is the smallest gap on stage 9 since 2001) it means that we are still a long way from the climax of this Corsa Rosa. And, frankly, all the better for it!
This, moreover, is likely to open up some interesting scenarios for the second week, because the next stage with important mountains will be the 15th, i.e. Sunday 22 May, and the various GC leaders, if they don’t want to stroll around for a week, will have to try to force their way through the medium-difficulty stages as well. They will have to move with intelligence and tactical sagacity, because at this point in the race every detail could make the difference.