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Giro d'Italia 2019: Roglic wins Stage 9 TT in the rain as Yates loses 3 minutes

Martin James
19 May 2019

Jumbo-Visma rider up to 2nd overall behind Conti but Simon Yates disappoints in changeable weather

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) dominated a hilly 34.8km individual time-trial course into San Marino in changeable weather to win Stage 9 of the 2019 Giro d’Italia and take a huge stride towards overall victory.

Roglic, finishing in a time of 51min 50sec, was the only one of the later starters to beat the mark of 52:01 set early on by new World Hour Record holder Victor Campanaerts (Lotto-Soudal), who was left wondering what might have been after a fluffed bike change before the final climb lost him a clutch of seconds that might have made the difference been first and second on the line.

However, his disappointment will have been nothing like that felt by overall contender Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), whose time-trialling and general form recently was good enough that he had been seen as a potential stage winner.

In the end Yates faded badly on the climb to the finish, to lose in excess of 3 minutes to Roglic, and more than 2 minutes to fellow GC rival Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), who took fourth on the day, just behind Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo).

Valerio Conti (UAE-Team Emirates) did enough to retain the race leader's pink jersey overall.

How the day unfolded

Stage 9 of the 2019 Giro nicely bookended the opening phase of the race before the first rest day tomorrow, a 34.8km test against the clock eight days after the race got underway with an 8.2km TT in Bologna.

It has been a slightly odd Giro thus far by recent standards, flatter and over longer distances per day than has been the recent trends, creating larger than expected gaps in the overall classification despite little by way of decisive action among the favourites or high mountains to test them.

It’s also been wetter than any Grand Tour in recent memory, and the rain was a significant factor for most of the day again here, easing just as the main GC contenders were out on course only to strengthen again as the final riders including overall leader Conti approached the finish.

Campanaerts set his time before any of them were out on course, having taken the risk of a bike change for the final climb but failing to make it count thanks to a clumsy switch by the team mechanic.

Before the stage it had been the three riders who shared the podium back in Bologna who most of us felt would fight for stage honours again today, and Nibali was first to take to the course, setting off 16th from the end, with Yates 15th and Roglic 12th.

Nibali got things off to a solid start, then Yates came through the first time check having lost a dozen or so seconds. But it all went wrong from there for the Englishman. He nearly lost the back end of the bike coming round a right hander early on, but lost most time of all on the climb to the finish, just the terrain we all thought he’d make the most significant inroads.

Nibali, by contrast, was only going better and better, but still ended up a full 65 seconds slower than the hugely impressive Roglic.

Indeed, such was the Slovenian’s ride that he looked in serious danger of ending the day back in the pink jersey of overall leader as rider after rider came in outside the time needed to keep ahead of him as conditions worsened late in the day.

It fell to the maglia rosa himself, Valerio Conti, to produce a time fast enough to keep the Jumbo-Visma rider at bay and hold onto pink into the rest day. But after Roglic’s ride today, it may just be a matter of time.