BORA Hansgrohe’s Jai Hindley reacts after winning the ninth stage of the Giro d’Italia, from Isernia to Blockhaus, on Sunday.—Reuters
BORA Hansgrohe’s Jai Hindley reacts after winning the ninth stage of the Giro d’Italia, from Isernia to Blockhaus, on Sunday.—Reuters

BLOCKHAUS: Australian Jai Hindley of Bora Hansgrohe came through a packed group of riders to win stage nine of the Giro d’Italia, a gruelling 187-kilometre ride from Isernia to Blockhaus on Sunday, ahead of 2019 champion Richard Carapaz.

Having negotiated a series of challenging climbs, Eritrean Natnael Tesfatsion and home favourite Diego Rosa pulled clear of the peloton with 50 kilometres to go, but a spectacular fall by Tesfatsion descending Passo Lanciano ended his race.

The peloton quickly closed the gap and a large group assembled, led by Ineos Grenadiers, with 15 kilometres to go, as they got their man, Ecuador’s Carapaz, into position.

Carapaz was joined by five others in a sprint finish, before Romain Bardet, Carapaz and Hindley crossed the line together, with Hindley punching the air having taken his second Giro stage win ahead of Bardet in second and Carapaz third.

A gutsy ride from Spaniard Juan Pedro Lopez, the first rider from his country to hold the pink jersey since Alberto Contador in 2015, enabled him to stay ahead on the general classification.

Frenchman Bardet moved up to third in the overall standings, 14 seconds behind Lopez, with Carapaz fourth at 15 seconds. Hindley is fifth, 20 seconds off the pace.

“There was a right hander before the finish with around 200m to go. I wanted to take the corner first and gave it everything to the line - and here we are,” the 2020 Giro runner up Hindley explained at the line.

Frenchman Bardet regretted the finale.

“The result is hard to accept because I made a big error at the last corner,” he said.

Simon Yates was in trouble even before the climb and it may now appear that his day three time-trial win in Budapest was an unwise manouevre.

The Giro takes a break on Monday, before returning on Tuesday with stage 10 - a 194-kilometre ride from Pescara to Jesi.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2022

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