San Marino - Slovenian
ace Primoz Roglic set a serious marker on the Giro d'Italia on Sunday,
not only winning the stage nine individual time-trial, but damaging
several key title rivals in the process.
European champion and world one-hour record holder Victor Campenaerts
was second by 11sec on the day despite a late mechanical failure, while
Dutch rider Bauke Mollema came third to boost his chances of an
eventual podium shot.
Roglic, of Team Jumbo-Visma, who also won the opening day time-trial,
finished the 34.8km rain-sodden run to San Marino in 51:52 to win
in impressive style.
It was a full 1:05 faster than Italy's two-time Giro winner
Vincenzo Nibali, and a devastating 3:11 faster than Britain's
self-declared pre-race favourite Simon Yates, who appeared to struggle
on the final climb.
"I took it quite easy from the start and of course really carefully
through the corners, and then tried to go all out at the end," said
Roglic, who can look forward to one more time-trial, a 17km affair on
Yates appeared to take the setback in his stride.
"These things happen," said Yates, whose slight frame has rarely lent itself to success at time trials.
"We need to work out a new strategy, it's still early days and I
can't wait to get into the mountains and see what happens," Yates said
of the seven mountainous stages in the 12 remaining days.
The notoriously wily Nibali, known as 'the shark' for his ferocious winning moves, appeared exultant after the stage.
"I believe that was a good time from me," said the Bahrain Merida leader.
"It's a great thing to have taken so much time off Yates and (Miguel
Angel) Lopez," he said of the two men he would normally most fear in the
"Roglic took more than a minute off me but time-trials are his speciality," added the 34-year-old.
"There's a long way to go, but lots of people lost ground here and
not just Lopez and Yates, and these people will now have to go on the
"This is turning out to be a beautiful Giro."
Reigning Vuelta champion Yates led the Giro for over two weeks last
year only to suffer a penultimate-stage meltdown, and has vowed to make
up for it this year.
The win leaves Roglic, a 29-year-old former ski jumper, in second
place in the overall standings behind overnight leader Valerio Conti of
Italy, who kept his promise to fight to keep hold of the pink jersey.
But above all it puts this season's form rider Roglic, who won the
Tour of Romandie, the UAE Tour and the Tirreno Adriatico, firmly in the
driving seat for a first ever victory in a three-week tour.
The Slovenian takes a 1:44 advantage over Nibali into the
mountainous section of the Giro where the Italian's cut-throat tactics
saw him claim overall wins in 2013 and 2016.
Results and standings after Sunday's ninth stage of the Giro d'Italia, a 34.8km individual time-trial from Riccione to San Marino:
1. Primoz Roglic (SLO/Jumbo) 51min 52sec., 2. Victor Campenaerts (BEL/LOT) at 11sec., 3. Bauke Mollema (NED/TRE) 1:00, 4. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/BAH) 1:05, 5. Tanel Kangert (EST/EF1) 1:10, 6. Chad Haga (USA/SUN) 1:14, 7. Bob Jungels (LUX/DEC) 1:16, 8. Hugh Carthy (GBR/EF1) 1:30, 9. Pello Bilbao (ESP/AST) 1:43, 10. Mattia Cattaneo (ITA/AND) 1:52
31. Simon Yates (GBR/MIT) 3:11, 42. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL/AST) 3:45
1. Valerio Conti (ITA/UAE Emirates) 36hr 08min 32sec, 2. Primoz Roglic (SLO/JUM) at 1min 50sec, 3. Nans Peters (FRA/ALM) 2:21, 4. Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP/MOV) 2:33, 5. Fausto Masnada (ITA/AND) 2:36, 6. Andrey Amador (CRC/MOV) 2:39, 7. Amaro Antunes (POR/CCC) 3:05, 8. Valentin Madouas (FRA/FDJ) 3:27, 9. Giovanni Carboni (ITA/BAR) 3:30, 10. Pello Bilbao (ESP/AST) 3:32, 11. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/BAH) 3:34, 12. Bauke Mollema (NED/TRE) 3:45
24. Simon Yates (GBR/MIT) 5:36, 27. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL/AST) 6:19