Alberto Contador wins, Giro d'Italia 2011 stage nine

Giro d'Italia 2011 stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson>>

Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Sunguard) has won the ninth stage and taken the race lead of the Giro d'Italia after a commanding ride on Mount Etna today.

Having fired a warning shot with second in yesterday's stage, the controversial Spaniard hit out good and proper this afternoon with a sortie 6.8km from the finish line on the Sicilian volcano.

Although initially joined by key Italian contender Michele Scarponi (Lampre), climber Jose Rujano (Androni Giocattoli) was the only rider who could stick with Contador's blistering pace for any length of time.

But even the Venezuelan was eventually dropped after a series of digs from the Tour de France winner on the barren top slopes of the climb.

With Rujano taking second place, Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) was the best of the other favourites, leading in Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale), Roman Kreuziger (Astana), David Arroyo (Movistar) and HTC's Kanstantsin Sivtsov 50 seconds back.

Scarponi paid for initially trying to follow Contador, coming in a further 17 seconds down. Earlier in the stage, the Italian's team had driven hard on the front of the bunch in hope of setting him up for an assault on his rivals.

Lampre had pulled the bunch onto the slopes of the climb over four minutes down on a nine man group that had led the race over an earlier passage of Etna.

Although the group disintegrated on the ascent, it was only Contador's attack that swept up the last survivors of the break: Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) and Mathias Frank (BMC).

With previous race leader Peter Weening (Rabobank) losing over six and a half minutes on Etna, he made way for Contador -who had also gained a 20 second time bonus for the stage win- to take over the pink jersey. John Gadret (AG2R), Kreuziger and Nibali all tried attacks behind, but each was a case of too little too late.

With Contador's performance head and shoulders above his rivals, it makes an uncomfortable situation for the race ahead. Although cleared of doping by the Spanish Cycling Federation earlier this year, the decision could be reversed next month by Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Tomorrow the Giro has a rest day.


Giro d'Italia 2011, stage nine, Messina - Etna, 169km

1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Bank-Sunguard in 4-54-09

2. Jose Rujano (Ven) Androni Giocattoli at 3 secs

3. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone at 50 secs

4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale

5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana

6. David Arroyo (Spa) Movistar

7. Kanstantin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Highroad all same time

8. Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel at 59 secs

9. John Gadret (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1-07

10. Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at same time

Overall classification after stage nine

1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Bank-Sunguard in 33-03-51

2. Kanstantin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Highroad at 59 secs

3. Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Garmin-Cervelo at 1-19

4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 1-21

5. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 1-28

6. David Arroyo (Spa) Movistar at 1-37

7. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 1-41

8. Jose Serpa (Col) Androni Giocattoli at 1-47

9. Dario Caldato (Ita) Quickstep at 2-21

10. Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM at 2-21

David Millar gets some assistance, Giro d

David Millar gets some technical assistance

Pieter Weening, Giro d

Pieter Weening's spell in the maglia rosa ended today

Mount Etna, Giro d

Escape group on Mount Etna

Alberto Contador attacks, Giro d

The moment Alberto Contador launched his stage-winning move

Alberto Contador on podium, Giro d

Alberto Contador puts on the leader's jersey

Giro d'Italia 2011: Latest news

Giro d'Italia News Shorts (May 15)

Giro's Sicilian cyclists proud to face Mount Etna

Contador surprises at Giro with attack ahead of mountains

Contador minds food at Giro as CAS decision nears

Weening supported by Rabobank and model Kroes

Local lad Appollonio bears fruit in Fiuggi

Giro d'Italia News Shorts (May 12 edition)

Blythe finding way in second Grand Tour

Leopard-Trek withdraws from Giro d'Italia

Leopard-Trek uncertain to continue in Giro

Tuesday's Giro stage in memory of Weylandt

Giro doctor describes actions to save Weylandt

Wouter Weylandt killed in Giro crash

Giro news shorts (May 8)

Cavendish likely to take Giro lead tomorrow

Giro 2011: Who will win?

Kennaugh to lead Team Sky in Giro's opening stage

Nibali's Giro fight with Contador may reach the courtroom

Riis defends Contador's participation in Giro

Cavendish set to start winning again at the Giro

Doping investigations force cyclists out of Giro d'Italia

Kennaugh replaces Pauwels in Sky's Giro line-up

Contador scouts out the Giro mountains

Cavendish and Millar top list of Giro-bound Brits

Lampre likely for Giro despite doping investigation

Giro announces record 23 teams to race

2011 Giro to start in Turin with team time trial

Giro goes one up on the Tour with spectacular route

Nygaard, Sciandri and Lloyd comment on 2011 Giro route

Nibali's Giro d'Italia?

Giro d'Italia 2011: Stage reports

Stage eight: Gatto springs late attack to take win

Stage seven: Neo-pro De Clercq wins by a whisker

Stage six: Ventoso steals Giro stage six win

Stage five: Weening holds on to take stage and maglia rosa

Stage four: Tearful Farrar and Leopard-Trek lead riders across stage four finish line

Stage three: Vicioso victory overshadowed by Weylandt crash

Stage two: Petacchi wins as Cavendish takes lead

Stage one: HTC-Highroad wins Giro's opening team time trial

Giro d'Italia 2011: Photo galleries

Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson

Giro d'Italia 2011: Live text coverage

Giro d'Italia 2011 stage seven live text updates

Giro d'Italia 2011 stage five live text updates

Follow the 2011 Giro d'Italia live with Cycling Weekly

Giro d'Italia 2011: Start list

Giro d'Italia 2011: Start list

Giro d'Italia 2011: TV schedule

Giro d'Italia 2011: British Eurosport TV schedule

Related links

Giro d'Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly's coverage index


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