Pieter Weening continued Orica-GreenEdge’s excellent Giro d’Italia with victory in stage nine of the race on Sunday.
On their first day not defending Michael Matthews’ pink jersey, the Australian team were not content to sit back, and sent Weening out into the break of the day.
He was the last survivor along with Italian Davide Malacarne (Europcar). The pair had enough time to ride the finish in the slow manner of a track sprint, and it was the Dutch rider who rode past Malacarne to take the win.
Cadel Evans held on to the pink jersey, but was put under threat by an attack from Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r). The move had been signposted a few kilometres earlier when Ag2r climber Alexis Vuillermoz went out ahead, although such was Pozzovivio’s strength that he went straight past his teammate when he made his move.
The Italian managed to put 30 seconds into Evans and the other favourites, who were paced up steadily by BMC’s domestique Steve Morabito and Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Wout Poels. Every rider in the GC top ten were present in this group.
Before the action on the final climb, the drama earlier in the day concerned whether the break would be allowed to make it to the finish. A lead of over seven minutes was established, and began to go down when the climbing began in the final 50 kilometres. However, there was no sincere effort to bridge the gap, and, though the rest of the break was caught in the aftermath of Pozzovivo’s attack, the increased pace was not enough to catch Weening and Malacarne.
Giro d’Italia 2014, stage nine: Lugo – Sestola 172km
1. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge in 4:25:51
2. Davide Malacarne (Ita) Europcar at st
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r La Mondiale at 0-40
4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 1-08
5. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin
7. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing
8. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Team Sky
9. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo
10. Fabio Duarte (Col) Colombia all at st
Overall Classification after stage nine
1. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC in 38-49-34
2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 0-57
3. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 1-10
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r at 1-20
5. Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC at 1-31
6. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 1-39
7. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 1-43
8. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 1-44
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1-45
10. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek at 1-49
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