Remco Evenepoel regains Giro d’Italia lead, betters Geraint Thomas by one second in stage nine time trial

Soudal Quick-Step rider takes second stage win of the Italian Grand Tour

Remco Evenepoel at the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Getty)

Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) is back in the hot seat at this year's Giro d'Italia, after winning stage nine's individual time trial by just one second. 

The road world champion started the fastest in Savignano sul Rubicone, but eased off in the middle of his effort en route to Cesena. He crossed the line with a time of 41 minutes and 24 seconds over the 35km course, clocking an average speed of 50.725km/h. 

Ineos Grenadiers duo Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart both put in blistering performances to place second and third on the day, one and two seconds respectively behind Evenepoel, who now leads the general classification.

“It was not my best time trial that I’ve ever done,” an out-of-breath Evenepoel said after the stage. "I think I didn’t pace it very well. I started way too fast and my second part was a really bad part. After the technical section in Cesena, I found some better legs because I could recover a bit." 

The Soudal Quick-Step rider, who also won on the opening day of the three-week race, will take a 45-second GC lead over Thomas into Monday's rest day. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), sixth fastest across the line in the time trial at 17 seconds, climbed to third in the overall standings. 

"I think to go into the mountains with that advantage is pretty good," Evenepoel said. "For sure, Ineos [Grenadiers] will have some plans to attack me, but we have a strong team. We have a lot of confidence. I think tomorrow I really need to recover well, because I think the last two days weren’t my best days.

“I think we should try to recover well and just enjoy today’s victory." 

Remco Evenepoel spraying champagne at the Giro d'Italia

(Image credit: Getty)

Sunday's individual time trial opened in a rain-soaked Savignano sul Rubicone. On slippery roads, Charlie Quarterman (Corratec-Selle Italia), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) all enjoyed stints in the hot seat, before the rain clouds cleared and the GC favourites began to roll down the start ramp. 

Geoghegan Hart and Thomas both set out with intent. After clawing back a handful of seconds on stage eight, the British duo took it in turns to set the fastest times at the first, second and third time checks, but Evenepoel followed in hot pursuit. 

The Belgian came into the first time check at full tilt - 11 seconds was his gap to Thomas, with a sizeable 31-second advantage over Roglič. Soon, though, his lead tapered off. At time check three, he trailed the Ineos Grenadiers pair by a fraction of a second. 

Thomas, awaiting his first Grand Tour stage win since 2018, watched on in suspense as Evenepoel thundered through Cesena. One second would end up separating them, and unfortunately for the Welshman, it fell in the Belgian's favour. 

Prior to this year's Giro d'Italia, Evenepoel said his tactic would be to match his GC rivals in the mountains, and better them in the time trials. With the Alps and Dolomites still to come, everything seems to be going to plan for the world champion. 


Giro d'Italia stage nine: Savignano sul Rubicone > Cesena (35km, ITT)

1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Soudal Quick-Step, at 41-24
2. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 1s
3. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 2s
4. Stefan Küng (Sui) Groupama-FDJ, at 4s
5. Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 8s
6. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, at 17s
7. Thymen Arensman (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers, at 24s
8. Aleksandr Vlasov, Bora-Hansgrohe, at 30s
9. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates, at 35s
10. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious, at 42s

General Classification after stage nine

1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Soudal Quick-Step, in 34-33-42
2. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 45s
3. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, at 47s
4. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 50s
5. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates
6. Andreas Leknessund (Nor) Team DSM, both at 1-07
7. Aleksandr Vlasov, Bora-Hansgrohe, at 1-48
8. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious, at 2-13
9. Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 2-37
10. Pavel Sivakov (Fra) Ineos Grenadiers, at 3-00

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Tom Davidson
News and Features Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.