Maglia rosa wearer Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) has won stage nine of the Giro d’Italia to extend his overall lead by sixteen seconds.
The 25 year-old Briton crossed the line at Gran Sasso d’Italia ahead of Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and teammate Esteban Chaves. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) finished 12 seconds down on Yates and has dropped to third overall with Chaves now in second.
An early break with fourteen riders went clear on the 225-kilometre stage from Pesco Sannita with Gianluca Brambilla (Trek Segafredo) the highest placed overall. The break gained a sizable advantage with Brambilla becoming the virtual race leader.
Inside the final 40 kilometres, Astana took up the chase for their team leader Miguel Angel Lopez with Mitchelton-SCOTT also helping with the chase. The final surviving breakaway rider was caught inside the final three kilometres
and Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani-CSF) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) both tried to go clear from the diminished lead group. However, they weren’t given any leeway and they were chased repeatedly by Pinot with Yates and Chaves on his wheel. Yates left it to the final 100m to sprint and take the win in the pink jersey.
Simon Yates – “That one was for the boys, the big guys who’ve been riding on the front all day. They’ve had a couple of tough days, always riding on the front on some really long stages. That’s for those guys.”
“From the beginning of the stage today, we were always thinking that if we kept the break close enough then it might be possible for the stage. Once Astana showed some interest in the stage then I knew it was possible. You never know deep into the final.”
“It was a very long stage, a hard race in the end, I’m really tired but I’m happy that I managed to win the stage. I said from the beginning that we came here to win.”