Australian Jai Hindley of Bora-Hansgrohe won the ninth stage of the Giro d’Italia, a grueling 187km race from Isernia to Blockhaus, on Sunday ahead of 2019 champion Richard Carapaz.
After negotiating a series of difficult climbs, Eritrean Natnael Tesfatsion and local favorite Diego Rosa broke free from the peloton with 50 kilometers to go, but a spectacular fall by Tesfatsion in the Passo Lanciano ended his race .
The peloton quickly closed the gap and a large group formed, led by Ineos Grenadiers, with 15 kilometers to go, as they got their man, the Ecuadorian Carapaz, into position.
Carapaz was joined by five others in a sprint finish, before Romain Bardet, Carapaz and Hindley crossed the line together, Hindley slamming into the air after claiming his second Giro stage victory ahead of Bardet in second and Carapaz third.
A brave ride by Spaniard Juan Pedro López, his country’s first rider to wear the pink jersey since Alberto Contador in 2015, kept him top of the overall standings.
Britain’s Simon Yates endured a tough day, crossing the line 11 minutes and 15 seconds behind the stage winner, after being hampered by the knee injury he suffered in a stage four crash. The BikeExchange – Jayco rider was dropped on the last climb of the day.
Frenchman Bardet moved up to third overall, 14 seconds behind López, with Carapaz fourth at 15 seconds. Hindley is fifth, 20 seconds off the pace. The Giro takes a break on Monday, before returning on Tuesday with stage 10 – a 194 kilometer race from Pescara to Jesi.