Giro Stage 9 Race Report: The toughest stage in the 2022 Giro d’Italia so far blew the race apart leaving a top group of six to fight for the win. Jai Hindley, Romain Bardet and Richard Carapaz sprinted to the line, for the Australian to take the victory. The GC changed, but Juan Pedro López kept the pink jersey by 12 seconds over João Almeida.

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The final K

Win for Jai Hindley

Jai Hindley won the ninth stage of the Giro d’Italia finishing on the Blockhaus. The BORA-hansgrohe Australian was the best of the favourites group after the 191 kilometre mountain stage and the steep final climb. He beat Romain Bardet and Richard Carapaz in a sprint from six riders. Top favourite Simon Yates was dropped and lost a lot of time. Pink jersey Juan Pedro López was also unable to stay with the best, but he kept his jersey.

The jerseys at the start – Who will still be in them at the end of the day

The Route:
A Queen stage across the Apennines, with a 5,000m elevation gain. Shortly after the start, the route clears the Valico del Macerone and the challenging Rionero Sannitico ascent, continuing uphill all the way to Roccaraso. A long, undulating descent follows (nearly 90 km), leading to the foot of the first ascent to Passo Lanciano (coming from Pretoro). Next, the route drops into Lettomanoppello, cutting across a few urban areas and starts to go up again in Scafa. The final climb (13km) begins past Roccamorice.


Final kilometres
The last 13km rises steadily on a narrow road with several hairpins. Gradients are over 9% for almost 10km, with peaks reaching as high as 14%. There’s a very short counter-sloping stretch 500m before the finish. The home straight has an uphill gradient of approx. 8%.

Big day to Blockhaus

From the start in Isernia, the stage went straight uphill through the Apennines. On the Vallico Del Macerone (3.1km at 5.7%) there were many attacks, which included KOM Koen Bouwman, Mathieu van der Poel and Gijs Leemreize. They did not get away. Diego Rosa of EOLO-Kometa managed take a gap and picked up the most mountain points on the Riomero Sannitico (9km at 6.7%).

Many riders will be seeing the back of the rider in-front all day

Behind Rosa, two chasing groups merged on the climb to Roccaraso (7.3km at 6.1%). This resulted in a leading group of nine. Besides the Italian, there were also Joe Dombrowski (Astana Qazaqstan), Natnael Tesfatsion, Eduardo Sepúlveda (Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli), Filippo Zana (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Felix Gall, Nans Peters (AG2R Citroën), Jonathan Caicedo (EF Education-EasyPost) and James Knox (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl).

Partenza da Isernia

Tour f America's Dairyland 2022 banner

In the early part of the stage Pello Bilbao crashed again, but he was able to return to the favourites group. In the peloton, Trek-Segafredo was in control for the pink jersey Juan Pedro López. The escapees had a lead of about 5 minutes, which brought Felix Gall close to the pink jersey. The Austrian was the best placed rider in the escape at 6:48.

The break started to formed early with Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal), Luca Covili (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè)

After the first three climbs, there was a quiet period in the race, because all eyes were on the very tough final with a double climb of Blockhaus. First the Passo Lanciano (10.5km at 7.4%), followed by the uncategorised San Valentino in Abruzzo Citeriore (6.2km at 4.9%) and the final climb to Blockhaus (13.7km at 8.5 %). Well before the Lanciano, it was INEOS Grenadiers that put a man on the front. Jonathan Castroviejo single-handedly cut the lead of the front riders.

The pace wasn’t too high in the peloton, at the first

Before the foot of the Passo Lanciano it became clear that the co-operation in the leading group was not good. Knowing that the pack was getting closer, Peters and Tesfatsion jumped away. Sepúlveda and Rosa made the crossing on the Cat 1 climb, after which Rosa and Tesfatsion broke away together.

López was riding well

They had a gap on the rest of the escapees and Rosa was first over the Passo Lanciano. He was now ahead of Koen Bouwman in the KOM classification. Sepúlveda, Peters and Dombrowski followed at 50 seconds and the peloton at 3 minutes. On the fast descent Tesfatsion crashed when he misjudged a corner and had to ride into the grass.

The peloton was getting smaller as the race got closer to the Blockhaus

In the peloton there was bad luck for Wilco Kelderman just before the San Valentino in Abruzzo Citeriore. He switched bikes and had to rejoin on his own, but it took him a lot of effort. At the front it was all over on the San Valentino for Rosa, who was dropped by Dombrowski. Behind him were UAE Team Emirates and INEOS Grenadiers in the favourites group. Those teams pulled in the American just before the Blockhaus, which resulted in a battle of favourites on the final climb.

Kebab race food

Tom Dumoulin and Tobias Foss had to let go early, putting a good Gc position out of the question, while Giulio Ciccone had an off day in his home region. The Italian had to drop out early and it was game over for Simon Yates too. Just under 12 kilometres from the finish, the British favourite, who was struggling with knee problems, was unable to keep with the pace. Kelderman was also missing at the front and Koen Bouwman was dropped at 10 kilometres.

Carapaz – Top favourite for the day?

All this happened thanks to the work of INEOS Grenadiers. It also too fast for Sam Oomen, after which João Almeida also looked to be in trouble. Juan Pedro López bumped wheels with Oomen and had lost contact with the group. As a result, the Spaniard lost his rhythm for a while, but was still fighting to keep his overall lead.

James Knox was part of the break, until a mechanical problem

Richie Porte led the way, ahead of Richard Carapaz, Romain Bardet, Mikel Landa, Alejandro Valverde, Domenico Pozzovivo, Vincenzo Nibali, Jai Hindley, Thymen Arensman, Emanuel Buchmann and a struggling Almeida. Five kilometres before the finish, the difference to López was 30 seconds and to Yates 2 minutes, and those differences kept getting bigger.

Trek-Segafredo wanted to hold the pink jersey

At 4.5 kilometres out, Carapaz made an attack, which only Bardet and Landa could follow. Hindley, Almeida, Pozzovivo, Nibali and Valverde kept the difference close, but that group also exploded due to the high pace. Two kilometres from the finish, Almeida, Pozzovivo and Hindley returned to the leading trio.

Landa crashed earlier in the stage, but still looked strong

The win was going to come form one of those three – Then Hinley came back

An acceleration by Bardet ensured that the earlier leading group came back together, as Landa and Carapaz followed. The Frenchman wanted to keep the pace up, but Almeida, Hindley and Pozzovivo didn’t give up either. They came back, so we would have a sprint of six riders for the stage win. Hindley led the sprint and held off a fast finishing Bardet and Carapaz.

Hindley – The fastest and smartest sprinter

Juan Pedro López managed to keep his pink jersey with a strong sprint in the last hundred metres. His lead is now 12 seconds over Almeida and 14 seconds over Romain Bardet. The top 8 are within 1 minute of each other.

Stage win for Hindley

Stage winner, Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe): “I wasn’t feeling well the whole climb so I just tried to survive. I knew it was flattening a bit in the last kilometres. I also knew I had to take the last curve in first place. Then I gave it all. I went through hard times last year so… winning here… I’m lost for words.”

López saved his overall lead

Maglia Rosa, Juan Pedro López Perez (Trek-Segafredo): “I want to say sorry to Sam Oomen because after we touched each other and I had to put one foot on the ground, I threw my bottle. When I came to my first Giro I didn’t expect to have the Maglia Rosa so it was hard to believe my soigneur who told me that I still have it. I’m very tired but luckily I have a rest day tomorrow.”

Is the 2022 Giro d’Italia all over for Simon Yates?

#Stay PEZ for more Giro news in EUROTRASH Monday and the ‘Rest Day Rant’ tomorrow. #

Giro d’Italia Stage 9 Result:
1. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe in 5:34:44
2. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM
3. Richard Carapaz (Col) INEOS Grenadiers
4. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious
5. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:03
7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:16
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan at 0:34
9. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:46

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 9:
1. Juan Pedro López (Spa) Trek-Segafredo in 37:52:01
2. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:12
3. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 0:14
4. Richard Carapaz (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:15
5. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:20
6. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:28
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:29
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:54
9. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:09
10. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 1:22.

Watch the most comprehensive live & ad-free coverage of the Giro d’Italia 2022 on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with live polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, results & more – plus stream original and exclusive cycling documentaries. Watch it all with GCN+ on any device.

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