SESTOLA, Italy, May 18, 2014 (AFP) – Dutchman Pieter Weening won the ninth
stage of the Giro d’Italia on Sunday following a 172km run from Lugo to
Sestola while Australian Cadel Evans kept the leader’s pink jersey.
Weening out sprinted Italian Davide Malacarne of Europcar after the two men
rode in tandem over the final 15km after breaking away from their escape
It was the Orica rider’s second stage on this year’s race after winning the
team time-trial and third of his career in Italy.
Italy’s Domenico Pozzovivo came home alone in third and 42 seconds behind
while the main pack crossed the line 1min 8secs adrift to comfortably keep
Evans in pink.
Pozzovivo thrived on the final climb and was the day’s biggest winner in
the overall rankings as he used his bonus points to close within 1min 20secs
of Evans but still in fourth spot.
Colombian Rigoberto Uran is second at 57secs while Polish rider Rafal Majka
remains third at 1min 10sec.
“The last few days I lost some time after a perfect first week but I’m not
here for the overall rankings,” said Weening after his victory.
I had been thinking about the attack for a few kilometres,” Weening said. “I knew I had to be one of the first to attack. A lot of times when one guy is up the road, the others start looking at each. The cooperation falls apart, and it’s hard to catch the guy who is going full gas up the road.”
“The moment on the roundabout was perfect,” he continued. “The guys took the left side, and I took the right side. The right side was shorter, and I came out with full speed. It was the perfect moment.”
“What I was thinking was exactly what happened,” Weening added. “They all looked around at each other, and then it was too late. In the end, you can never be sure. You can pick the best moment, but you always have to have a little luck, too. I had luck today.”
“I was a bit tired yesterday but today was a perfect day to do something
nice. I could see I wasn’t one of the best climbers so I decided to attack
with 20km to go but (Davide) Malacarne was very strong on the last climb and I
had to wait right until the end to attack,” he added.
“The first big goal for the team was the team time trial,” said Weening. “We had quite a bit of pressure on our shoulders for that one. We went in as the pre-race favourites. Being strongest on paper isn’t everything. We still had to do the work to get the result. When we won it, it was a huge relief.”
“Every day in the pink was another win for us,” Weening added. “Then when Bling [Michael Matthews] suddenly wins on the hilltop finish, it felt unreal. It happened again today. It’s easy to see that the pressure isn’t here for us anymore. We can do what we want, and sometimes the nicest things happen when you have that freedom.”
“We’re all very, very happy for Pete,” said White. “He’s a big part of the reason we won Liège. His commitment to the team is obvious. We’ve all seen it over and over again. It’s a really gratifying feeling for all us when the guys that are busting their tails so their teammates can get results can get a win for themselves.”
A group of 14 riders including Weening and Malacarne took advantage of a
mass crash in the middle of the peloton around the 40km mark to open up a gap
of just over 7mins before the peloton stepped began reel them in.
At the front, the 33-year-old Weening then attacked on his own as the final
ascent came into view before being caught by Malacarne with 15km to race.
The two men led the rest of the original escape group onto the final hill
and led by 1min 40 with 7km to run while the main pack closed within 3mins
Evans’ BMC teammates were controlling proceedings at the front of the
peloton before another pileup in the race for home left several riders injured
and struggling to continue.
“It wasn’t an easy stage,” admitted 2011 Tour de France winner Evans.
“But the team did a good job of controlling the race and it’s been a good
“We saw in the final climb that the overall contenders have more or less
the same level. I don’t see someone capable of making a big difference on
these kinds of climbs and that suits me fine.”
The two leaders rode together up the final climb before the terrain
flattened out to lead to a cat-and-mouse sprint for the line.
Weening, who also won a stage on the Tour de France in 2005 and won last
year’s Tour of Poland, used his experience to burst past the Italian and
deprive the 26-year-old what would have been a first ever stage win in his
Collated results from the ninth stage
of the Giro d’Italia, over 172km from Lugo to Sestola on Sunday:
1. Pieter Weening (NED/ORI) 4hr 25min 51sec, 2. Davide Malacarne (ITA/EUC)
s.t., 3. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/ALM) at 42sec, 4. Diego Ulissi (ITA/LAM) 1min
08sec, 5. Rigoberto Uran (COL/OPQ) 1:08, 6. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BKN) 1:08, 7.
Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 1:08, 8. Dario Cataldo (ITA/SKY) 1:08, 9. Rafal Majka
(POL/TIN) 1:08, 10. Fabio Duarte (COL/COL) 1:08, 11. Robert Kiserlovski
(CRO/TRE) 1:08, 12. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) 1:08, 13. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV)
1:08, 14. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) 1:08, 15. Wouter Poels (NED/OPQ) 1:08, 16.
Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA/ALM) 1:08, 17. Maxime Monfort (BEL/LTB) 1:08, 18.
Hubert Dupont (FRA/ALM) 1:08, 19. Pierre Rolland (FRA/EUC) 1:08, 20. Ivan
Basso (ITA/CAN) 1:08
1. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 38 hr 49min 34sec, 2. Rigoberto Uran (COL/OPQ) at
0:57sec, 3. Rafal Majka (POL/TIN) 1:10, 4. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/ALM) 1:20,
5. Steve Morabito (SUI/BMC) 1:31, 6. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) 1:39, 7. Diego Ulissi
(ITA/LAM) 1:43, 8. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BKN) 1:44, 9. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV)
10. Robert Kiserlovski (CRO/TRE) 1:49, 11. Ivan Basso (ITA/CAN) 2:01, 12.
Pierre Rolland (FRA/EUC) 2:56, 13. Wout Poels (NED/OPQ) 3:03, 14. Maxime
Monfort (BEL/LTB) 3:41, 15. Gianluca Brambilla (ITA/OPQ) 3:45, 16. Alexis
Vuillermoz (FRA/ALM) 4:25, 17. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) 4:30, 18. Matteo
Rabottini (ITA/NRI) 4:36, 19. Hubert Dupont (FRA/ALM) 5:36, 20. Kanstantsin
Siutsou (BLR/SKY) 5:42
22. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) 6:35, 24. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/BMC) 6:37, 42.
Michele Scarponi (ITA/AST) 18:37. 50. Pieter Weening (NED/ORI) 25:00