14/05/17 - 9:10 PM
Montenero di Bisaccia - Blockhaus
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Giro d'Italia • Stage9

Montenero di Bisaccia - Blockhaus
Giro d'Italia - 14 May 2017

Giro d'Italia – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 21:10 on 14 May 2017. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Quintana now holds a 28-second lead over Pinot on GC, with Dumoulin up to third place at 30 seconds. It's all to play for with that time trial on Tuesday after tomorrow's much-needed rest day.


Confirmation of the top ten in today's stage...


The moment Nairo Quintana won the stage and rode into pink...


Former race leader Bob Jungels comes home 3:30 down in the wheel of Jan Polanc, the maglia azzurra. That's his pink jersey gone. Tejay Van Garderen comes over about 3:55 down. Adam Yates, who was involved in that crash, finishes 4:38 back - his challenge as good as over. The same can be said of Geraint Thomas, who, bloodied and bruised, comes over 5:09 down on winner Quintana. What a day of drama...


Tanel Kangert of Astana comes home two minutes down for seventh, then Ilnur Zakarin at 2:14. Formolo and Amador come home before Kruijswijk, who loses 2:45 on a day to forget.


Thibaut Pinot outsprints Tom Dumoulin to take second place around 25 seconds down. Bauke Mollema then comes home at 40 seconds and Vincenzo Nibali at one minute. Domenico Pozzovivo arrives for sixth place at 1:18. They're going to arrive in dribs and drabs now...


Victory for Nairo Quintana of Movistar! 50 years after Eddy Merckx took the first win here on Blockhaus, the little Colombian moved into the race lead with a superb ride.


Under the banner for Quintana, who will win this stage and take the maglia rosa. What a ride it has been. But would Thomas or Landa have been able to keep up with him? We'll never know...


We're not getting any time checks for many of the riders - certainly not for Nibali - but Quintana still has 30 seconds on the chasers, Pinot and Dumoulin. The Dutchman could well take the pink jersey from Quintana, however, after Tuesday's time trial. It's wonderfully poised - just a huge shame that Team Sky's chances were dealt that cruel blow by the stationary police motorcycle.


Pinot has found another gear and drops Mollema and Dumoulin. But the Sunweb rider digs in and manages to close the gap.


What a ride by the Dutch duo - they have now caught Pinot.


Nibali is really cracking now - he's been dropped by Mollema and Dumoulin. Pinot trails lone leader Quintana by 26 seconds. The Colombia has entered a wooded section of this climb, which will offer some shade from the sun.


Pinot has launched an attack in pursuit of Quintana - and the Frenchman has dropped Nibali, who is about to be caught by the Dutch duo of Mollema and Dumoulin. Caught and passed, I may add!


Quintana has opened up a 13-second gap over Pinot and Nibali. He will be in pink today - and it's hard to see anyone else taking it from him over the course of the rest of the race. The Jungels group is 1:55 down and will soon be caught by Thomas, who is clawing back lost time after that huge crash at the foot of the climb.


We're onto the hardest part of the climb - which peaks at 14% - and it's here where Quintana attacks! He opens up a little gap, but Nibali stays seated and is not panicking. Further back, Van Garderen has been dropped by the Jungels group.


Quintana has another pop but to little avail. Now he swings back and lets Pinot and Nibali take up the slack. The three chasers are just 15 seconds back.


Thomas now has Deignan with him but it will be a difficult end to the stage for the Welshman - all about damage limitation. His elbow and knee are bloodied after that horrific crash with the motorcycle, which took out around a dozen riders.


Another unseated attack from Quintana, but Nibali doesn't panic and drags Pinot back onto the wheel of the Colombian. Behind it's Dumoulin, Mollema and Pozzovivo about 25 seconds back. Kruijswijk was with them but faded.


Now Pinot has a pop! The Frenchman surges clear but the others close it down.


ATTACK: Quintana has a dig and it blows the pack apart. Only Nibali and Pinot can follow him...


Ilnur Zakarin has been dropped now - as has Formolo. Just nine men out ahead - including three Movistars in Quintana, Amador and Anacona. The others are Nibali, Pinot, Mollema, Pozzovivo, Kruijswijk and Dumoulin.


Tejay Van Garderen has now been dropped. He's trying to keep up with Jungels and Pellizotti.


Bob Jungels is being dropped by this lead group - which is now just about a dozen riders. Pellizotti has popped, too. Bauke Mollema is still up tehre with the big guys, as is Davide Formolo. Thomas has Rosa with him but they're 2:40 back. Yates is in between and on his own, without any Orica-Scott team-mates. No sign of Landa - it didn't look like he was badly affected by the crash, but he's way back now.


Victor de la Parte peels off for Movistar after a huge turn, allowing Winner Anacona to take up the reins in this 30-man lead group. Quintana also has Andrey Amador with him on the front, with Nibali and Pellizotti of Bahrain Merida just behind.


Geraint Thomas now has Diego Rosa and some other Sky team-mates with him as he tries to reduce his arrears. But they're 2:35 down and their race has been thrown upside down.


Quintana, Nibali and Kruijswijk were not involved in that crash involving the police motorcycle - nor were Zakarin, Pinot, Dumoulin, Pozzovivo...


Adam Yates was caught up in the melee and he's currently trying to fight back into the peloton, which is still being driven by Movistar. This is the climb that they're tackling now...


It was a Sunweb rider who was first T-boned by the motorcycle - but around five Sky riders hit the deck on the side of the road. Thomas went down heavily and it took him a long time to get back on his bike. Terribly for Sky, Mikel Landa - their co-leader - is also held up.


CRASH: Terrible scenes on the Giro as a motorcycle parked on the side of the road takes out half the Sky team - including Geraint Thomas.


The last winner on Blockhaus - albeit until the win was taken away from him on doping grounds - was Franco Pellizotti, then of Liquigas, in 2009. Now 39, the frizzy haired Italian is one of Nibali's lieutenants at Bahrain Merida.


It's interesting to see Movistar employ the kind of tactics that give Team Sky a bad name in the Tour de France. Not long to go now until this race explodes.


Having has his chance to shine, yesterday's winner Gorka Izaguirre sets a furiously high pace for Movistar on the front as all the big favourites align themselves to their climbing domestiques ahead of this final climb. Jose Joaquim Rojas has popped after his pace setting. Bob Jungels is quite far back in this 60-man lead group, as is Tom Dumoulin.


It's all over for those two remaining escapees... so it's back together now ahead of the final climb. And here's what they're riding towards... the fearsome Blockhaus.


It's still Movistar who lead the pack, setting a fast tempo for their man Quintana ahead of today's final climb to Blockhaus and tomorrow's well-earned rest day. Rolland has thrown in the towel so it's just Marczynski and Tratnik out ahead - but not for long. Off the back of the pack, numerous riders have been dropped - including the maglia ciclamino and double stage winner Fernando Gaviria.


Rolland has made it up to Tratnik and Marczynski but the rest of the escapees have now been caught. This trio have 10 seconds but they're merely delaying the inevitable.


It's pretty much curtains for this break as the gap comes down to 25 seconds with 25km to go. Nice symmetry there. Sanchez and Fraile still ride on the front, but even they have pretty much given up. And there's a last-ditch attack from Marczynski, who zips clear with Tratik in his wheel.


Apparently Vincenzo Nibali is trying a new gearing ratio today - 38x30 - something he's tried in training but never before in a race. Remember, he experimented with his crank length last year - but it took until the final week for the dividends to pay out.


There are some good climber in the break - most notably Rolland, Fraile, Sanchez and Montaguti - but they still stand next to no chance of holding off the big favourites once the battle for pink starts in earnest behind.


The gap is down to 1:05 for the 12 leaders on the first of the two small climbs that precede the final uphill test to Blockhaus. I say 12 leaders, we're actually down to 11 because Alexis Tsatevich has just been dropped. The Gazprom-Rusvelo rider has been feeling the pinch for a while.


These 12 leaders have seen their advantage whittled down to just 1:30 so they could well be reeled in before the final climb. Some riders in the pack are not happy with the state of play: Velerio Agnoli (Bahrain Merida) and Francisco Ventoso (BMC) have indicated to a cameraman that they don't understand - or appreciate - why Movistar are riding like this.


So, a reminder of some of the names of the riders who could well end up in pink today after a stage victory on Blockhaus - and beware, it's an exhaustive list: Vincenzo Nibali, Nairo Quintana, Geraint Thomas, Adam Yates, Domenico Pozzovivo, Tom Dumoulin, bauke Mollema, Thibaut Pinot, Tejay Van Garderen, Mikel Landa, Davide Formolo, Ilnur Zakarin, Steven Kruijswijk... and then there's also, of course, the current maglia rosa, Bob Jungels, who could pull it out of the bag and hold on.


The pace is now higher as the pack stretches out with Movistar setting the tempo. The 12 leaders have 2:20 over the pack. There are two short climbs before the Blockhaus starts proper with 13.9km remaining - so from now on it's going to be action galore.


Movistar control the tempo with musettes around their necks on this ramp into Chieti. Steven Kruisjwijk and his LottoNL-Jumbo cronies are there. It will be interesting to see how the Dutchman fares today. He crashed out of the Tour of Britain and also hit the deck badly ahead of Mount Etna this week. having already lost some time in a split on the opening stage. He says he's fine, but time will tell. He's been flirting with disaster ever since that crash on the Agnello last year cost him the maglia rosa. A lot of it may now be a complex psychological baggage that he needs to unpack - and fast.


CRASH: Jakub Mareczko of Wilier-Selle Italia has gone down in the peloton. Nothing too serious but that's not the best way to prepare for a monster climb on the horizon.


It's the intermediate sprint at Chieti - albeit a very steep, uphill one. Omar Fraile has darted clear of the pack to take the three bonus seconds and the intermediate sprint points. Alexey Tsatevich was there too, but the Russian didn't have the same climbing legs as the Spaniard.


Rear wheel change for Ruben Plaza of Orica-Scott. The Spanish veteran will be one of Adam Yates's main mountain domestiques today. They're approaching the town of Chieti, which is one of the oldest in Italy, and certainly the oldest in the Abruzzo region. The break has stretched their lead up to 2:45 but you don't fancy their chances once the road heads uphill.


The riders pass through the feed zone - and many of them stop at the side of the road to answer a call of nature. The gap is still two minutes but the pace has slowed and so the break may see their lead stretch a little. Meanwhile, one of the Quick-Step riders has some road rash and torn shorts around his hip - he must have taken a tumble.


The snow-capped Blockhaus is on the horizon as the 12 leaders continue their approach with a gap of two minutes over the pack. A couple of months ago - after Tirreno-Adriatico - Dutchman Bauke Mollema went for a recon ride up Blockhaus. But he couldn't get all the way to the summit... The Trek Segafredo rider is one of that cluster of favourites who are tied for time, 10 seconds behind leader Jungels.


Movistar have all nine of their riders on the front, with the Quick-Step Floors team of maglia rosa Bob Jungels behind and then Nibali's Bahrain Merida outfit behind them. The pack is all strung out and they trail the 12 leaders by 2:37. Jose Joaquim Rojas, the Spanish national champion, sets the tempo.


A reminder of the 12 leaders: Montaguti, Sanchez, Marcato, Fraile, Pedersen, Busato, Tratnik, Keisse, Tsatevich, Rolland, Modolo, Marczynski. Their lead is down to 2:12 as Movistar continue the pace-setting on the front of the pack. They made such an effort staying away, and then defying those three chasers, that they're clearly starting to feel the pinch - particularly in these high temperatures.


There's your answer: the Movistar team of yesterday's winner Gorka Izaguirre and the race favourite Nairo Quintana have come to the front. They may well slow the tempo down so people can take a nature break and get their houses in order ahead of the business end of the stage. The gap is 2:35 so still it's no given that this will stay out for much longer.


We're onto some rolling roads now as we hug the coast for another 15km before heading inland - and NEWSFLASH: the Rolland group have finally caught the leaders, and so we have 12 men out in front now with a lead of 2:50 over the pack. And Rolland looks absolutely tanked after that effort! It will be inetrsting, now, to see if his Cannondale team take their foot off the gas. And if they do, who will take it on back in the peloton - or will the gap be allowed to balloon out ahead of the final climb to Blockhaus.


Remember, we still haven't had a stage win from the host nation - the worst return since 2010, apparently. We have three Italians in this break - Montaguti, Marcato and Busato - and so perhaps that can change today? The thing is, none of those guys are very strong climbers and they will surely be crucified on the Blockhaus.


The three chasers are starting to look tired - Marczynski looks cooked, Modolo is missing turns, and Rolland is laidback as ever. They still trail the leading nine-man break by 40 seconds with the pack a further 2:20 back.


Talking of that final climb, we spoke to Geraint Thomas this morning about the fearsome Blockhaus - and the Welshman reckons it's the hardest climb in the entire race. It's the 50th anniversary of the first finish on Blockhaus - won by the great Eddy Merckx - but it's worth noting that the ascent they're using has never been used before on the Giro - it's a 13.6km climb at 8.4% with segments frequently above 10% including one 14% ramp.


Luis Leon Sanchez continues to marshal the break, using his experience and renown to play his fellow escapees like puppets on his string. It's been a fast start and they've already swallowed up the best part of 50km as the peloton passes Fossacesia Marina with six Cannondale riders on the front leading the chase. Davide Formolo is not one of those - he is the team's protected rider and will be keeping his powder dry for the final climb.


The leaders continue to defy the wishes of Cannondale-Drapac and ride along the coast with a 40-second gap over the Rolland chasing trio. The pack is now at 3:10 so it's quite precariously placed.


It's not much of a surprise that the leaders aren't interested in letting Rolland join the break - he's a solid climber who would clearly be a threat to the others. Sanchez is very much the 'capo' or chief of this break - and he's shaking his head as he tries to organise things and get them in order.


Fascinatingly, it's the Cannondale-Drapac team of Pierre Rolland who are chasing down this break from teh front of the peloton - despite having the Frenchman further up the road. Perhaps it's the American team's way of telling the directeurs sportifs of the riders in the break to let that three-man chase group join them, or they will continue setting a fast tempo. At the moment the gaps are 35 seconds back to the three chasers and then 3:50 to the peloton.


There's a bit of beef between Marcato and Sanchez in the break as the two riders dispute about something. Sanchez then puts on the whole Big Man On Campus act by pushing Fraile into line and generally playing the I'm A Veteran, Get Out Of My Way And Do What I Say card.


Not only proof that the peloton have given up on the chase, but more to the point - have you ever seen so much hay in one place???


Forget what I said: this break is certainly going places. They've stretched the lead out to 2:20 now with that three-man chase group of Rolland, Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates) and Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto Soudal) trialing them by 35 seconds.


The nine leaders are: Alexey Tstatevich (Gazprom-RusVelo), Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates), Omar Fraile (Dimension Data), Jan Tratnik (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Matteo Montaguti (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Matteo Busato (Wilier-Triestina) and Iljo Keisse (Quick-Step Floors). And the gap is growing... Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac) is one of the riders in pursuit.


We join the stage LIVE now and this nine-man break has a slender lead of 30 seconds over the pack. They've been through the first intermediate sprint at Vasto and have three pursuers on the road, with the peloton just a bit further back. The gaps are minimal for now so it wouldn't be a surprise if it all comes back together again.


Bardiani-CSF led the chase after the wildcard Italian team missed out on getting a rider in the break.


There was an early break as nine riders pinged off the front - including Luis Leon Sanchez, the Astana rider who was on the attack yesterday.


They're off! The remaining 191 riders get this short but sharp stage under way.


A reminder that it is this man in pink... but Bob Jungels will find it tough to stay on top today, that's for sure. He has six seconds over Geraint Thomas of Team Sky and 10 seconds over most of the big favourites, including defending champion Nairo Quintana and the 2014 winner Nairo Quintana.


Here's what the riders have to expect on this first high summit finish of the race - and it's an entirely new ascent of the infamous Blockhaus which should cause fireworks.


Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage 9 of the Giro d'Italia - the first major mountain test as the riders tackle the infamous Blockhaus at the end of the 149km stage from Montenero di Bisaccia.