Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 9 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 9 Preview

By David Hunter

Stage 8 Recap

We were only 250 metres from the best prediction of the race!

A large group went away, featuring Julian Arrendono and Stefano Pirazzi. They crested the first climb with a small lead, then Pierre Roland launched an attack on the descent.

Arredondo managed to distance his companions on the cat 2 climb, but all the time Roland was getting closer. On the final climb, the Frenchman eventually reeled in his young rival. Back in the peloton, there were plenty of riders looking at each other. AG2R did most of the work, before Morabito took over for Cadel. Just as it seemed Roland would make it Daniel Moreno attacked. He surged past Rolland but then he couldn’t cope the 13% finish to the stage. Smashing out of the peloton came Kiserlovski and Ulissi. The Italian timed his attack to perfection and he claimed his 2nd win of the race.

The slimming down of the GC riders continued with Scarponi dropping out of contention, having not recovered fully from his crash.

Evans takes over the pink jersey and has a strong 57 second lead over Uran.

Pink – Evans, Red – Bouhanni, Blue – Arrendondo, White – Majka

Stage 9 Lugo – Sestola 172km

After a really hard few days the riders will be looking forward to the rest day on Monday.


It’s not a long stage but there will be a lot of tired legs in the peloton.


The riders have 110km of flat roads to start the stage and expect the morning break to get a big lead. We then have the cat 3, Sant’Antonio, 13.3km at 3.8% . The cat 4, Rochetta Sandri, is 8km at 3.6%, a short descent leaves the riders at the foot of the final climb.


Despite only being a cat 2 climb, the Passo del Lupo is a bit of a monster. The climb can be split into 3, 8km at 4.8%, 4km at 8.7%, before the final 4km at 4.5%. The middle section is obviously the killer.


The end of the stage is quite straightforward and suits a climber that can sprint, but what type of race will we get?

BMC take ownership of the pink jersey and the responsibility that comes with it. They won’t fancy chasing hard all day, to give others the chance of taking bonus seconds.

Movistar and Quintana will like the look of the middle section of the climb, especially as they need to take time back on Evans, but they also know that Evans can outsprint Quintana.

Ulissi is sitting on 2 stage wins and this is another suitable stage. He was very surprised to win today, as he thought the climbs would have been too hard. On paper, this is an easier stage.

Edvald Boasson Hagen has been looking very impressive, but will the 4km at 8.7% be too much for him?

Will it be a day for climbers or tough sprinters? Riders like Battaglin, Finetto and Felline will be interested as will Geschke, Cataldo, Hansen, Paolini and Gasparotto.

There are now big gaps on GC, so a break with no threat will be a relief to BMC. They will happily let them get a big lead and take the stage and bonus seconds, it will keep their men fresh for the challenges ahead.

Looking into the history books, the stage before a rest-day usually sees the break win, in the Giro. With the challenging end to the stage will any of the teams feel confident to do all the chasing to set up their man? There are a large number of questions to be answered!

Prediction time…

The race has been very hard and the first rest day was used up by travelling from Ireland to Bari. The riders will want this stage over! As I mentioned a break usually survives before the rest day and I think this will happen again. No team will put their hand up and chase all day, as long as there isn’t a GC threat in the break. This means we have to look to the breakaway experts. Adam Hansen is the most obvious candidate and is a massive threat. Other riders that will try to get in the break are Rubiano, Cataldo, Hoogerland, Moser, Geschke, Wellens, Weening and Nathan Haas.

This really should be the big day for the break and these boys know it. The opening kilometres of the stage should be very fast and very crazy!

This is a really hard one to call, but I go for Johnny Hoogerland.

Related: Giro 2014 general preview:

David Hunter

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