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"He managed to stay in the group until the very last climb and it was only then that he was dropped and was picked up by the favorites group. Even there he provided some help to Iurii Trofimov."

Photo: Sirotti

GIRO D'ITALIA

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MAXIM BELKOV

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17.05.2015 @ 22:18 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

It was another day of climbs for the peloton of 188 riders in the 98th Giro d’Italia on Sunday as they rode over three rated climbs to end in San Giorgio Del Sannio. A winning solo move by Paolo Tiralongo gave the stage win to the Astana rider who attacked from a breakaway group that Team Katusha’s Maxim Belkov was part of for most of the day.

 

"Once again we were very active during the stage. Maxim Belkov went in a breakaway and it was a very good move. He managed to stay in the group until the very last climb and it was only then that he was dropped and was picked up by the favorites group. Even there he provided some help to Iurii Trofimov. In general the team was good today and Trofimov had very strong support during the entire race. He was able to finish with the favorites other than the top three leaders – Aru, Contador and Porte. Tomorrow is a rest day and it will be a good opportunity for riders to recover after a hard first week," said team director Dmitry Konyshev.

 

Tiralongo’s winning time of 5:50.31 saw him cross the finish line 21-seconds ahead of second place finisher Steven Kruijswijk of Lotto NL-Jumbo. Rounding out the podium for stage 9 was Simon Geschke of Giant-Alpecin another two seconds back.

 

Stage 9 at 197 km featured three rated climbs with the riders forced to climb straight from the beginning as they rode out of Benevento. Attacks were almost constant before the break of 11 with Belkov went clear after an hour of racing. Full cooperation came with the break until with more than 60 km still to ride, Tom Jelte Slagter (Cannondale-Garmin) attacked the group and established a sizable gap. A counter-attack from Tiralongo with 14 km to go while climbing the final pitch of the Passo Serra saw the Italian rider eventually catching and passing Slagter to earns stage honors in a solo victory. 

 

Meanwhile Fabio Aru (Astana) initiated an attack, perhaps with the goal to distance rival Rigoberto Uran (Etixx – Quick Step) from the top favorites. Alberto Contador and Richie Porte (Sky) were able to go with him. The maglia rosa stayed on the back of Contador, but a sprint to the line by second-place Aru took 1-second back and keeps the margin at the top at three-seconds. Third place still belongs to Richie Porte at 22-seconds. Team Katusha’s Iurii Trofimov is still well-placed in the 15th spot on GC. 

 

It’s time to rest at the Giro d’Italia on Monday. Racing resumes on Tuesday with Stage 10 departing from Civitanove Marche and ending in Forli at 200 km and it should favor the sprinters.

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