It was quite a day of racing – Paris-Tours (won by Casper Pedersen for Sunweb), Women’s Gent-Wevelgem (won by Jolien D’hoore from Boels Dolmans), Men’s Gent-Wevelgem won by Mads Pedersen for Trek Segafredo – but more on him in a bit (and surprisingly, possibly Mark Cavendish‘s final race?), and a Portuguese win in Stage 9 in the Giro d’Italia. EF’s Ruben Guerreiro from a duo duel with Ineos’s Jonathan Castrovieja over the last two climbs. If you can call attacking on a steep incline a sprint, then so be it, but Guerreiro picked his moment to attack his Spanish companion to be able to celebrate the victory solo. The cold, rainy day didn’t topped Joao Almeida (DQS) but it did cause an ever-so-slight rearrangement of the GC.
A Portuguese day at the Giro
Out of a break of 8, including Castroviejo, Guerriero, Ag2r’s Larry Warbasse, Mikkel Bjerg (UAE), and Gianni Visconti (Vini Zabu-Brado-KTM). They were given their head today, as the Quickstep controlled peloton let the group have up to seven minutes, knowing that the climbs at the end would whittle down any danger of losing the maglia rosa to anyone in the break.
The peloton never looked like it had any interest in bringing them back from the get-go, but we were hoping for a GC battle in the back. Even though Vincenzo Nibali‘s Trek Segafredo team, once again, did a lot of riding on the front, by the time the peloton was small enough, it looked like His Nibs had either lost interest in trying anything or he simply couldn’t (or a mix of both). Once Castroviejo and Guerreiro broke away, they worked well together to keep away and it was well under the flamme rouge that Guerreiro made his one almighty kick that won him the stage.
“Finally, what a great satisfaction after so many second places! The team and I really deserved this victory. It was very difficult to get into the breakaway this morning and it’s extraordinary to win today!”
This stage win also means that Guerreiro slips on the maglia azzurra for tomorrow’s stage.
There was one breaker who wasn’t happy about his win, however.
The Mighty Ducks
It’s been mooted on Twitter and I think it might be true – that crazy duck kit of EF has given the team’s riders the swagger and the ambition to make their presence known in the final parts of the stages of this Giro d’Italia.
Stage 9 results
1 Ruben Guerreiro (EF Pro Cycling) 5:41:20
2 Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:08
3 Mikkel Bjerg (UAE) +0:58
4 Kilian Frankiny (Groupama-FDJ) +1:16
5 Larry Warbasse (Ag2r la Mondiale) same time
GC Top 10
1 Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quickstep) 35:35:50
2 Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) +0:30
3 Pello Bilbao (Bahrain McLaren) +0:39
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (NTT Pro Cycling) +0:53
5 Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) +0:57
6 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) +1:01
7 Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) +1:02
8 Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:11
9 Jai Hindley (Sunweb) +1:15
10 Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:17
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
Points jersey Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ)
King of the Mountains Ruben Guerreiro (EF Pro Cycling)
Best Young Rider Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
For full race reviews, go to cyclingnews.
Official race website: Giro d’Italia
Mads about the win
Cool as a cucumber, Mads Pedersen took Gent-Wevelgem, with Florian Senechal (DQS) and Matteo Trentin (CCC) second and third respectively, after a wet and windy afternoon, where the final selection was made on the last climb of the Kemmelberg. A strong group of riders, including Wout Van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel, distanced the rest and then started playing cat and mouse with about 3km to go. Mads made it look easy.
Celebrations all round!
Is this song off Tadej Pogacar’s new album?
War of Words
Wout Van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel in the same race. What could go wrong?
MvdP’s reply …
Cav’s last ride?
He started the day with a smile.
Mark Cavendish spent much of the day in the break at Gent-Wevelgem. Could this be the reason? During a post-race interview, Cav broke down, saying that this might be the last race of his career. (He’s trying to negotiate a contract for next year with Bahrain-Merida, so it sounds like that isn’t going very well.)
Cycling is such a difficult sport – even when you’ve been as successful as Cav. Being away from your family for more than half the year – year in, year out; the gruelling physical toll on the body; and then, of course, the injuries that often happen in an instance that can send you to the hospital. So to not be able to retire when and in the manner a rider wants is incredibly sad. Whatever happens with Cav’s contract, he’s given us much excitement through the years and we wish him as much success off the bike as on it.
Top 10 results
1 Mads pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) 5:19:20
2 Florian Senechal (Deceuninck-Quickstep) same time
3 Matteo Trentin (CCC) s/t
4 Alberto Bettiol (EF Pro Cycling) +0:01
5 Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ) +0:03
6 John Degenkolb (Lotto Soudal) +0:04
7 Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck-Quickstep) same time
8 Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +0:07
9 Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) +0:08
10 Dylan Teuns (Bahrain McLaren) +1:40
For full race results, go to cyclingnews.
Header: ©GETTY / Velo / Stuart Franklin