ORICA-GreenEDGE where they want to be after stage nine of the Giro d’Italia

Sun 15 May 2016

Colombian Esteban Chaves produced a strong performance for ORICA-GreenEDGE on a rain sodden stage nine of the Giro d’Italia today to stay in contact on the general classification going into the second week of racing in Italy.

After today’s slippery and wet individual time trial Chaves is now 13th overall, two minutes 31seconds down on the pink jersey of Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-Quickstep) as the race enjoys a rest day tomorrow before the serious mountain stages begin next week.

The extreme weather conditions affected the course when it started to rain heavily an hour and a half into the individual time trial stage. A strong ride from Damien Howson saw him finish in 24th place on stage nine meaning that the 2013 under-23 Australian time trial champion was the best placed rider for ORICA-GreenEDGE on the day.

Sport director Matt White was very pleased with how the day went for the team.

“Very pleasing performance today from Esteban (Chaves),” said White. “With the rain and the heightened risk out there on the road we are very happy that we came through unscathed and without losing too much time to the other favourites in the race.”

“We are exactly where we wanted to be going into the second week when the serious racing really begins. The course certainly didn’t suit Esteban today and he produced a fantastic ride to stay in contention and it shows you how focused he is on performing well here.

“Grand tours can be lost in the first week but they are won in the last week. We certainly haven’t lost anything and we are really happy with our position and looking forward to the mountain stages.”

How it happened:

The ‘Chianti-Classico’ 40.5kilometre individual time trial that made up stage nine of the 2016 Giro d’Italia began under ominous grey clouds amidst the rolling hills of the famous wine making region.

The first rider down the ramp for ORICA-GreenEDGE was New Zealander Sam Bewley posting a time of 59minutes 35seconds. The early time to beat was set by Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) who completed the course in 51minutes 45seconds.

Former Canadian road race champion Svein Tuft was the fastest of the first four riders for ORICA-GreenEDGE with a time of 57minutes 23seconds. The rain had started to fall heavily an hour and a half into the stage making a technically difficult course even more challenging.

Experienced Basque climber Amets Txurruka went one better than Tuft with a time of 56minutes and one second for the 40 kilometre course taking over from the Canadian as the fastest provisional ORICA-GreenEDGE rider.

Howson was the next ORICA-GreenEDGE rider on the road after Txurruka and the former under-23 world time trial champion duly upstaged his Spanish teammate with a time of 54minutes ten seconds.

The heavy rain was really affecting the road surface now and the sharp final corner of the finishing straight had become particularly dangerous with more than one rider crashing and sliding across the tarmac.

2015 Tour de France stage winner Ruben Plaza was only 19seconds slower than Howson with a time of 54minutes 29seconds. Only Chaves remained for ORICA-GreenEDGE and the Colombian finished three minutes 48seconds down on the time of Roglic.

Nobody was able to get near the time of Roglic and the Slovenian claimed the stage win with Howson the best placed rider for ORICA-GreenEDGE in 24th place.

Tomorrow is a scheduled rest day for the riders with the race starting again on Tuesday 17th with a 219kilometre mountain stage from Campo Bisenzio to Sestola traversing the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. The first real test in the Italian mountains with a final seven kilometre climb to the summit finish in Sestola.

Giro d’Italia stage nine results:

1. Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) 00:51:45
2. Matthias Brandle (IAM-Cycling) 00:00:10
3. Vegard Stake Laengen (IAM-Cycling) 00:00:27
24. Damien Howson (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:02:25

General classification after stage nine:

1. Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-Quickstep) 34:33:04
2. Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quickstep) 00:00:01
3. Andrey Amador (Movistar) 00:00:32
13. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:02:31