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Hamilton attacks to seventh on final climb of Giro d’Italia stage nine

Sun 11 Oct 2020

Tirreno-Adriatico stage winner Lucas Hamilton went on the attack on the summit finish to stage nine of the Giro d’Italia, taking seventh place and valuable seconds in the general classification.

The Australian attacked out of the reduced peloton inside the final six kilomteres and now moves up two spots in the overall to sit 15th heading into tomorrow’s rest day.

Fight to Escape
It was a fast and attacking start to the stage as the fight to get into the day’s breakaway rumbled on for more than 80km. Numerous attacks came and went with Vuelta a Andalucia stage winner Jack Haig amongst a move that was ultimately shutdown before a group of four riders snapped the elastic.

Four more riders bridged across to take the lead group up to eight, and they quickly stretched their advantage out to over six minutes over the first of the four categorised climbs. The gap then fell to 4’30” at the summit of the following climb and it looked like the break would be prevented from staying away until the finish.

The bunch continued to eat into the time gap and Trek-Segafredo increased the pace as they raced into the foot of the penultimate ascent. Haig and Hamilton remained tucked away in the pack as riders started to drop away, but the pace then slowed over the top and the stage swung back in favour of the escapees. 

On the Attack
The tempo in the peloton increased once again into the bottom of the final climb, before Hamilton took advantage of a lull in the action and launched his attack. The 24-year-old was joined by Tao Geoghegan Hart (INEOS Grenadiers), and despite having no help from the Biritish rider, the gap grew out to 30 seconds as they approached the steeper ramps to the line.

Moves amongst the GC favourites inside the final kilometre saw the gap come down, but Hamilton held on to take seventh place and a handful of seconds at the finish, while Ruben Guerreiro (EF Pro Cycling) took the stage win from the breakaway.

Lucas Hamilton:
"I’m pretty sore after my crashes and, I won’t lie, for the first 50 or 60km when it took a long time for the break to go, I was in a world of pain. But as the day went on, I sort of warmed into it a bit, and I don’t mind racing in this weather sometimes.

"I knew it was going to a block headwind, which makes it hard at the front, but I also knew that there’s no teams really strong enough to consistently keep the pace high. So, if you go a bit of a gap, potentially it could go out, which it did.

"In the final there I didn’t have much left because it was a block headwind and Tao came around me in the end. But it’s always good to gain a bit of time and it’s good to see that the legs are feeling ok after the crashes."

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-Team Emirates) +0:58
7. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT)+1:32

Giro d’Italia - GC after Stage 9:
1. João Almeida (Deceuninck - Quick Step) 35:35:50
2. Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) +0:30
3. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain – McLaren) +0:39
15. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT)+2:23

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

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