Etixx - Quick-Step rider Rigoberto Uran finished 28th in a group behind Fabio Aru (Astana), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Richie Porte (Team Sky) and Mikel Landa (Astana), as Aru attacked with about 12km to go in the 224km 9th Stage of the Giro d'Italia on Sunday. The group went on to gain time, but they did not decide the stage. Instead, Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) won the stage solo after attacking out of the remainders of the original breakaway.
Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) was 2nd, and Simon Geschke (Giant-Alpecin) was 3rd in the stage from Beneveto to San Giorgio del Sannio.
Aru attacked out of the maglia rosa group and was able to gain a second on Contador, putting him 3" down from the race leader going into the first rest day of the Giro on Monday. Uran crossed 1'43" down in the stage.
Uran is 8th GC, 2'10" down after the first week of the grand tour, during which he was also battling bronchitis with antibiotics up until Friday.
“Yesterday on the climbs I had a better feeling than the last days when I had to fight against bronchitis,” Uran said. “But, today, when they accelerated, I simply couldn’t follow the rhythm. I had only to try to think about defending my position until the finish. That’s the situation. I lost some seconds again, and now I am two minutes back. The gap is pretty important now. But, I’m a fighter, and I know things can change, even in a moment in a three-week race like the Giro. The goal is to minimize losses until the time trial, and then see what we can do. Then we will review the Giro at that point and figure out how we will approach the third week, which will be super hard for sure. It’s clear at the end of the first week that Astana is very strong, but the Giro is a long race, and we will do our best.”
“Today Rigo lost again a few seconds in the fight for the GC," Sport Director Davide Bramati said. “But, we knew it would be difficult for him, because in this first week Rigo suffered quite a bit from the bronchitis he suffered starting around the time of Tour de Romandie. The situation has improved a little bit for him, but he isn’t in top condition due to the circumstances But he is known for his strong character. He is someone who can be there for the full three weeks and manage these kinds of circumstances Tomorrow's rest day and the flat stage the day after will be important for both Rigo and the team to recover. We've lost two guys, including Pieter Serry, who is a climber that can be a good supporter in the mountains. So we have to make the best out of some bad luck. We will go ahead with our full focus on the upcoming ITT next weekend. That’s our next objective. From that point on we will see where we will be and then define our strategy for the final week, based on the GC placement and condition of Rigo.”