Cyclists pedal during the 18th stage of the Giro d’Italia cycling race, from Belluno to Rifugio Panarotta, Italy, Thursday, May 29, 2014. Julian Arredondo claimed the biggest win of his career with a solo victory on the 18th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Thursday, while Nairo Quintana retained the overall leader’s pink jersey as the race returned to the mountains. (AP Photo/Fabio Ferrari)
- Stage 9 of the Giro d’Italia (Sunday, May 16) features an unpaved steep climb to the finish line
- Riders will tackle four categorized climbs in Stage 9 including a ski slope finish
- While GC contenders could be in the mix, is there value betting on a breakaway?
On Saturday the Giro d’Italia route screamed for a breakaway to succeed and it did. Victor Lafay took off from a group of seven other riders and soloed to victory. Seeing how a race might take place is easier than picking the actual victor. Sunday may look a bit like Saturday.
While Stage 9 is more climbing intensive than Saturday, and the unorthodox finish at Campo Felice is ridiculously steep and unpaved, the breakaway will have a big chance to survive.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see GC riders try to win Stage 9 when racing gets going Sunday (6:25 am ET), and indeed heavy climbing largely works to their advantage. That said, it isn’t overly difficult terrain until near the finish line. That produces significant opportunity for bold riders to make a stand.
With both GC and breakaway options to consider, again there is no serious Stage 9 favorite. Let’s consider the odds and where we can find value picking a daily victor.
Stage 9 Giro d’Italia Odds
|Rider||Odds to Win Stage||Top-3 Finish Odds at DraftKings|
Odds as of May 15th
Stage 9 is kind of a classic Grand Tour day. It looks like stages we have seen forever, with a twist. Race organizers love tradition, and an occasional unknown.
Sunday features an early Category 2 climb, Cat 2 and 3 obstacles in the second half of the stage, and then the Category 1 at the very end with the final three kilometers steep and on a dirt road.
Lafay’s victory on Saturday came on a competitive day with lots of jostling between the breakaway riders. They got clear of the peloton and it was obvious one would win the day. The daring solo move was the difference. Francesco Gavazzi and Nikias Arndt finished second and third, 36 and 37 seconds behind.
Safely among the peloton, most GC riders had no movement in the standings during Stage 8. Atilla Valter has an 11-second lead over Remco Evenepoel, Egan Bernal is five seconds behind Evenpoel. Aleksandr Vlasov remains in fourth place 24 seconds behind the leader. Hugh Carthy is now in fifth position, 38 ticks back of the front.
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It would be shocking if Egan Bernal is not heard from by the time the race gets to Milan. The former Tour de France champ is the favorite to be the overall winner when it is all said and done.
How many stage wins does Bernal have in Grand Tours? Zero. He is certainly capable, and at some point may flex his muscles, but the 24 year old to this point in his career has been content to see the big picture and not worry about day-to-day victories.
Ruben Guerreiro won a stage of the Giro last year, and while he may have long-term aspirations of a Pink Jersey, this probably isn’t the year. Guerreiro is more than six minutes behind, and that means a stage victory means a lot more.
Last year Guerreiro won the Giro’s Mountains Classification.
Two years ago it was Giulio Ciccone who won this race’s Mountains Classification. He finished 16th overall that year and won a stage.
This is the sixth straight year Ciccone has ridden in the Giro, and he continues to both get better and more confident.
Dan Martin is riding in just his third Giro, and first since 2014. He has attempted the Tour de France eight times, hitting the Top 10 on three occasions. Martin has ridden the Vuelta a España seven times, and been in the Top 10 twice.
Martin has won four Grand Tour stages including one on the Vuelta last year.
Alberto Bettiol is a relative newcomer to the Giro. This is his second try after competing in 2016. More of his attention recently has been focused on the Tour de France.
A winner of the Tour of Flanders two years ago, Bettiol is an excellent climber, but the nuance at the end of this stage may be something that suits him well.
You never know when Diego Ulissi may appear out of nowhere. He has captured eight career Giro Stages and twice earned daily honors last year.
He was on the podium for four significant races last year, but seems to just now be getting his 2021 footing.
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Dave Friedman has covered professional and college sports for two decades. From ESPN to the Associated Press, Regional Sports Networks, Metro Networks, and many local outlets, he has written about and broadcast major and minor events throughout the country.