Two-time Giro d’Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali is the current favorite to win the pink jersey. Photo by Cyclingbottle (Twitter).
- Stage 9 of the Giro (Sunday, October 11) features serious climbing prior to the first rest day of this year’s event
- Will a GC contender crack on a course that features 4,000 vertical metres and a crazy steep conclusion?
- What is the best way to bet on Stage 9 of the Giro d’Italia?
While Arnaud Démare winning three sprint finishes in this year’s Giro d’Italia has been exciting, the biggest news has been those who have fallen. Race favorite Geraint Thomas crashed and fractured his pelvis on Stage 3. Top contender Simon Yates contracted COVID-19 and did not start Saturday’s Stage 8.
Who is going to win the race? Sunday’s Stage 9 should provide some clues.
Joao Almeida continues to lead the race but there hasn’t been much climbing yet, and GC contenders have an opportunity to show how strong they are and make a move on Sunday. Let’s look at the Stage 9 odds on what could be a major moving day in Italy
Giro d’Italia Stage 9 Odds
|Thomas De Gendt||+750|
|Tao Geoghegan Hart||+2500|
Odds as of Oct. 10th.
Saturday was a challenging stage won via a breakaway by Alex Dowsett. The sprint finish some expected did not develop because Dowsett was in the early break, attacked several times, eventually got away, and held off the remainder of the break. Salvatore Puccio, Matthew Holmes, and Joseph Rosskopf were 75 seconds back in second place.
Almeida’s 43 second lead over Pello Bilbao, and 48 second edge over Wilco Kelderman could be in peril on Sunday. GC riders like Kelderman, Vincenzo Nibali (5th place- 1:01 back), Jakob Fuglsang (7th place- 1:19 back), Steven Kruijswijk (8th place- 1:21 back) and Rafal Majka (10th place- 1:32 back) could look to gain ground one day before the rider’s get their first break of the tour.
Sunday’s course begins in San Salvo and finishes uphill 207 kilometres later in Roccaraso. There are four serious climbs, two category two, and two cat one, with perhaps the most difficult uphill saved for the very end of the day.
A similar course in 2016 was won by Tim Wellens on a solo mission. Should we expect an attacker to take the day, or a top GC contender? Let’s ponder the top candidates.
2021 UEFA Champions League Odds Tracker
Jakob Fuglsang is riding in just his second Giro. He has a Top 10 finish in the Tour de France, and last year won an individual stage in the Vuelta a España.
In February Fuglsang won the Vuelta a Andalucía, and in August took the Il Lombardia. He was the runner up in this year’s Tour de Pologne.
Two time Giro winner Vincenzo Nibali is the current race favorite. He certainly has a ton of experience having won each grand tour and 15 stages in those big three races.
Nibali was the runner up in last year’s Giro d’Italia, but he hasn’t won a race since Milan–San Remo in 2018.
Thomas De Gendt has won stages in each grand tour too. He really does his best work in breakaways, which could be a good fit for Sunday’s course.
Currently in 75th place, the GC riders won’t be afraid if De Gendt takes off since he is not a pink jersey contender. That makes him an intriguing candidate to win the day if he is feeling strong.
Like De Gendt, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Jack Haig are not going to win the race. That said, they both are legitimate options to take the day on Sunday.
Since Thomas exited the race Team Ineos is targeting individual days to try and win stages. Hart is a youngster for the team and is known as a climber.
Haig is a climber who has had some success in the Vuelta a Espana. He doesn’t win a ton, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him involved for Team Mitchelton–Scott.
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.