Date: Sunday May 15
Distance: 191 km
Giro organisers give each stage a star rating from one to five, with five being reserved for the race’s most difficult stages. With 5,000 metres of climbing in the Apennines of central Italy, stage 9 is the first of three five-star stages in this year’s Giro.
Within 40 km of starting the stage the riders will already have three designated climbs behind them, but the hardest climbs will still be ahead. The stage ends with back-to-back ascents of two tough Cat 1 ascents: the Passo Lanciano (10.3 km at 7.6%) and Blockhaus (13.6 km at 8.4%). Difficult day!
Who’s it for: Breakaway riders will fancy their chances, but it could well be a GC contender that wins this stage. Either way, an important GC day going into the second rest day.
Dane Cash’s picks: As with any mountain stage, the breakaway riders have a good chance, but there aren’t a lot of obvious names for that scenario just yet in this race. As such, I like Simon Yates and Richard Carapaz, in that order, better than anyone else in the field.
If a break does go the distance, Lorenzo Fortunato, Joe Dombrowski, and Iván Sosa are riders to watch.
When to tune in: If you want to watch the final two climbs of the stage, you’ll want to be watching when the riders hit the base of the Passo Lanciano, sometime from 3:05pm onwards, local time (6:05am PDT / 9:05am EDT / 11:05pm AEST). If you just want to watch the final ascent to Blockhaus, best to tune in around 4pm local time (7:00am PDT / 10:00am EDT / 12:00am AEST).