Primoz Roglic blows away rivals in Giro d'Italia time trial win as Simon Yates haemorrhages time in race for pink

Tom Cary
Primoz Roglic won the stage nine time trial while putting huge time into his general classification rivals - AFP or licensors

Simon Yates’s hopes of winning the Giro d’Italia suffered a major blow on Sunday as he shipped 3min11sec to stage winner and race favourite Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) in the stage nine time trial to San Marino.

Yates was at a loss to explain his poor showing in the 34.8km stage, which finished with a climb many felt would suit him, saying only that he had had “a bit of a stinker”.

“I was going ok on the flat section but when I tried to step on it once we reached the climb, I just didn’t have anything,” Yates said after finishing his effort in heavy rain. “It’s one of those things. We’ll have to come up with a new plan now, a new strategy and go from there.”

Yates’s improvement against the clock in recent seasons has been one of the things which has allowed the 26 year-old to challenge consistently for grand tours. The Briton was unexpectedly strong in last year’s main Giro time trial, losing far less time than expected to world TT champion Tom Dumoulin, while a strong time trial helped him to win the Vuelta a Espana last autumn

This year Yates won the individual time trial at Paris-Nice in the spring, and was second in the opening Giro time trial in Bologna 10 days ago.

Simon Yates said he had "a bit of a stinker" Credit: AP

Yates - who won three stages and wore the pink leader’s jersey for 13 days last year before crumbling in the final stages - now sits 3min46 seconds behind Roglic who himself lies second in the general classification but is far more fancied than the overall race leader Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates).

Roglic has a lead of 1min44sec on Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), 1min55sec on Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and 2min18sec on Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-Quick Step).

“We’re still early on in the race,” Yates stressed. “We’ve only done one effort before today, and that was in the prologue, all of the other days have been flat and in the wheels.

“I’m looking forward to getting more and more into the mountains now to see what we can do.”

“It certainly puts us in an interesting situation,” Mitchelton-Scott sports director Matt White added. “We have to go over things in detail and change our plan accordingly.

“We have not done one climb yet in this Giro. If there is any Grand Tour that can turn around in an instant, it’s this one.”

Yates’s fellow Briton Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Ineos) said he still didn’t “feel himself” after his crash earlier in the race but managed to move up one place to 31st overall - 5min08sec down on Roglic - ahead of Monday’s first rest day.

Stage 13 to Lago Serrù will be the first in the high mountains.

4:09PM

Roglic wins stage; Conti retains overall lead

Valerio Conti has completed his time trial. The UAE Team Emirates rider finished 3min 34sec off the pace, but retained his maglia rosa. The Italian will now take a 1min 50sec lead into Monday's rest day.

Primoz Roglic, who clinched his second stage at this year's Giro, climbed into second on general classification after the Jumbo-Visma rider won the hilly 34.8km individual time trial into San Marino.

"It's a perfect performance in my mind. I did a good job. I took it easy at the beginning and I gave it all at the end," Roglic said at the finish.

"It's nice to take some time over the other GC [general classification] favorites but the Giro is far from over."

World hour record holder Victor Campenearts had set the fastest time despite losing valuable seconds during a shambolic bike change from his Lotto-Soudal squad who had not practised a bike change on this tough looking time trial course. The headlines, though, will be taken by Roglic who put huge time into his general classification rivals.

Roglic put 1min 5sec into Vincenzo Nibali who finished fourth on the day, while the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz lost a further 50sec. Most shockingly of all, though, were the losses made by one of the pre-race favourites Simon Yates. The Briton lost 3min 11sec to Roglic while Miguel Ángel López lost 3min 45sec.

Hugh Carthy was the fastest Briton despite having to ride in rotten conditions Credit: Getty Images

There was some good news for British cycling, though, after Hugh Carthy (EF Education First) finished eighth 1min 30sec behind Roglic, a result that saw the Preston-born rider climb seven places on general classification. Carthy will start Tuesday's stage 1min 2sec adrift of Nibali who himself climbed to 11th overall, 1min 44sec behind Roglic.

Bradley Wiggins reacts to Yates's performance

It is a disaster. We don’t quite know why he’s performing so badly. You have to think that something’s happened because it’s abnormal. He didn’t look like he’s enjoying it, he looks in pain. I know cyclists are in pain during a time trial but he looks in discomfort.

We knew Roglic was capable of a performance like that and we said it’s a big day for Simon, he’s got to stay in contact, and he’s lost a chunk and it’s a big disappointment for him. But, it’s not over, there’s a lot of racing to go and this kid is a racer. We saw what happened last year [with Chris Froome]. 

3:53PM

Conti edging towards finish

Maglia rosa Valerio Conti is still out on the course. He's being cheered on by the brave souls who are on the roadside, soaked through one imagines. They must really want to see the UAE Team Emirates rider and his pink jersey because it looks pretty grim out there right now.

Race leader Valerio Conti during the rain-soaked time trial into San Marino Credit: getty images

3:41PM

Roglic made huge gains on rivals 

While today's stage is yet to finish, Primoz Roglic's incredible ride has sent shockwaves through the general classification. The Jumbo-Visma rider put 1min into Bauke Mollema; 1min 5sec into Vincenzo Nibali; 1min 55sec into Richard Carapaz and most shockingly of all, 3min 11sec into Simon Yates while Miguel Ángel López lost 3min 45sec.

3:34PM

Roglic sets new fastest time

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) has dislodged Victor Campenearts at the top of the board. The Slovenian is on the verge of winning his second stage at this year's Giro d'Italia and turn the crew on his rivals.

The Belgian looks utterly heartbroken. He's probably thinking they should have practised bike changes now, but it's too late for that now.

3:32PM

Pas normal

Primoz Roglic is closing on his minute-man Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe) who, in fact, is his three-minute man. Wow. That's unreal.

3:28PM

Disaster for Yates

Simon Yates has had an absolute disaster. The Mitchelton-Scott rider finished over 3min down on Victor Campenearts and has lost 2min 6sec to general classification rival Vincenzo Nibali. Wow. Nobody was expecting that. That's a terrible result from the man who had billed himself as the pre-race favourite in Bologna last week and had told Rouleur magazine recently that his rivals should be "s------ themselves" at the thought of racing against him in Italy this month.

3:24PM

Nibali swims; Ángel López ​sinks

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Nibali) is cheered on to the finish line. The man nicknamed 'the Shark' did a decent ride and has set the third fastest time of the day so far. "Dismiss the Bahrain-Merida leader at your peril," I wrote on the eve of this year's Giro. I'm standing by that.

Miguel Ángel López  meanwhile has had a stinker. The Colombian finished 3min 34sec behind Victor Campenearts and more importantly lost big chunks of time on his general classification rivals.

3:19PM

Campenaerts plays the waiting game 

Primoz Roglic is flying skywards as Victor Campenaerts watches from the finishing line. Will the Belgian win his first grand tour stage or can the Jumbo-Visma rider add a second time trial of this year's Giro to his ever expanding palmarès? Nervous times for the Lotto-Soudal man.

VC

3:14PM

Heavy rain returns

It is raining heavily near the top of the course now. What impact will that have on the general classification riders? The maglia rosa of Valerio Conti is now out on the course. The UAE Team Emirates rider is the last man to go down the starting ramp.

3:12PM

Mollema is flying 

Bauke Mollema puts in a huge performance as the flying Dutchman becomes only the second rider on the day to set a sub-53min time.

3:08PM

Jungels off the pace 

Bob Jungels  has completed his time trial, the Deceuninck-Quick Step rider was 15sec faster than Hugh Carthy but will not be making the podium today.

3:07PM

Get Carthy!

Hackney-born rider Tao Geoghegan Hart, incidentally, set the 11th quickest time. The man from Ineos finished his ride in 54min 41sec.

A patched up Tao Geoghegan Hart rides his time trial towards San Marino Credit:  Getty Images

It was Hugh Carthy, however, who has been the best of the British: 53min 22sec for the EF Education First rider who started the day 23rd on general classification. Impressive stuff from the Preston lad.

3:04PM

Roglic going well 

Primoz Roglic is roughly 30sec up on Simon Yates at the midway point. That may sound bad, but the Briton has put time into the Slovenian in the big mountains so the Mitchelton-Scott rider should not be too concerned.

2:58PM

Roglic putting time into rivals 

Tanel Kangert sets the second fastest time of the day. Meanwhile Primoz Roglic has put time into all of his general classification rivals at the first time split.

2:54PM

Ulissi goes third 

Italian rider Diego Ulissi of UAE Team Emirates has knocked Thomas De Gendt off the podium after setting the third fastest time of the day.

2:50PM

Ángel López punctures

Miguel Ángel López (Astana) has reportedly punctured. That's terrible news for the young Colombian general classification contender.

2:48PM

Yates down on Campenaerts

Simon Yates was 49sec slower than Victor Campenaerts at the first time split, but with the climb to follow that should not concern the Briton. Also, the Mitchelton-Scott rider will be more concerned about Primoz Roglic who is behind him.

2:45PM

That wobble

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2:42PM

Roglic out on the course

Primoz Roglic, the favourite for today's stage, is out on the very wet course. Miguel Ángel López (Astana) is shipping time, while Simon Yates just had a scare, his rear wheel slipping a little on a right-hander.

2:33PM

Yates rolls down the starting ramp

Bury-born rider Simon Yates has got his time trial under way. Clear sunglasses and the picture of concentration, the Mitchelton-Scott rider licks his lips going into the opening bend, but can he pull off anything special today? Incidentally, Yates has lost on average 20sec each 10km in his last five time trials but did win the first of his career this season at Paris-Nice.

2:29PM

Nibali goes off 

Vincenzo Nibali(Bahrain-Merida), the Shark, dives into today's time trial. Next up is Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). 

2:28PM

Landa losing ground 

It sounds like Mikel Landa is having a 'mare today. Another one. The Basque was around a minute slower than Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) at the first time split. Landa, as I'm sure you will know, arrived at the Giro hoping to challenge for the general classification, but he lost time on the opening day and has subsequently been fairly invisible.

2:23PM

Durbridge finishes in 11th 

Luke Durbridge has completed his time trial, but the Australian time trial champion has not threatened the overall leader's board. The Mitchelton-Scott rider who will be thinking about team leader Simon Yates, finished his time trial in 11th spot in a time of 55min 39sec, 1min 28sec off the pace of Victor Campenaerts.

Luke Durbridge during his time trial Credit: Getty Images

2:18PM

Campenaerts disappointed

Victor Campenaertshas been talking and admitted that he and his Lotto-Soudal team had not practised bike changes in the time trial. He looked and sounded fairly disappointed.

"I had a mechanical in the last 1.5km and that’s frustrating, of course. I had a chain drop. I have to say that we didn’t practise a bike change because I’m not a GC [general classification] rider, and so in general when you have a mechanical you won’t have a good result anymore," Campenaerts said.

Victor Campenaerts admitted his Lotto-Soudal team had not practised bike changes Credit: GETTY IMAGES

"But when you’re at 1.5km from the finish line and you went full gas for almost 50 minutes of course, you want to still go as fast as possible to the line.

"That’s the difference – if I would’ve had a mechanical 10km from the finish line, I would just save my energy. Maybe it’s a point we can work on, to practise bike changes. Hopefully there are no mechanicals in Verona.

"It’s very difficult to judge because when you’re racing full, full gas and you’re super-focused and you’re standing still for ten seconds it feels like ten minutes, so in my feeling I lost over half a minute, but for sure it will be less."

Meanwhile, Bob Jungels is out on the course, but will the Luxembourg rider be leaving it all out on the road today?

2:11PM

Roglic warming up

The pre-stage favourite for today's stage, Primoz Roglic, is warming up and the Jumbo-Visma rider, quite optimistically, is wearing sunglasses.

roglic

South Americans Richard Carapez (Movistar) and Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) are out on the course. Their races under way.

2:06PM

Tipping down at the start line

Absolutely lashing it at the start line now. Horrible nasty conditions for the riders that are due to set off – or are already out on the course. Remember, most of the big guns are due to set off in just under 30min. Right at the bottom of the starting ramp we have those slippery looking slabs, while the road has quite a bit of paint – white road markings – which can become very slippery when wet. 

Ivan Santaromita Credit: Getty Images

Tao Geoghegan Hart  has rolled down the ramp with the Ineos rider taking the opening 50 metres fairly gingerly conscious, no doubt, of these dangers.

1:51PM

De Gendt leapfrogs Davies into third

Victor Campenaerts's team-mate Thomas De Gendt has just set the third fastest time of the day to leapfrog Scott Davies (Dimension Data). The Lotto-Soudal rider is clearly not taking things easy out on the road.

By the way, if you want to know a little more about De Gendt, then you can, here in our interview with the Belgian breakaway specialist.

Thomas De Gendt during his time trial  Credit: Getty Images

1:40PM

As it stands | Welshman Davies third

It has been raining in San Marino and there's plenty of moisture on the road. The finishing straight, by the way, is covered with those smooth slate-like slabs that are pretty common in town centres. They look lovely, but under slick narrow tyres pumped up to maximum pressure can become treacherous in the wrong hands. Luckily, there are no sharp turns so hopefully nobody will see their bike slip from beneath them. 

By the way, Scott Davies (Dimension Data) is the third fastest at the moment (54min 29sec), though the Welshman who finished 2min 26sec slower than Victor Campenaerts can expect to drop down the standings. There's an awful long way to go yet.

1:25PM

Campenaerts takes early lead

Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal) has just completed his time trial, and the Belgian managed to set the fastest time of the day – 52min 3sec – despite appearing to suffer a mechanical issue towards the end of his race. One moment he was riding a time trial bike, the next a road bike.

Victor Campenaerts clocked the fastest time of the day despite having to change bikes Credit: GETTY IMAGES

TV images relayed back suggested the Belgian dropped his chain. Whatever the reason, the outcome was that he will have lost a handful of seconds and, possibly, the opportunity to win his first grand tour stage. Incidentally, all six of the 27-year-old's wins on the road came in individual time trials: Two national and European titles, a stage each at Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol and Tirreno-Adriatico.

VC

1:05PM

Welcome all

Ciao, buongiorno  and welcome to our live rolling blog from stage nine of the 102nd edition of the Giro d'Italia, the 34.8km individual time trial from Riccione to San Marino. Today's race against the clock is the second of three at this year's Giro and similarly to last weekend's opening-day time trial is a test of two halves: the opening  2⁄3 of the stage – around 22km – rises slowly with relatively shallow gradient before the road starts to rise.

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After crossing over into San Marino, or the Republic of San Marino if you must give it its full name, and the riders reach the small town of Faetano, the road rises at steeper gradients, especially in the first part, with peaks around 10% and an average 6.5% slope as far as to Fiorentino. From here, false flat drags alternate with counter-sloping stretches before the gradients go back to approx 6% in the final 2km. The roads are broad and well-surfaced throughout the stage.

After a brief descent, the last 2.5km kicks up again, with gradients reaching 10% over short stretches. The finish line sits on a 5m wide, 300m long tarmacked home straight, slightly downhill over the last 50m.

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Riders will roll down the starting ramp in reverse order of their position on general classification, so the slowest rider set off first – Nico Denz (Ag2r-La Mondiale), who started the day in 164th spot, got his race under way at 11.50am (BST), while the maglia rosa will be the last man to go off, at 3.13pm. The early riders set off at one-minute intervals, though that gap increases to 3min once we reach the real business end of the day.

For those new to the sport, days like today can be peculiar affairs. For most of the remaining 163 riders (Bardiani-CSF rider Umberto Orsini is a non-starter, I've no idea why), this time trial will be treated as a rest day. However, due to the tougher than usual finish to the stage they will have to manage their effort well as nobody will want to finish outside the time limit – calculated as a percentage (30%) of the winning time – just as Hiroki Nishimura did on the opening day in Bologna. The Nippo Vini Fantini Faizane rider was duly booted off the race. Those in teams with general classification riders may have to save a little bit of energy for later in the race, while the sprinters, too, may be thinking about Tuesday and Wednesday which are both expected to suit them.

Primoz Roglic won the opening-day time trial in Bologna, but can the Jumbo-Visma rider add another stage at the Giro d'Italia to his growing palmarès?  Credit: Getty Images

The big big favourite today is Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), the Slovenian who won last weekend's time trial. The main goal for the rest of the general classification contenders – and I'm thinking Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Miguel Ángel López (Astana) – is to limit their losses going into the first rest day on Monday. There will, I'm sure, be others who will fancy their chances today including Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-Quick Step) who, I understand, has studied the course closely. It will also be interesting to see how world hour record holder and European time trial champion Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal) goes this afternoon.

1:00PM

Where are we?

Here's a reminder of the route of this year's Giro d'Italia . . .

Giro route

   . . . and here are the details of each and every stage at this year's race:

12:55PM

As it stands . . . 

Here's what the standings look like in the general, points, mountains, young rider and team classifications after eight days of racing.

12:50PM

The Cycling Podcast: re-cap of yesterday's stage

The Giro’s longest day took it northbound for 239km from Tortoreto Lido on the Adriatic coast to Pesaro in the Marche region. Another sprint-finish saw Caleb Ewan of Lotto-Soudal claim his first stage win of the race and Valerio Conti hold onto his pink jersey after an uneventful day as far as the general classification was concerned, despite yet more inclement weather.

With Lionel still away at his football match, Daniel calls in the former Leopard-Trek team boss Brian Nygaard to review the action both on Saturday and in the race’s first week – and to preview what’s to come. 

Conveniently, stage nine honours one of both Brian and Daniel’s passions away from cycling, as this year’s wine stage. More to the point as far as Roglic, Yates et al. are concerned, the 34.8km time-trial should see the first major shake-up of the general classification in this year’s Giro. 

We hear from Yates, his team boss Matt “Look” White, some of the men responsible for supporting Roglic’s challenge and time trial ace Victor Campenaerts.

  • The Cycling Podcast is supported by Rapha and Science in Sport