Primoz Roglic crushes rivals with second Giro time-trial win
Slovenian Primoz Roglic not only won the stage nine individual time-trial, he severely damaged several key rivals ambitions
European champion and world one-hour record holder Victor Campenaerts was second by 11 seconds on the day despite a late mechanical failure, while Dutch rider Bauke Mollema came third to boost his chances of an eventual podium shot.
Roglic, of Team Jumbo-Visma, who also won the opening day time-trial, finished the 34.8km rain-sodden run to San Marino in 51:52 to win in impressive style.
It was a full 1:05 faster than Italy's two-time Giro winner Vincenzo Nibali, and a devastating 3:11 faster than Britain's self-announced pre-race favourite Simon Yates, who appeared to struggle on the final climb.
The notoriously wily Nibali, known as 'the shark' for his ferocious winning moves, appeared exultant after the stage.
"I believe that was a good time from me," said the Bahrain Merida leader.
"It's a great thing to have taken so much time off Yates and (Miguel Angel) Lopez," he said of the two men he would normally most fear in the mountains.
"Roglic took more than a minute off me but time-trials are his speciality," added the 34-year-old.
"There's a long way to go, but lots of people lost ground here and not just Lopez and Yates, and these people will now have to go on the attack."
"This is turning out to be a beautiful Giro."
Reigning Vuelta champion Yates led the Giro for over two weeks last year only to suffer a penultimate-stage meltdown, and has vowed to make up for it this year.
The win leaves Roglic, a 29-year-old former ski-jumper, in second place in the overall standings behind overnight leader Valerio Conti of Italy, who kept his promise to fight to keep hold of the pink jersey.
But above all it puts this season's form rider Roglic, who won the Tour of Romandie, the UAE Tour and the Tirreno Adriatico, firmly in the driving seat for a first ever victory in a three-week tour.
The Slovenian takes a 1:44 advantage over Nibali into the mountainous section of the Giro where the Italian's cut-throat tactics saw him claim overall wins in 2013 and 2016.
VIDEO: 2019 Giro d'Italia 2019 Stage 9 Highlights
2019 Giro d'Italia 2019 Stage 9 Top 10
1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:51:52
2 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:11
3 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:00
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:05
5 Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Education First 0:01:10
6 Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb 0:01:14
7 Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:01:16
8 Hugh John Carthy (GBr) EF Education First 0:01:30
9 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:01:43
10 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:01:52
General classification after stage 9
1 Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 36:08:32
2 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:01:50
3 Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:21
4 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:33
5 Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:02:36
6 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:02:39
7 Amaro Antunes (Por) CCC Team 0:03:05
8 Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:03:27
9 Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:03:30
10 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:03:32