Aussie Hindley wins mountain battle as Yates wilts
May 16 2022 12:19 AM
Australian rider Jai Hindley reacts after winning stage 9 of the Giro d’Italia from Isernia to Block
Australian rider Jai Hindley reacts after winning stage 9 of the Giro d’Italia from Isernia to Blockhaus in Italy.

AFP/ Roccamorice, Italy

Australian Jai Hindley won the first tough mountain stage of the Giro d’Italia yesterday as Spain’s Juan Pedro Lopez just about held the overall leader’s pink jersey.
Bora rider Hindley edged big guns Romain Bardet, Richard Carapaz and Mikel Landa to the line, while British rider Simon Yates lost over 11 minutes on the final, steep 14km climb to Blockhaus at 1,665 metres altitude, in the Abruzzo region.
With the Giro heading into a rest day today, Lopez leads UAE’s Joao Almeida by 11sec with Bardet at 14, Carapaz 15, Hindley 20 and Landa 29sec adrift.
Carapaz’s Ineos team set the pace on this ninth stage where the riders got to the Blockhaus mountain after five sizzling hours in the saddle for a 13.6km test at 8.4 percent gradient.
The peloton was whittled down finally to six riders coming to the summit and a photo-finish was needed to separate winner Hindley from Carapaz in second and Bardet third after the 191km run.
“There was a right hander before the finish with around 200m to go. I wanted to take the corner first and gave it everything to the line – and here we are,” 2020 Giro runner-up Hindley explained at the line.
Hindley will see his name line up alongside legendary Eddy Merckx in the history books, as the great Belgian won here in 1967.
Frenchman Bardet regretted the finale.
“The result is hard to accept because I made a big error at the last corner,” he said.
Simon Yates was in trouble even before the climb and it may now appear that his day three time-trial win in Budapest was an unwise manoeuvre.
Lopez lost touch with the main group on the climb after a clash of wheels that saw him angrily throw a water bottle, for which he later apologised.
The Trek rider, a Giro rookie, also rallied to cling on to the pink he won on Mount Etna on stage four.
“It was hard to believe my soigneur who told me that I still have it.
“I’m very tired but luckily I have a rest day tomorrow,” said the Spaniard.
Tomorrow’s stage 10 of Giro d’Italia leaves Pescara on the Abruzzo coast for a rugged 196km run north to Jesi which is flat over the first half and hilly over the closing section.
The marathon ends on May 29.

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