Giro d'Italia: GC standings after stage 9 - Leaderboard tight with Evenepoel out
Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quickstep) reclaimed the race lead on stage 9 with his time trial victory but isn't going to get to line up in the maglia rosa when racing resumes after the rest day, as the news came through on Sunday night that the Belgian would leave the race after testing positive to COVID-19.
Removing Evenepoel from the General Classification tally makes it the tightest of competitions at the top of the order. Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), who had been just 45 seconds off the race lead after finishing one second behind Evenepoel in the time trial, now moves into the virtual top spot. He is just two seconds ahead of Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) while Thomas' teammate, Tao Geoghegan Hart, is just a further three seconds back from the Jumbo-Visma rider and five seconds off the lead in the overall standings, with Evenepoel removed.
The COVID-19 announcement came just hours after the Belgian seemed to have turned the race fortunes back in his favour. After having shown weakness on stage 8, where he conceded 14 seconds to Roglič, Evenepoel swept through the 35km stage with the fastest time at each intermediate time check and finished the first week of racing as clear leader in the hunt for overall victory given the considerable gap to all his rivals.
Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM) had bid farewell to his well-earned race lead when he trailed Evenepoel by a respectable 1:15 on the stage 9 time trial.
With Evenepoel out of the running, the competition for overall victory has now become a far more open affair, with the top 8 riders all within two minutes of Thomas.
João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) sits 22 seconds down on the Ineos Grenadiers rider, on the same time gap as Leknessund. Behind them, Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) is 1:03 down on Thomas, having trailed him by 29 seconds in the time trial.
Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) had crept into the top 10 on the stage in a result that saw him move from 9th to 8th in the original overall standings, but at a notable gap of 2:13 to the race lead. However, that is now carved down to a 1:28 gap to Thomas.
Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) is next in the overall standings, 1:52 down on Thomas, while Pavel Sivakov rounded off the original top 10 after a challenging stage 9 where he finished in 17th place. He is the third Ineos Grenadiers rider in the top 10, 2:15 away from teammate Thomas. After that it is UAE Team Emirates rider Jay Vine, 2:36 behind Thomas.
With the series of savage mountain stages that await us in the next week of racing, we can expect those gaps among the top 10 to grow and the order to reshuffle as the clear favourites dig deep to distinguish themselves on the long road to Rome, especially considering the race for the maglia rosa just became way more open.
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Giro d'Italia 2023 classifications
Here's a summary of all the ongoing competitions at the Giro d'Italia. Click here for a more comprehensive rundown, including minor competitions such as the intermediate sprints prize and the fighting spirit prize.
Maglia rosa – The pink jersey is worn by the overall race leader on the general classification who has completed the stages so far in the lowest accumulated time.
Maglia ciclamino – The cyclamen jersey is the points classification. Riders accrue points at one of the two intermediate sprints during stages and also at stage finishes, and the man with the most points leads the ranking.
Maglia azzurra – The blue jersey is the mountain classification. Points are handed out to the first riders over certain hills and climbs during the Giro, with the hardest mountains giving the most points. Once again, the man with the most points leads the ranking.
Maglia bianca – The white jersey is the best young rider classification. It works the same way as the maglia rosa, but only riders aged 25 or under are eligible to win.