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The steep, long slopes of the Blockhaus proved to be the most decisive arena so far in which the general classification of this year’s Giro d’Italia has been contested, as Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) took victory on stage 9.
Although Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo) retained the maglia rosa with a gutsy performance, the overall standings behind him were reshaped by the mountain.
An early breakaway struggled to build any decisive lead and was gradually mopped up on the approach to and lower slopes of the Blockhaus.
Shortly afterwards, as Ineos-Grenadiers assumed their Team Sky mountain-train form and set a fierce pace, GC favorites began to be ejected out of the peloton.
Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) was the first casualty before Simon Yates — the best placed of the overall contenders at the start of the day — was dropped with 12km still to race. Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) followed suit a kilometer later.
Once he had exhausted his domestiques, Richard Carapaz (Ineos-Grenadiers) launched a stinging attack with 4.5km remaining that only Romain Bardet (Team DSM) and Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) could follow. As they slowed in anticipation of the finish, a group containing Hindley, Domenico Pozzovivo (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) bridged across.
This group contested the sprint which Hindley led out and was able to hold off Bardet and Carapaz to take the win.
You can watch highlights from stage 9 here: