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Giro d'Italia

Pozzovivo (6th) & Hirt (13th) among the best climbers

Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux started the ninth stage of the Giro d’Italia to the top of Blockhaus (13.6km at 8.4%) in the lead of the team classification

It was at the foot of this final climb that the early breakaway was caught by a peloton of around 50 riders with a quartet of the Belgian World Team: Jan Hirt, Domenico Pozzovivo, Lorenzo Rota and Rein Taaramäe.

A selection was made in the back of the peloton because of the strong rhythm, resulting in a remaining group of only eleven riders with Pozzovivo, closely followed by Jan Hirt.

A leading trio managed to escape with 3 kilometer to go, but the dedication of Pozzovivo in the chasing trio enabled him to make the junction and to sprint for the victory.

Thanks to his sixth place on the top, the Italian rider is now eighth in the provisional classification on the eve of the second rest day. Jan Hirt finished thirteenth and is now fourteenth in the general classification.

« I'm very satisfied with this sixth place! This morning, I imagined finishing among the ten best riders but in the end my result exceeds my expectations. In 2017 I already finished sixth on this same finish, but then I was a lot further away from the victory. Today, I believed in the stage win, even though I was not the most explosive rider in the leading group. The race scenario was perfect for me, we raced on our limits until the final kilometer. Thanks to this performance I am again one step closer to my main goal which is a top ten in the final classification. We were leading the team classification after eight race days, a new experience for the team in a Grand Tour, and we showed that we perform strong collectively in the mountains with four riders in the peloton of favorites halfway through the final climb. In 2022 we continue to break records and I'm determined to contribute to this! »


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