Belkov fires and wins.
The Giro has friendly competition in the form of the eight stage Tour of California.
It works well for me. I always wake early (6 AM) watch the Giro, start work and try to follow the afternoon (2 PM) coverage of the Tour of California.
Stage 9 and the rain continues from Sansepolcro to Florence. It didn't dampen Maxim Belkov's solo breakaway... to win a brilliant victory. The race favorites stayed together except for Ryder Hesjedal having a 'bad moment' to limp in 3:11 behind Vincenzo Nibali.
I for one do not believe in some of the Italian media mentioning that Ryder is out of the running. The defending champ said, "I'm still less than two minutes off the podium. This is the Giro. It's been nine brutal days. I'm here to race and give it my best. I hope we're not forgetting who won the race last year. By no means is it an easy feat to pull that off again, but I'm here. I'm trying. I will try to rebound from today, and rely on the fact that I know I have my best performances in the latter part of a three-week race. There are still two weeks to race. There is plenty of opportunity to climb back."
Vincenzo Nibali said, "Wiggins and Hesjedal have lost time, but they are still my main rivals, along with Evans and Scarponi. But the Giro is long, we all know that, and you can always have a bad day."
And, you don't win a Grand Tour during the first week!
Stage 9, San Sepolcro-Firenze, 170km:
General Classification after Stage 9
|4||Bradley WIGGINS||Great Britain||SKY||+1:16|
|6||Sergio Luis HENAO MONTOYA||Colombia||SKY||+2:11|
|9||Rigoberto URAN URAN||Colombia||SKY||+2:49|
New celeste kit, big win for Lieuwe Westra.
photo Tour of California
It's hot in Escondido, California.
Reaching oven-like temperatures of 42C, most riders cramped and the challenge was just trying to drink enough. One team went through it's 150 bottles and had to stop at a gas station and buy more water.
Jeff Louder (UnitedHealthcare):
"It was like a blast furnace. It was like going into hell a bit."
Alexander Candelario (Optum-Kelly Benefit):
"I think it's the first hot day for everyone, so it was really hot. And I didn't even take a pee once. And tomorrow's going to be even hotter."
Hot for Sagan!
photo Tour of California
Stage 1, Escondido, 165.1km:
General Classification after Stage 1
|2||Francisco MANCEBO PEREZ||Spain||5HR||+4|
|4||Carter JONES||United States||BPC||+13|
|5||James STEMPER||United States||5HR||+14|
|8||Jacob RATHE||United States||GRS||+16|
|9||Alexander CANDELARIO||United States||OPM||+16|