Wilco Kelderman did excellent business on Sunday in the ninth stage of the Giro d’Italia. The Dutchman climbed to second place in the rankings and took time on rosette jersey carrier João Almeida. Steven Kruijswijk had to give up some ground in the mountain stage won by Ruben Guerreiro.
The last kilometer of the final climb was very steep, causing differences in the group with favorites. Kelderman was again strong and he finished eighth at 1 minute and 38 seconds behind the stage winner. Only Jakob Fuglsang and teammate Jai Hindley could follow him.
Almeida kept the pink, but he could not return Kelderman’s acceleration and lost eighteen seconds to the leader of Sunweb. Kruijswijk had a hard time on the explosive finish and crossed the line in 24th place three seconds behind the classification leader.
Kelderman took fourteen seconds on Pello Bilbao, which meant he passed the Spaniard in the standings. The Utrecht native is half a minute behind Almeida after a strong first Giro week.
Bilbao is third at 39 seconds, Domenico Pozzovivo is number four at 53 seconds, Vincenzo Nibali admits 57 seconds in fifth and Fuglsang is sixth (+1.01 minute). Kruijswijk dropped three places in the standings and is now number eleven at 1 minute and 24 seconds.
Guerreiro strongest breakaway in the rain
Day winner Guerreiro remained after a rainy stage of 208 kilometers from San Salvo to Roccaraso with two cols of the second and two cols of the first category together with Jonathan Castroviejo from a leading group of eight.
In the sprint, on a stretch of more than 10 percent, the 26-year-old rider of EF Pro Cycling was even fresher than the experienced Castroviejo. For Guerreiro it is his first stage victory in a big round and for his team the second stage win of this Giro, after Jonathan Caicedo’s victory on Mount Etna.
Monday is the first rest day in the Tour of Italy.