Euskaltel were in the thick of the action in today's ninth Giro d'Italia stage. Both Pierre Cazaux and Jon Izagirre were on the offensive over the 169 kilometres from San Giorgio del Sannio and Frosinone.
Frenchman Cazaux made it into the break of the day along with Lotto's Bulgac and Vacansoleil's Keizer, but the trio were never able to open up an interesting gap and were naturally reeled in with less than 30 kilometres to go. That set the stage for Jon Izagirre to make a brief sortie off the front in the finale, but he never got far and was forced to settle for a decent 14th in the crash-marred field sprint.
"We tried to avoid a bunch sprint, to surprise the peloton, but it wasn't to be", the GC debutant told the team's website upon crossing the line. "Grabbing a win in a GT is hard, but we have to try. I've been feeling good so far in the Giro, and there's still a lot to fight for".
Mikel Nieve had no trouble staying with the bunch on today's rather flat affair, and is now ranked 41st overall.
Stage nine results:
- (1, Francisco Ventoso (Movistar), 3:39:20)
- 14, Jon Izagirre, s.t.
- 26, Mikel Nieve, s.t.
- 51, Amets Txurruka, s.t.
- 52, Juan José Oroz, s.t.
- 55, Iván Velasco, s.t.
- 158, Adrián Sáez, 3:02
- 177, Víctor Cabedo, 5:27
- 178, Miguel Minguez, s.t.
- 188, Pierre Cazaux, 6:20