Giro d’Italia 2017: Reactions from the 9th stage

Nairo Quintana

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) – stage winner and new race leader

“Such a great day! I wanted to show that both my legs and those of my team-mates were doing great. I feel strong and I’m pleased to see the whole Movistar Team riding this way. All of the boys have been simply outstanding, they worked their hearts out from start to finish, from the very first one to the last, at the exact moment they had to, and that also brings you extra motivation to give your best.

“I knew it was important to open some distance with the biggest rivals before the TT. After my first attack I saw Pinot and Nibali being able to follow, but I continued to make attacks, one after another, until I was able to finally open a gap and carry on. I just gave everything that I had – I’m so happy I ended up winning this stage and also wearing the Maglia Rosa before the rest day. We’re really satisfied with the selection we created between the main contenders and taking these seconds on them.

“There’s still a long way to go in this Giro. We’ll see after Tuesday’s TT if these 30 seconds over Dumoulin are many or too few, but for the time being, I’m feeling good, with strong health, good legs, and that’s what really matters so early in this race. This victory goes to all Latin American and Colombian fans; to Michele Scarponi, whom I regret so much about his passing; and also my wife and all mothers in their day.”

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)

“It was a very tough climb, no doubt about it, and it was a very fast stage. There was only one climb but it was so hard that it made the difference,” Pinot said afterwards. “Quintana was very strong. I tried to follow him like Nibali did. It was a bit harder in the final, but I still tried to follow even then. After that, I just tried to limit the damage as much as possible.”

“I didn’t fall only for a miracle. I had to make a small effort to get back up, but fortunately, I didn’t fall. It was unlucky for the Sky riders to get caught up in the crash,” he said. “It’s a pity for the race because I’d have preferred to have everybody in the battle at the end.”

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

“It’s just about keeping fighting. We kept fighting today and never gave up. It could have been a lot worse. We lost five minutes but I felt like I lost three or four of those on the side of the road – so the legs are obviously decent.

“I’ll aim to have a good rest day tomorrow, give the TT a good bash and then see where we stand. It’s obviously going to be super hard to win the overall now, but there are still stages to go for and we might still be able to move up into the top 10 or better. At the moment I just want to use the aggression, race hard and see what I can get out of it.

“I’ve had worse crashes. My shoulder is sore but it’s nothing I can’t deal with. There’s a lot more racing to be had so we’ll get stuck in.”

Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)

“Wilco was feeling really good and its a shame to loose him. I really can’t be happy with this result because I’m so dissappointed he’s out of the race. I could just avoid the crash but Wilco was closer to him than me, it’s a real shame. Aside from the crash, it was good to bring some fireworks and the legs are good.”

Adam Yates (Orica-Scott)

“I’m bitterly dissappointed with today’s unfortunate situation, but the Giro isn’t over for us yet,” Yates said.

“I came here in great condition after months of hard work and that form hasn’t gone anywhere. We have two more hard weeks ahead of us and I’m more motivated than ever to get a result and climb back up the general classification.”

Tejay Van Garderen (BMC)

“Movistar Team just did an insane tempo and I was just trying to hold it thinking things would settle down, but it was just a bit over my limit and I had to back off. Luckily I was able to have Ben Hermans there to help me out to the line.”

“We had Mount Etna, but I’d say this was the first big mountain test of the Giro d’Italia. Sometimes after so many flat stages, it’s always questionable how the legs are going to respond on the first mountain test. I’m definitely going to stay the course and give it all I have in the time trial on Tuesday.”

Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo)

“I did not have such a good day today. At the foot of the climb, I was already at my limit,” said Kruijswijk on top of the mountain in Abruzzo. “When Quintana accelerated, I couldn’t hold up the pace and I had to accept the time loss. But that’s the way it is, but the Giro isn’t over yet.”

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)

“That was a really, really hard climb, it’s one of the hardest climbs of this Giro, ” admitted Mollema. “Yeah, I had a good day. I finished quite close to second and third and Quintana he was just very, very strong today. I managed to do a good pace the whole climb. It’s a good day for the GC; I gained 2-3 minutes on a lot of other guys. I am quite happy about today.”

“Yeah, I just did my own tempo,” Mollema answered when asked if the plan was to let the attacks go and then come back. “I was with Dumoulin, and he did a really good pace. I couldn’t help him too much; he was very strong today. But I knew he’s a strong time trialist, so he’s really good in keeping a regular pace, and I could stay with him for a long time.”


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