Stage 9: MONTENERO DI BISACCIA – BLOCKHAUS
Stage 9: MONTENERO DI BISACCIA – BLOCKHAUS
Sunday, 14th May 2017
Sunday, 14th May 2017

Caravan fatigue



After Etna failed to erupt, we were keen to return to the mountains for stage 9, and give the GC a good shake-up.


The rest day was well and truly on our weary minds - so much so that we decided to get it started a day early with a nice, relaxing stage. After dropping into the start briefly, we headed for the hills.

Medium Quintana



The Blockhaus was sure to scratch our vertical itch, with gradients over 9% for the last 10km.

In an act of blatant patriotism, potentially-impressive clairvoyance, or cyber vandalism, the Wikipedia page had already been updated with Nairo Quintana as the stage winner - even though the stage had yet to start.

Falling with style



Creeping up the climb, looking for the best spots, we got a rude shock. The riders were less than 30km behind us!

With a 2.5km jog from the carpark back down the hill to our selected spot - it was going to be us vs them.

Our relaxed, pre-rest day vibes from the morning suddenly evaporated, and white line fever set in. Like seasoned pros, we stuffed prosciutto-loaded panini into our mouths, cameras over each shoulder, and proceeded to leg it down the slope.

If anyone managed to snag a shot of us half-running, half-stumbling down the hill - cameras bouncing around, plumes of panino crumbs firing out of our nostrils - please share it on my Facebook page,. We’ll all get a good chuckle.

We arrived at our corner, which was starting to accumulate a good-sized crowd, and, satisfyingly, no other photographers. Unfortunately, I mentally celebrated a little too soon and, before long, we were elbow-to-elbow again, fighting off others trying to ‘drop in’ on our wave, errr, shot.

Impressively, the Wikipedia page was proven accurate - Nairo Quintana appeared with no other riders in sight.
MORE GIRO D'ITALIA BELOW OR SEE ALL STAGES
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Join Beardy McBeard and his caravan as he chases some of cycling’s biggest races around the world. Get a new perspective on this beautiful sport through Beardy's iconic photos and the stories behind them. You can also purchase the prints!

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