Rigoberto Uran not dead yet

Death would actually have been a somewhat catastrophic outcome. He only had a cold. A blocked nose may have been why he lost a bit of time earlier in the race, but on stage eight’s summit finish, he finished with the main contenders, hinting that he may be back somewhere near his best.

Uran is 1m24s down on Alberto Contador. That’s quite a lot, but he’s perhaps the best time trialist in the top ten and there’s a monster 60km time trial coming up next Saturday when the time gaps could be pretty massive. Richie Porte might have something to say about that assessment of his time trialling ability, but then Richie Porte’s an even smaller version of the small angry man he’s always been after losing weight this winter. His coach, Tim Kerrison, has implied that there has been a bit of a drop-off in time trial power as a consequence. No drop-off in anger though.

Anyway, that stage is still a week away. Uran can’t really afford to lose any more time before then and could probably do with gaining some, although it’s hard to see a way that could happen. He’ll basically be looking for more performances like this, where he finished in a group with Contador, Fabio Aru, Richie Porte and Aru support rider, Dario Cataldo, who’s actually fourth overall.

In fact, here’s the top ten.

1. Alberto Contador, Tinkoff-Saxo – 32h40m07
2. Fabio Aru, Astana – 4s
3. Richie Porte, Sky – 22s
4. Dario Cataldo, Astana – 30s
5. Mikel Landa, Astana – 42s
6. Roman Kreuziger – Tinkoff-Saxo 1m00s
7. Giovanni Visconti, Movistar – 1m16s
8. Rigoberto Uran, Etixx – Quick-Step – 1m24s
9. Damiano Caruso, BMC – 1m34s
10. Andrey Amador, Movistar – 1m38s

The stage winner, Benat Intxausti, doesn’t feature. He’s way down, which is precisely why he was allowed into the break in the first place. Carlos Betancur was allowed in the break as well for the same reason. Sadly, our favourite chubby Colombian is not only failing to compete with the main contenders, he’s also failing to compete with the guys who’ve already lost 20 minutes. Intxausti was doubtless delighted about that. A Giro stage pisses on his Tour of Beijing win.

Did Jurgen Van Den Broeck finish 15th?

No, sixteenth actually.

But he’s 15th overall, right?

No, sixteenth.

Maybe someone above him is set to drop out at some point.

Stage nine

Hilly to mountainous. A handful of biggish climbs, but mostly it’s just an up-and-down tough day – hopefully the kind that leads to good racing.