(Reuters) - Slovenian Primoz Roglic won the Chianti Classic individual time trial that formed the ninth stage of the Giro d‘Italia on Sunday, while Italian Gianluca Brambilla held on to the leader’s pink jersey.
Roglic, from the Lotto-NL team, clocked 51 minutes 45 seconds over the hilly 40.5-km course which ended in the center of Greve in Chianti.
Brambilla, who like other late starters, had to ride through heavy rain showers, just managed to hold on to the lead he took on Saturday with a one-second gap on Etixx-Quick Step team mate Bob Jungels of Luxembourg after setting the 17th best time.
Roglic, who was second in the time trial that opened the Giro, said he had not expected to win on Sunday. “After about 10 kilometers I lost my computer and my water bottle,” he said.
”I lost a bit of motivation and decided to relax. At that point I realized that I felt really good on the climbs, so I carried on pushing just for fun.
“I was slow and unlucky during the first part of the course and very fast and lucky at the end. I didn’t have any rain, or maybe just a few drops. The riders after me had a lot. It was a strange race, very strange.”
Second and third in the stage went to IAM team mates Matthias Braendle of Austria, the former world one-hour record holder, and Vegard Laengen of Norway.
Dutch time-trial specialist Tom Dumoulin, who led the race last week, had a disappointing day, finishing 15th in the stage and slipping to seventh in the overall standings.
Brambilla said he had adopted the same tactics as in Saturday’s successful stage. “Yesterday I attacked and went flat out for the whole stage,” he told reporters. “Today I did the same -- flat out for the whole stage. So far it has been a perfect Giro, it feels fantastic.”
On Monday, the riders have a rest day before Tuesday’s mountainous, 219-km 10th stage from Campi Bisenzio, north-west of Florence, to Sestola.
Writing by Clare Fallon; editing by Martyn Herman/Toby Davis