Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) returns to maglia rosa in the 2023 Giro d’Italia (opens in a new tab), five days after ceding the race lead to Andreas Leknessund (DSM).
The Belgian, who went 2-2 in the time trial of the Giro d’Italia, won stage nine by a second on Sunday. He now leads the overall standings with a 45-second lead over Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), while Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) is third with 47 seconds.
Sunday’s individual time trial marked the end of Leknessund’s spell in the pink jersey. The Norwegian became the first Norwegian driver to lead the race since Knut Knudsen in 1975, after surviving a breakthrough to finish second on stage four. He then maintained the advantage in the mountain test against Gran Sasso d’Italia in stage seven and the GC attack in stage eight.
The DSM rider – now sixth – isn’t the only one to finish in the top 10 after a time trial. Notable movers included Thomas, who made the provisional podium, and Tau Gigan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers), whose stellar performance saw him jump two places to fourth. Ineos Grenadiers now has 3 drivers in the top 10, with Pavel Sivakov also entering the fray and leading the team in the race.
Jonathan Milan (Bahrain Victory) remains the points leader, winning stage two and finishing second on two occasions. His advantage over Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) remains slim.
By leading the overall category, Evenepoel is also the default leader in the young rider category. However, the white jersey is currently on the shoulders of Leknessund, who is the third best driver under the age of 25. That’s because Evenepoel and João Almeida (UAE Emirates) chose to don their respective World Champion and Portugal Champion jerseys.
The battle for maglia rosa is expected to intensify in the second week, with the second of three individual time trials, the 35km scramble to Cesena. The official mountain test begins on stage 13, when the Giro will cross the northern border of Italy into Switzerland and complete the alpine finish atop Crans Montana.
In the third week, the mountains came menacingly. Stages 16 and 19, both at over 5,000 meters above sea level, will be followed by a grueling uphill time trial on the penultimate day.
The Giro d’Italia will end in Rome on May 28.