Guerreiro, who also donned the mountain leader’s shirt this Sunday, launched the sprint 400 meters from the finish line, when he was riding the wheel of Spanish Jonathan Castroviejo (INEOS Grenadiers), to prevail with a time of 5:41:20. With this, he took eight seconds ahead of the Biscayan and 58 seconds ahead of the Danish Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Emirates), who completed the podium of the stage.
Meanwhile, Almeida entered 1:56 behind the winner and has lost time in the general classification, in which he leads the Dutchman Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) by 30 seconds. The Dutchman, who finished eighth at 1:38, wins a place to the detriment of Spain’s Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-McLaren).
The one from Gernika reached the finish line alongside Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), 1:52 behind Guerreiro, and lowered his difference with Almeida to 39 seconds, but has dropped to third place in the standings.
Castroviejo and Guerreiro got into the first break of the day, formed around kilometer 40 with eight riders and in which there were men like the Argentine Eduardo Sepúlveda (Movistar) or the Italian Giovanni Visconti (Vini Zabù-KTM).
From behind, Deceuninck-Quick-Step and Trek-Segafredo were pulling the peloton, which little by little managed to reduce the distance with the escapees. In fact, the front group was broken and only five riders survived: Castroviejo, Guerreiro, Bjerg, Larry Warbasse and Kilian Frankiny.
El Roccaraso, with the last 2 kilometers at an average slope of 7% and sections of 12%, issued a ruling. The Spanish and Warbasse tried to surprise, but the harshness of the route forced them to give up. Guerreiro was finally the one who in the last sprint managed to take the victory.
The transalpine round will rest this Monday before tackling the tenth stage on Tuesday, between Lanciano and Tortoreto over 177 kilometers and three fourth category ports and one third category. After a first part along the Adriatic coast, the riders will face a final 40 kilometers dotted with ‘walls’.
1. Ruben Guerrero (POR / Education First) 5:41:20.
2. JONATHAN CASTROVIEJO (ESP/INEOS Grenadiers) a 8.
Mikkel Bjerg (DIN / UAE Emirates) 58.
4. Kilian Frankiny (SUI / Groupama FDJ) 1:16.
5. Larry Warbasse (USA / AG2R La Mondiale) mt
1. Joao Almeida (POR / Deceuninck-Quick Step) 35:35:50.
2. Wilco Kelderman (NED / Team Sunweb) a 30.
3. PELLO BILBAO (ESP / Bahrain-McLaren) 39.
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA / NTT Pro Cycling) 53.
5. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA / Trek-Segafredo) 57.