London: Russian cyclist Maxim Belkov has won the ninth stage of the Giro d’Italia grand tour with a stunning breakaway ride.
Belkov and two other riders broke off from the peloton early on with the aim of scoring points on the climbs but the Russian managed to shed them and hold on until the end, building up a gigantic seven-minute lead at one point on Sunday.
It is the second stage win of this year’s Giro for Belkov’s Katusha team after one earlier for Luca Paolini.
"Belkov came to this stage with a cool head and did what he needed to do, showed everyone what he`s capable of," Katusha general manager Vyatcheslav Ekimov said.
Vincenzo Nibali continues to wear the pink leader’s jersey, as one of his main rivals, Bradley Wiggins, lost time again with poor descents.