MOUNT ETNA, Italy (Reuters) – Geraint Thomas’s Giro d’Italia problem was successfully over earlier than the primary climb on Monday after the Ineos-Grenadiers rider was dropped through the third stage following an early crash.
Britain’s 2018 Tour de France champion hit the bottom within the impartial zone earlier than the beginning and misplaced contact with the primary pack forward of the ultimate ascent to Mount Etna, an 18.8km effort at a median gradient of 6.6%.
Ineos-Grenadiers sports activities director Matteo Tossato mentioned the crash was attributable to Thomas’s entrance wheel hitting a rider’s bottle on the bottom.
“He instantly felt a number of ache within the left leg however after the beginning he was higher. Ultimately, with 45km left, the tempo went up and it was steeper so he felt ache once more and most popular to get dropped and tempo himself to the tip, wait till after the stage end to see the physician,” Tossato mentioned.
Thomas ended the 150km stage some 12 minutes behind stage winner Jonathan Caceido of Ecuador, who crossed the road 51 seconds forward of total contenders Jakob Fuglsang and twice winner Vincenzo Nibali and 39 seconds earlier than Dutch challenger Wilco Keldermann.
On a foul day for British riders, Simon Yates of the Mitchelton-Scott group was dropped about 9 km from the end, dropping 3:31 to the opposite main total contenders.
“It was about limiting our losses,” mentioned Mitchelton-Scott sports activities director Matt White. “It’s an extended race, everybody has a foul day. Sadly for us it’s early within the race.”
“We’re wanting on the race from a special angle. Now we’re coming from behind.”
Portugal’s Joao Almeida took the general chief’s Maglia Rosa a fraction of a second forward of Caceido, who may remorse celebrating his stage win earlier than crossing the road.
“I can not describe this sense,” mentioned Deceuninck-Fast Step rider Almeida, who must be intently monitored by the highest contenders within the coming days.
“It’s a dream come true. I attempted to do my greatest on the climb and stick with the primary favourites for the overall classification.”
It has been an eventful begin to the rescheduled grand tour after Fuglsang’s Astana group have been hit when key climber Miguel Angel Lopez crashed out within the opening time trial and co-leader Alksandr Vlasov deserted with a abdomen bug on Sunday.
Unhealthy recollections resurfaced for Welshman Thomas as he pulled out of the 2017 Giro injured 5 days after hitting the bottom in a crash involving a race motorcycle.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Enhancing by Ed Osmond and Ken Ferris