World News – GB – Geraint Thomas suffers the blow of the Giro d’Italia as a lost water bottle causes a crash


Geraint Thomas saw his hopes on the Giro d’Italia die out by a lost water bottle and Simon Yates gravely faltered as the British challenge took hits on Mount Etna

Jonathan Caicedo won the third stage of a breakaway, narrowly missing the leader’s pink jersey that passed onto Joao Almeida’s shoulders, but the biggest moves in the overall standings came when Thomas and Yates, both main pre-race favorites, slipped at the back

Thomas was shot down before the flag even fell to start the 150km stage from Enna, passing over a stray can that rolled down the road and landed heavily on its left side

As the final climb approached, @ GeraintThomas86 pulled away from the peloton The Welshman crashed at the start of the stage today and retreated as the pace rose #Giro picTwittercom / 059FdtJF6p

He initially looked serene beyond a few rips in his jersey upon his return to the peloton, but when the pace kicked in as the Etna approached, Thomas was quickly left behind as he became evident that he had hidden wounds

Ineos Grenadiers teammates Rohan Dennis and Filippo Ganna, the latter still in pink after his first stage win, did their best to beat him back, but it was clear it was a losing cause and at the top of the volcano that he had dispatched more than 12 minutes

Ineos sporting director Matteo Tosatto has said Thomas will undergo checks, his participation continuing far from certain in a race he had been tipped to dominate

« However, towards the end of the last 45 kilometers, the pace picked up and the climbs got steeper – he had pain and had to complete the stage at his own pace Now we’ll check it out and get a verdict from our medical team « 

It’s better luck for Thomas in the Giro after his candidacy for glory in 2017 was effectively ended by an accident with a police motorcycle on the ninth stage

Just as the gap with Thomas started to yawn on the 19km climb to the finish, there was more bad news for British fans as Yates left the back of the pack as the attacks lit up in the front

Two years ago, Yates took the pink off this volcano but this time his hopes took what could be a fatal blow as he climbed the steep slopes, crossing the line more than four minutes after Caicedo celebrated the victory to fall to 25th place three minutes and 46 seconds later

Yates’ Mitchelton-Scott team had done a lot of the work up front, unaware they were having a bad day until it was too late

Sporting director Matt White said: « It’s a long race, everyone is having a bad day, unfortunately for us it’s early in the race Hope this is the last one. We’re just going to approach it from a different angle now « 

James Knox of Deceuninck-QuickStep is now the best-placed Briton, one minute 40 ahead of 16th place, while his teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart is 24th, three minutes 12 seconds of pink

Caicedo had been part of an eight-man break, including also Briton Matthew Holmes, who had come up the road early on, and he was able to pull away from Italy’s Giovanni Visconti at the top to claim the victory from EF Education First

It was not quite enough for the pink, the Ecuadorian being at the same time as the Almeida of Deceuninck-QuickStep

Jakob Fuglsang led the main contenders in just under a minute, just ahead of Rafal Majka and Vincenzo Nibali while Steven Kruijswijk conceded five seconds

This saw Nibali take sixth place 55 seconds later as he seeks a third Grand Tour victory at home

Giro d’Italia, Diego Ulissi, Geraint Thomas, Team INEOS, UAE Team Emirates

News from around the world – GB – Geraint Thomas suffers the blow of the Giro d’Italia while misplaced water bottle causes a crash


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