The first mountain stage of the Giro d’Italia to Mount Etna shook up the overall classification far more than expected, with Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) losing over 12 minutes after an early crash and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) conceding more than four minutes after suffering on the 18km climb to the finish.
Jonathan Caicedo (EF Pro Cycling) won the stage from the breakaway but missed out on also taking the leader’s maglia rosa. He and João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) are on the same time but the Portuguese rider pulled on the pink jersey thanks to the tiebreaker – the fractions of a second recorded in Saturday’s opening time trial. Caicedo missed taking the pink jersey because of a 0.28-second difference.
Thomas started the stage third overall, 23 seconds down on teammate and race leader Filippo Ganna and was in a prime position to take the race lead. However, after a hard crash in the neutral roll-out from Enna caused by an errand bidon, Thomas was unable to hold the pace due to his injuries and finished 12:19 on Caicedo, slipping 50 places down the general classification.
With Ineos worried about Thomas, the Mitchelton-Scott team led the peloton, perhaps to set up Yates for the stage victory. However, he lost contact with 10km to go and finished 4:22 down on Caicedo. He is now 3:46 down and close to three minutes down on overall rivals Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Steven Kruijswijk.
Almeida wears pink, with Caicedo a close second and Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Merida) third overall at 37 seconds.
Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb), who attacked late in the stage and gained 12 seconds on the Nibali and other GC riders, is fourth overall at 42 seconds.
Nibali is sixth at 55 seconds, Domenico Pozzovivo is seventh at 59 seconds, Fuglsang is ninth at 1:13 and Kruijswijk is tenth at 1:15. Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) is 11th at 1:26.
The USA’s Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates), is sitting pretty in eighth overall at 1:11 while Tao Geoghegan Hart is now the best-placed Ineos Grenadiers rider, 24th overall at 3:12.