News18»Sports
2-MIN READ

Thomas Dropped As Nibali Moves Up In Volcanic Giro Stage

Cyclists pedal along a road during the third stage of the Giro d'Italia, tour of Italy cycling race from Enna to Etna, Sicily, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. (Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP)

Cyclists pedal along a road during the third stage of the Giro d'Italia, tour of Italy cycling race from Enna to Etna, Sicily, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. (Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP)

Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates were the big losers and Sicilian rider Vincenzo Nibali was among those who gained precious time on his home roads in the wild and rainy third stage of the Giro dItalia, which concluded with a climb up the Mount Etna volcano.

ETNA, Sicily: Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates were the big losers and Sicilian rider Vincenzo Nibali was among those who gained precious time on his home roads in the wild and rainy third stage of the Giro dItalia, which concluded with a climb up the Mount Etna volcano.

Ecuador national champion Jonathan Caicedo won Monday’s stage after taking part in an early breakaway and Portuguese rider Joo Almeida grabbed the overall leaders pink jersey.

Thomas, the 2018 Tour de France champion who was a big pre-race favorite, crashed before the stage even began and then dropped behind before the climb and was left out of contention.

With rain falling harder and harder as the riders climbed up to the barren, black lava-laced slopes of Etna, Yates another pre-race favorite was also dropped.

Caicedo, who rides for the EF team, required more than four hours to complete the 150-kilometer (93-mile) route from Enna.

Giovanni Visconti crossed second, 21 seconds behind, and Harm Vanhoucke was third, 30 seconds behind.

Almeida and Caicedo have the same exact overall time, with Spanish rider Pello Bilbao moving up to third overall, 37 seconds behind.

Nibali, who crossed seventh in a small group of overall favorites, moved up to sixth, 55 seconds behind. The Sicilian is one of only seven riders to have won all three of cyclings Grand Tours the Giro (twice), the Tour and the Spanish Vuelta.

Thomas crashed in the neutral zone before the official start and had his elbow bloodied and shirt torn on the back and left side. He then dropped behind the main pack shortly before the climb as Nibalis Trek team set a blistering pace at the front.

Ineos Grenadiers teammate Filippo Ganna the recently crowned time trial world champion and winner of the time trial in Stage 1 paced Thomas back to the main pack while wearing the pink jersey but Thomas again couldnt keep up.

Thomas, who lost more than 12 minutes, was also unfortunate in his previous Giro appearance three years ago, withdrawing after getting injured in a crash involving a police motorbike.

Entering Mondays stage, Thomas was in third place the best placed of the overall favorites.

Yates, who won the Tirreno-Adriatico warmup race, was dropped with about 10 kilometers to go and finished more than four minutes behind.

The climb up Etna lasted 18.8 kilometers at an average gradient of 6.6% but the the final 3 kilometers were at about 9%, with one stretch at 13%.

Theres one more stage in Sicily on Tuesday, a 140-kilometer leg from Catania to Villafranca Tirrena featuring one third-category climb midway along the route before a flat finish.

The race then heads over to the mainland and moves north toward the traditional climbs for the punishing last week.

The Giro was originally scheduled to start with three stages in Hungary and run from May 9-31, but it was postponed and revised because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The race ends on Oct. 25 with an individual time trial in Milan.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


Next Story
Loading...