Geraint Thomas lost more than 11 minutes as Ecuadorian Jonathan Caicedo won the Giro d’Italia’s third stage on Mount Etna on Monday.
Former Tour de France champion Thomas seemed to recover despite falling off his bike before the day’s racing even started, which caused the peloton to be neutralised, but failed to keep up with the peloton with less than 30 kilometres to go.
Portugal’s Joao Almeida took the overall leader’s pink jersey from Thomas’ Ineos team-mate Filippo Ganna as Italian Giovanni Visconti finished second with Belgian Harm Vanhoucke in third.
Thomas came off his bike in the approach to the official start line and the incident ripped his Ineos jersey and he had a scar on his left shoulder.
Despite the early slip up the damage to his ‘Maglia Rosa’ hopes came with 28km left as Thomas and Ganna dropped back from the back of the peloton as the Welshman slowed down just before an early climb approaching Etna.
One of Thomas’ overall rivals, 2018 Vuelta a Espana champion Simon Yates, was also dropped by the peloton as the Mitchelton-Scott failed to keep up with nine kilometres to go and trails Almeida by 3 minutes 46 seconds.
Thomas is racing in this year’s Giro after being omitted from Ineos’ lineup for the Tour, won by UAE Team Emirates’ Tadej Pogacar in September.