Monday 24 July 2017

WATCH: Chaotic scenes at Giro d'Italia as police bike causes massive crash to leave Team Sky furious

Nairo Quintana won the stage after the crash (inset)
Nairo Quintana won the stage after the crash (inset)

Britons Geraint Thomas and Adam Yates saw their hopes of Giro d'Italia victory disappear after a police motorbike caused them to crash on Sunday's ninth stage, which was won by Nairo Quintana.

Welshman Thomas and Spanish team-mate Mikel Landa, who were Team Sky's joint leaders for the Giro, suffered major time losses after the crash inside the final 15 kilometres of the 149km stage from Montenero di Bisaccia to Blockhaus.

So too did Yates (Orica-Scott), another with general classification ambitions, as Colombia's Quintana (Movistar) took full advantage with a solo victory.

A police motorbike had pulled to the left side of the road on the approach to the concluding 13.6km ascent of Blockhaus.

The peloton was travelling quickly and spread across the full width of the asphalt and there was nowhere for Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) to go.

He hit the stationary bike and tumbled, wiping out many of the adjacent Team Sky squad, including Thomas and Landa.

Thomas said: "It's ridiculous. That shouldn't happen. We were all racing for the bottom of the climb.

"Next thing I know someone in front of me hits the motorbike, we go down. My shoulder popped out (of its socket) as well.

I felt good, then I crashed. That was it. Race over. It's really disappointing. I'm a bit angry at the minute."

Quintana, the 2014 champion, attacked with Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) midway up the final climb before accelerating away by himself to take the stage and the leader's pink jersey.

Quintana finished 24 seconds ahead of second-placed Pinot and Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), with Nibali slipping back to finish one minute behind.

Quintana leads by 28 seconds from Pinot ahead of Monday's rest day, with Dumoulin two seconds further adrift in third place.



Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) is 51 seconds behind in fourth and Nibali is fifth, 1min 10secs behind.

Thomas began the day six seconds behind Bob Jungels (QuickStep-Floors) in the overall rankings, with Yates four seconds further back in third. Landa was on the same time in 12th.

Yates finished almost five minutes behind Quintana on the day, while Thomas was slightly further back as both saw their hopes end.

Yates is now 16th overall, 4:49 behind, while Thomas is a place further adrift, 5:14 in arrears.

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford told Eurosport: "A motorbike shouldn't have been there. I'm sure the guy who was riding the motorbike realises that too.

"We fight on. That's it."

Kelderman was forced to abandon following the crash and suffered a broken finger, Team Sunweb said.

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