Thursday, 14 November, 2019

Quintana moves ahead after police motorbike blows Giro wide open

Spain's Gorka Izagirre celebrates after winning the eighth stage of the Giro d'Italia Tour of Italy cycling race from Molfetta to Peschici Saturday Quintana moves ahead after police motorbike blows Giro wide open
Clarence Schmidt | 15 May, 2017, 02:33

BURY rider Adam Yates and fellow Brit Geraint Thomas' hopes of winning the Giro d'Italia suffered a major blow as both men were involved in a crash caused by a police motorbike 15km from the finish on today's stage nine, which was won by Colombia's Nairo Quintana.

The pair were left behind as the leaders began the final climb up the Blockhaus and Thomas, who needed a couple of minutes to get back on his bike, appeared to be suffering from a shoulder injury.

Spain's Gorka Izagirre climbed to victory on an uphill finish to win the eighth stage of the Giro d'Italia as Luxembourg's Bob Jungels retained the overall lead on Saturday.

Yates finished nearly five minutes behind Quintana on the day, while Thomas was slightly further back as both saw their hopes end. Mollema is fourth, 51 seconds behind, and Nibali is fifth, 1:10 back.

Bauke Mollema crossed fourth and two-time Giro champion Vincenzo Nibali came fifth.

"[Giovanni] Visconti was probably the most unsafe rival for the stage victory in the front group", said Izagirre.

The overall contenders and their key support riders were racing for position ahead of the climb of the Blockhaus, the group spread out across the road, when a rider in front of Thomas hit a police motorcycle that was parked at the roadside.

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"Next thing I know someone in front of me hits the motorbike, we go down".

Quintana leads by 28 seconds from Pinot ahead of Monday's rest day, with Dumoulin two seconds further adrift in third place. "It's ridiculous. My shoulder popped out". "We lost five minutes but I felt like I lost three or four of those on the side of the road".

Quintana was in better spirits and said: "I showed that I'm happy with my legs and the legs of my teammates".

Quintana dedicated his victory to 2011 Giro champion Michele Scarponi, who died after a collision with a van while training last month. "That's the most important for now".

Quintana was undoubtedly the big victor on Sunday as he pulled clear of all of his rivals, albeit with the help of the motorbike's intervention, while Nibali is still well placed to retain his title.

Stage 10 is a 40-km time trial and will see another shake up in the GC.

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