Tirreno-Adriatico winner Simon Yates lost time on his general classification rivals as stage three of the Giro d’Italia finished atop of Mount Etna.
The 28-year-old lost contact with the reduced bunch with 9km to go before working hard to limit his losses alongside teammate Jack Haig in the closing kilometres of the final climb.
“The big game changer at the start today was Geraint Thomas’ crash in the neutral, who looked like he’d hurt himself pretty bad and clearly, he did. We’re one of the favourites for this race and we wanted to win the stage, so we wanted to take control to give ourselves a chance to win”, said Mitchelton-Scott sports director Matt White.
“The boys did a good job controlling the breakaway and we didn’t have an indication at that time that Simon wasn’t on a good day. Then when we did get an indication Trek-Segafredo had already taken over and they did a job there to try and maybe put some time into Geraint Thomas and push the pace.
“Then when Simon lost time today it was just about limiting our loses. It’s a long race, everyone has a bad day, unfortunately for us it’s early in the race. Hopefully, that’s the last one. We’ll just be coming at it from a different angle now. We we’re looking at coming at it from the front with a couple of early mountain stages and a time trial. Now we’re coming from behind.
“The Giro is always won in the last week, it’s always a brutal finish and there’s a long time between now and then. We’ll reassess, see what’s happened and then take it day by day, as cliché as it is.”