2020 Giro d'Italia Stage 3

Ecuadorian Jonathan Caicedo Wins Giro 3rd Stage, Thomas Suffers Time Blow

Ecuadorian Jonathan Caicedo Wins Giro 3rd Stage, Thomas Suffers Time Blow

Ecuadorian Jonathan Caicedo won the Giro d'Italia third stage on Mount Etna on Monday as pre-race favorite Geraint Thomas lost a hefty chunk of time.

Oct 5, 2020 by FloBikes Staff
Ecuadorian Jonathan Caicedo Wins Giro 3rd Stage, Thomas Suffers Time Blow

Geraint Thomas lost more than 11 minutes as Ecuadorian Jonathan Caicedo won the Giro d'Italia's third stage on Mount Etna on Monday.

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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.

"In the end it was just a sufferfest until the finish. I knew I could take the lead in the final 3km I was feeling good, I would never expect to be in this position and I'm really happy with this," 22-year-old Almeida said.

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. Giovanni Visconti, Victor Campenaerts and Lawson Craddock were part of an early breakaway within the opening 10km.

Less than 20km later Caicedo, 27, joined the breakaway along with Mikkel Bjerg and Matthew Holmes and stayed in the eight-man group despite the rain on the flat roads ahead of the climbing. As the peloton slowly ate into the break's lead Thomas slipped away and kept falling behind before finishing 12 min 19 sec behind Caicedo.

Visconti, Caicedo and Bjerg then split ahead with 12.5km to go and held a 2 minutes 30 seconds lead over the peloton.Three kilometres later it was Yates' turn to drop back on the testing ascent.

Caicedo broke free with less than two kilometres to go as Visconti failed to stick with him as Almeida crossed in 11th place which was enough to take his first ever Grand Tour leader's jersey in his first appearances in a three-week race.