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Crash mars stage nine of Giro d'Italia

Press Association logoPress Association 14/05/2017

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

Welshman Thomas and Spanish teammate 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 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.

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

"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.

Australia's Caleb Ewan is fpurth overall in the points race but he is a long way off catching Colombian leader Fernando Gaviria.

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