A few hundred metres behind the finishing line at Osimo, Chris Froome (Team Sky) went through his usual post-stage warm-down after what had proved, yet again, to be a difficult day for the Briton at the Giro d’Italia office.
At the foot of the ascent into Osimo, Froome could be seen at the back end of the group of favourites, visibly struggling to stay in contact. A few moments later, he was dropped and forced to move into damage limitation mode.
In the space of barely a kilometre, by the time he crossed the line, Froome had lost exactly 40 seconds on Yates, the biggest time gap of all the top favourites on the ascent through Osimo’s narrow, paved streets. Overall, Froome is now 3:20 down on his fellow-Briton, and as a result, he has moved back out of the top 10 in the general classification, down to 12th place.
Froome’s current scenario does not bode at all well for the four-time Tour de France winner. But as the Giro d’Italia reached its midway point on Wednesday afternoon, the Team Sky leader remained determined that he can turn things around in the coming days.
“There was a crash in the final, I got stuck behind that, it caused a little bit of gap in the peloton and from there I was chasing all along the flat,” Froome explained to a small group of reporters.
“Then we hit the final kick, I just didn’t have the legs to get over to the front guys after that.”
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