Giro d'Italia 2017: Geraint Thomas crashes as Quintana takes charge

Geraint Thomas' hopes of winning the Giro d'Italia suffered a major blow as he was involved in a crash caused by a police motorbike 15km from the finish on stage nine, which was won by Colombia's Nairo Quintana.

Team Sky's Thomas, second at the start of the day, finished over five minutes behind new race leader Quintana.

Fellow Brit Adam Yates, who started in third, was also involved in the crash.

"It's ridiculous and shouldn't happen," said Thomas, who will continue to race.

"It could have been a lot worse," added the 30-year-old. "We lost five minutes but I felt like I lost three or four of those on the side of the road.

"There are still stages to go for and we might still be able to move up into the top 10 or better."

The Welshman revealed his shoulder had "popped out" but later added: "I've had worse crashes. My shoulder is sore but it's nothing I can't deal with. There's a lot more racing to be had so we'll get stuck in."

Thomas will have an X-ray on Monday to "tick all the boxes" and make sure "everything is alright and then just rest up".

Commanding Quintana

Colombian Quintana now leads the overall standings after a dominant display.

The Movistar rider finished 24 seconds ahead of Frenchman Thibaut Pinot and Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, to take the race lead from Luxembourg's Bob Jungels.

The 2014 winner attacked with six kilometres to go as the stage approached the summit of the steep Blockhaus climb and looked in a class of his own as he raced clear.

What caused the crash?

Geraint Thomas
Geraint Thomas was one of the pre-race favourites to win the Giro

The police motorbike was stopped at the side of the road and Dutchman Wilco Kelderman was unable to avoid it, hitting the officer with his shoulder.

That caused him to swerve to his right into the Sky riders, who were in a line in the peloton, and resulted in the majority of the British-based team being brought down.

"I'm a bit angry at the minute," said Thomas, who has dropped to 17th in the standings, five minutes and 14 seconds behind Quintana.

"The bike had just stopped on the side of the road, we were all racing for position and someone in front of me hit it and we had nowhere to go, we all went straight down.

"I had felt good and then I crashed and my race was over, it is very disappointing."

Thomas' wife tweeted about the crash
Thomas' wife tweeted about the crash

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford told Eurosport: "A motorbike shouldn't have been there. I'm sure the guy who was riding the motorbike realises that too.

"We fight on. That's it."

Team Orica-Scott rider Yates is now in 16th place, four minutes and 49 seconds off the leader.

There is a rest day on Monday, before Tuesday's stage 10, a 39.8km individual time trial from Foligno to Montefalco.

Stage nine result

1. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) 3hrs 44mins 51secs

2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/FDJ) +24secs

3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Sunweb) same time

4. Bauke Mollema (Neds/Trek) +41secs

5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain) +59secs

6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita/AG2R) +1min 16secs

7. Tanel Kangert (Est/Astana) +2mins 01secs

8. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus/Katusha) +2mins 20secs

Overall classification after stage nine

1. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) 42hrs 06mins 09secs

2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/FDJ) +28secs

3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Sunweb) +30secs

4. Bauke Mollema (Ned/Trek) +51secs

5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain) +1min 10secs

6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita/AG2R) +1min 28secs

7. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus/Katusha) +2mins 28secs

8. Davide Formolo (Ita/Cannondale) +2mins 45secs

9. Andrey Amador (Crc/Movistar) +2mins 53secs

10. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/LottoNL) +3mins 06secs

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