Simon Yates’ chances of winning the Giro d’Italia appear to be fading following a terrible day on the gruelling ninth stage, which was won by Jai Hindley.
Yates, who hurt his knee in a crash in the fourth stage, was passed by his primary opponents on the last hill and finished 11 minutes 15 seconds behind.
Juan Pedro Lopez, who was not considered a serious contender before the race, finished one minute 46 seconds behind Hindley to keep the pink jersey.
Monday is a rest day for the race.
After Yates was dropped, the most gruelling day of the race finished with a battle for the general classification up to Blockhaus between the remaining riders.
As the course levelled out following a difficult climb, Bora-Australian Hansgrohe’s rider Hindley outsprinted the rest of a five-rider group, which included Team Bahrain’s Mikel Landa and Ineos’ Richard Carapaz.
Yates’ latest setback adds to his bad luck at the Giro, which the BikeExchange-Jayco rider has targeted for the past five years.
He crumbled in the final week of 2018, after winning three stages and leading for 13 days, before finishing ninth in 2019 and retiring early in 2020 after testing positive for Covid-19.
Last year, he was one of the favourites, but he lost time on stage 16 due to rain and was unable to make up the time in the last week, finishing third behind winner Egan Bernal and runner-up Damiano Caruso.
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