What should have been a relatively easy day for those hunting a general classification result at the Giro d’Italia turned sour for both Vincenzo Nibali and Jai Hindley. Both Nibali and Hindley went down in separate crashes, Nibali midway through the stage and Hindley near the finish.
“My Giro started uphill and isn’t getting much better. I’ve been through a lot today in the first part of the stage. First, a puncture and then a slip on a bend while going through a small town,” Nibali said on Trek-Segafredo’s Twitter. “I have a few bruises. Well, that’s the way it is right now; I have to deal with it. I will think about recovering and look ahead.”
Hindley’s accident happened in the final 3 km of the stage when he was caught in a pile-up on the base of the climb to Guardia Sanframondi. The Australian ended up losing 11 seconds in the fight for pink and now sits three minutes and 40 seconds down on Attila Valter, the leader ahead of stage 9.
Both GC favorites prior to the start of the Giro, Nibali and Hindley failed to hang on to the group of pink jersey hopefuls on stage 6 of the race.
Trek-Segafredo has a solid backup plan for Nibali. Giulio Ciccone looked strong on stage 6 and held seventh in the general classification ahead of the first big mountain stage on Sunday.
“We have Ciccone who is going strong; it’s right to stay close to him and to support him as a team. Tomorrow will be a tough and important stage. Let’s focus on the team goal,” Nibali said on Twitter.
As for Team DSM, the highest-ranking member of the team after stage 8 was Romain Bardet in 14th, one minute and 14 seconds down. Bardet has had a long and complicated relationship with Grand Tours. He finished second overall in the Tour de France in 2016 and third in 2017. Until January 2021 he was riding for AG2R La Mondiale, but he moved to Team DSM before the start of the season. It’s possible the new environment will kick-start the Frenchman’s Grand Tour abilities once more.