Geraint Thomas on crash that has wrecked his Giro d'Italia hopes

Geraint Thomas on crash that has wrecked his Giro d'Italia hopes

Nairo Quintana rode away from his main rivals up the grueling climb to Blockhaus to win the ninth stage of the Giro d'Italia and take the leader's pink jersey in a leg that was marred by a mass crash involving a police motorbike.

Several Sky riders hit the deck, including pre-race favorite Geraint Thomas, after a rider hit a police motorcycle parked alongside the road.

Thomas and Team Sky co-leader Mikel Landa were among the riders to come down, as was Orica-Scott's Adam Yates and Wilco Kelderman of Sunweb - the latter already confirmed as having had to abandon the race.

Yates finished four minutes and 38 seconds behind and Thomas's ordeal ended 5:07 after stage victor and race leader Nairo Quintana had crossed the line.

Defending champion Vincenzo Nibali of Italy finished in fifth place today, 59 seconds behind Quintana.

The Team Movistar climbing specialist was followed home by Frenchman Thibaut Pinot and Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, and that is also the order of the General Classification.

Another Dutchman, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), who was fourth on the day, is fourth overall, 51 seconds off the pace and fifth-placed Nibali is 1:10 behind Quintana.

"[Giovanni] Visconti was probably the most risky rival for the stage victory in the front group", said Izagirre.

The Welshman revealed his shoulder had "popped out" but later added: "I've had worse crashes".

"We were all racing for the bottom of the climb then next thing I know, someone in front of me hits the motorbike and you go down".

"I felt good, then I crashed".

Quintana was in better spirits and said: "I showed that I'm happy with my legs and the legs of my teammates".

Quintana leads by 28 seconds from Pinot ahead of Monday's rest day, with Dumoulin two seconds further adrift in third place.

It didn't take long for Quintana, Nibali and Pinot to form a three-man group in the lead. "That's most important for now".

Quintana dedicated his victory to 2011 Giro champion Michele Scarponi, who died after a collision with a van while training last month.

Thomas and Yates will have a rest day on Monday to consider their options, the British duo getting much-needed time to rest their tired and battered limbs ahead of stage 10 on Tuesday.