Vine's overall Giro hopes dashed in freezing stage 10

·3-min read

Jay Vine is out of overall contention at the Giro d"Italia after a brutal 10th stage, saying it's the "coldest I've ever gotten".

Australia's top hope on the general classification lost 11 minutes 19 seconds and is now more than 12 minutes off the pace.

Dane Magnus Cort (EF Education-Easy) won the wet and foggy stage as British rider Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) retained the overall lead.

Remco Evenepoel's shock withdrawal after stage nine because of COVID-19 meant Vine started stage 10 in 10th place overall.

But the UAE Team Emirates leader imploded in the cold.

"I just got way too cold, simple as that, I think that was the coldest I've ever gotten, I was miserable. Complete loss of feeling in the fingers and the body didn't respond well to it," he posted on Instagram.

Vine also crashed during the stage, but he said that was not a factor.

"The actual damage was me freezing to the core. Just one of those days where everyone freezes. There was a reason they were looking at shortening the stage," he said.

"The boys dropped back to help me, and we rolled turns holding the gap for a bit there, but not long after the body had nothing left, we made the tough call and just rolled in.

"Yes, obviously I'm disappointed, but at the end of the day, it's not the end of the world. And there are more opportunities to come."

Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) finished in the main front group and he is now Australia's leading rider overall at 13th, two minutes 58 seconds behind Thomas.

Cort, 30, edged Canada's Derek Gee (Israel Premier Tech) and Italy's Alessandro De Marchi (Team Jayco-AlUla) at the end of the rolling 196km route through the Tuscan Apennines from Scandiano to Viareggio on the Mediterranean coast.

The victory completed a Grand Tour set for Cort, who won six stages in the Spanish Vuelta and two in the Tour de France.

"I'm extremely happy to complete my trilogy, but it's been one of the hardest days I've spent on the bike," he said.

The near miss was particularly painful for De Marchi, riding for the Australian Jayco-AlUla team.

He is still seeking his first stage victory in his home Grand Tour in his seventh Giro.

In the peloton behind them, 51 seconds adrift, Geraint Thomas kept hold of the pink jersey, which he assumed on Sunday after leader and pre-race favourite Evenepoel withdrew.

Australian Callum Scotson (Jayvo-AlUla) quit ahead of Tuesday's stage after also testing positive to COVID-19.

Thomas maintained his two-second lead over Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), with Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos) third at five seconds.

"It was pretty cold on top of the hill and crazy in the descent. I'm happy with getting through this stage alright. In this race anything can happen, especially with the weather," Thomas said.

There were miserable conditions from the start of the stage, with rain and freezing temperatures.

It was even discussed whether to amend the route over the top of the day's main climb, the second-category Passo delle Radici, but it proceeded as planned.

Race organisers announced that Friday's stage 13 to the summit finish at Crans-Montana would be shortened, due to snowfall and risk of avalanches.

Wednesday's 11th stage is a 219km route from Camaiore to Tortona, with three lower-classification climbs.

With AP & PA.