Cadel Evans (BMC) fought like a lion to get back to the front group after being caught up in a crash 20km from finish, but lost 46 seconds to his overall rivals and just like eight years ago, he lost the pink jersey just 24 hours after taking it.
Then he was a young, inexperienced road racer and lost any chance of victory in the Giro. Now he is one of the best stage race riders in the world and will surely still be a threat to main rivals Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) and Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo).
Evans is now 43 seconds behind Vinokourov and 25 seconds behind Basso. He is 57 seconds ahead of Carlos Sastre (Cervelo TestTeam) but that was little comfort after a difficult and nervous day in the saddle.
"It's very frustrating. You do everything you can to avoid crashes but when five crash in front of you and they take you out from behind, what can you do?" said Evans.
"I'd done everything right. I was at the front, I was in the echelon and I got through it all. I wasn't worried because there wasn't any wind, and so I didn't expect to crash 20km from the finish, we weren't even going that fast. Then I was isolated and it was quite nervewracking being there on my own with 40 guys. If I'd punctured or something, what could I have done?"
Evans pointed out that the large amount of road furniture, that often marks bike paths and protects cyclists from other roads users, was one of the main causes of the many cashes in the Giro.
"It's definitely too dangerous in terms of the race," Evan said. "Sometimes you have to wonder when on a dead straight road they crash like that, if riders don't know how to ride their bikes anymore or they don't know how concentrate or something. Obviously the traffic islands are very cycling friendly for commuters but there are a lot of things on the road from the peloton because were so small and low. That adds to the problems."
"I don't know what caused the crash. There was a big crash near the front yesterday and again today. Normally the guys at the front are at the front because they know what they're doing."
Despite losing the race lead to Vinokourov, Evans said he enjoyed his day in the maglia rosa.
It's not like I'll win or lose the Giro today. Maybe it'll cost me 40 seconds to my competitors, and it isn't something I want to give up but I did enjoy being in pink and riding through Holland."