Jungels had lost the maglia rosa on stage 13 and proceeded to lose more time on the Passo Giau – the hardest ascent of Saturday's stage. He finished 21st on the stage, 6:21 down on winner Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) and slipped from second to 12th overall, 6:10 down on new race leader, Steven Kruijswijk (Team LottoNl-Jumbo).
"I didn't feel too bad until they really went full gas on Giau, which was really hard. I remembered that climb since going over it in the U23 ranks and since then I noticed how harsh it is. I am content with giving it all today, on a day for the real climbers," Jungels said at the finish.
Jungels came into the Giro as an outside prospect for the top-ten but raced consistently in the opening ten days. He pulled on pink and even extended his advantage over several rivals with a daring attack on stage 11. However he came unstuck on stage 13 to Cividale del Friuli.
"I've never done more than 5000 altitude meters in a race, maybe in training, but that was all. At the end of the day, it was a good experience, which helped me find out how far I can push my body in a Grand Tour when things become really tough.
"I saw today that I can push it really far and I learned a lot about the way a race goes and how prepared you have to be from a mental point of view to take on such a stage. Now we'll just see how we will continue in the next days."