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Hindley avoids Giro d'Italia time loss after late mechanical in Treviso

Jai Hindley at the Giro d'Italia
Jai Hindley at the Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Getty Images)

There is never a quiet day at the Giro d’Italia.

There are days when not that much happens, days when the race explodes and even days when the breakaway holds off the sprinters like in Treviso. But as Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe), Juanpe Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) and the sprinters realised, something can always happen that can spoil their day or potentially wreck their race.

Hindley had a moment of panic with three kilometres to go when he punctured. For a moment he thought he was losing any chance of victory at the Giro d’Italia. Hindley was only three seconds behind Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) at the start of the 18th stage but the Ecuadorian was suddenly riding away from with the rest of the peloton.

According to one directeur sportif who saw Hindley’s problems, the Australian panicked, even stopping on the left side - the wrong side - of the road, perhaps thinking his overall hopes were over.

Fortunately, Hindley’s problems happened inside the three kilometre to go point and so, under UCI race rules, he was given the same time as the riders he was with when his problems occurred.

At first Hindley, his team and everyone were unsure if he was inside the three-kilometre point. However, race commissaires eventually confirmed that he was and the official results showed he is still second overall, only three seconds down on Carapaz.

“I think he had a mechanical in the last 2.5km, and we should get the same time, so it’s no stress,” Lennard Kämna said at the finish, before the stage results were confirmed.

“It was not a relaxed stage, it was a pretty hard day. We were quite stressed in the last 30km. The mechanical is a pity, but it shouldn’t be a problem.”

Kämna was right, with the official results showing that Hindley crossed the line 1:05 down on the peloton but he was given the same time and so remains second overall. Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) is third at 1:05, with Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan) moving up to fourth at 5:48 after João Almeida did not start the stage after catching COVID-19.

"For us, it was all about getting Jai safely from A to B. He had a flat tire in the last three kilometres, but we were on the safe side, by virtue of the rule which states that riders with a mechanical in the last 3km do not lose time,” directeur sportif Jens Zemke said with relief.

“The next stages will be very challenging, and we are still extremely motivated to fight for the overall win."

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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.