Russian Ilnur Zakarin claimed victory on stage 13 of the Giro d’Italia after a successful late attack, but Team Ineos rider Tao Geoghegan Hart was forced to abandon the race following a crash.
Fellow Briton Simon Yates failed to make an impact on the general classification standings, finishing five minutes adrift, as Jan Polanc retained the race leader’s pink jersey.
Hart had been in the day’s breakaway when he hit the deck with around 120 kilometres remaining of the 196km stage from Pinerolo to Ceresole Reale – the latter part of the course taking in a climb where the scenes at the cliffhanger ending of ‘The Italian Job’ movie were filmed.
Team Ineos said on Twitter: “Sadly we can confirm that @taogeoghegan has been forced to abandon the #Giro after a crash. He is OK and our team doctor is with him. A full update will follow.”
The 24-year-old Londoner had started the Giro as one of two team leaders for Ineos alongside Pavel Sivakov, with the young pair having been elevated to that status after a broken collarbone ruled Egan Bernal out of the race.
Two crashes on stage three had seen Hart lose time, however, and he had begun the day 33rd in the general classification, almost 12 minutes down on UAE Team Emirates rider Polanc.
Zakarin, meanwhile, had also gone off with a 28-strong breakaway early in Friday’s stage, waiting to make his key move on the final Lago Serru climb to claim the stage victory for Katusha-Alpecin.
The Russian’s first World Tour win since 2016 saw him climb to number three in the overall standings.
“I didn’t have a plan for the climb, I did my best and this is the result,” he said in his post-race interview broadcast by Eurosport. “The ambition is to be in the top five and now it is possible.”
Mitchelton-Scott rider Mikel Nieve came home 35 seconds behind, with fellow Spaniard Mikel Landa (Movistar) taking third place.
Polanc struggled over the last two climbs, but retained the overall leader’s maglia rosa jersey.
However, Primoz Roglic made ground with a late push which saw the Team Jumbo-Visma rider cross in seventh place.
Mitchelton-Scott rider Yates lost time on both Roglic and Vincenzo Nibali, now sitting 12th in the general classification standings and eight minutes 14 seconds off the pace.
Britain’s Chris Froome, meanwhile, made sure he kept up with all the action, posting a photograph of a tablet strapped to his bike during training.
Froome said on Twitter: “When you want to watch the @giroditalia but you have a 7-hour training ride”.
Saturday’s stage will run over 131km run from Saint-Vincent to Courmayeur.