Gianni Moscon (Ineos Grenadiers) showed a “ridiculous amount of ego” in chasing Vincenzo Nibali (Trek Segafredo) down a hazardous descent at the Giro d’Italia, according to Eurosport expert Adam Blythe.
Moscon crashed moments after setting off in pursuit of the Italian in the closing kilometres of Stage 12.
The 27-year-old quickly clambered back on his bike and re-joined the main group, while Nibali only gained a few seconds on Egan Bernal in the maglia rosa as Ineos again defended the leader's jersey.
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But the question remains: why did Moscon close down an attack from someone over four minutes adrift in the GC battle?
- ‘Stupid thing to do’ – Moscon crashes while chasing Nibali
- Opinion: Nibali's fishing expedition at Giro exposes Ineos' flaws
“He [Nibali] was just putting the pressure on and seeing who was going to follow him and if they were willing. Moscon eventually tried to follow and came a cropper,” said Blythe on The Breakaway.
“What are you trying to follow him for? Why are you? It’s stupid, I don’t understand. Nibali is four minutes down on GC, just let him go. Take it easy on the descent, there’s no stress whatsoever.
“Just by a silly mistake like that, he might have broken his collarbone, he might have done something ridiculous.
I think it’s a ridiculous amount of ego, trying to say ‘I can descend, I can descend’.
‘Stupid thing to do’ – Moscon crashes while chasing Nibali
Bernal leads Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana Pro) by 45 seconds in the race for the maglia rosa, with Nibali now 4:04 back in 13th and likely still riding in support of Giulio Ciccone (2:24 off the pace in eighth).
Legendary classics rider Sean Kelly added that Moscon’s actions put Bernal in jeopardy.
“When you’re leading down [a descent] and you have the race leader in close proximity, if you slide out you can take him out,” he said.
“So you have to get down the descents safely. Go down them quite strong, but don’t take the risk.”
The Giro enjoys a pan-flat run from Ravenna to Verona on Friday before the action spices up again, with Monte Zoncolan awaiting the peloton on Saturday.
But before all that, Blythe is hoping someone at Ineos speaks to Moscon about his daring charge downhill.
'Who has authority to say he was wrong?' - Moscon crash row rumbles on
“This situation here, Moscon has done something wrong,” he said.
“He’s done something silly which put the team at risk of losing this jersey. But because he’s injured, because he’s hurting, because he needs to get checked up that chat will probably never happen.
“It is a bit up to Egan [Bernal] to say [something], but ultimately Egan doesn’t want that extra stress, doesn’t want the extra pressure within the team.
These riders that are paid the big, big bucks, which member of staff has the authority to go up to them and say ‘you’ve done something wrong’? It’s a very difficult situation.
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