The breakaway was forced to stop to let a train through on Stage 10 at the Giro d’Italia – misery that was compounded when the peloton elected to not give the time back.
The incident occurred with 88 kilometres remaining on the express route from L’Aquila to Foligno.
A one-carriage train zipped past the five-strong group, who were stationed behind the barriers after being slowed by race organisers.
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They lost about a minute, slicing their lead from 2:30 to 1:30 and effectively ending any hopes they had of pulling off an unlikely win on a day earmarked for the sprinters.
Technically, the peloton could have pulled over to restore the initial gap, but they were not obliged to do so and duly continued. They reeled in the break with 45 kilometres remaining.
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“It’s a strange one,” said Brian Smith on Eurosport commentary.
“Normally what they would do is give them back the time that they were delayed.
Because it was a very quick stop for the breakaway, they’ve allowed the peloton to continue as it was. They haven’t been held back one bit.
“I think it’s partly because the peloton weren’t held at that crossing, the rules are that if both are stopped than the gap is reset. But it was a quick crossing, so the race just resumed at it is.”
Rob Hatch was a bit perplexed by the whole affair.
“It’s only right that we could measure it and have the peloton have the same conditions,” he said.
“That’s all we’re asking for. We know it’s probably going to be a sprint today and we know that this gap is nothing.
It just seems strange from a sporting point of view not to make it the same for everybody.
Next time Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert), Simon Pellaud (Androni Giacattoli-Sidermec), Umberto Marengo (Bardiani-CSF), Samuele Rivi (EOLO-Kometa) and Kobe Goosens (Lotto Soudal) are in the breakaway, they would be advised to check the train timetable.
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