UPDATED with Geoghegan Hart’s condition.
The 2023 Giro d’Italia added another major abandon with Tao Geoghegan Hart leaving the race midway thorugh stage 11.
The longest stage of the Giro d’Italia was headed for a bunch sprint, with minimal impact on the general classification, before a crash with 69 km to go took down the top three overall contenders Geraint Thomas, Primož Roglič and Geoghegan Hart, as well as Ineos support rider Pavel Sivakov. Thomas, wearing the pink jersey, hopped back on his bike almost immediately followed by Roglič on his teammate Koen Bouwman’s bike. Geoghegan Hart was less fortunate than the other two. The former Giro winner could be seen on the ground for quite some time before he was ultimately taken away in an ambulance.
The peloton was descending Colle di Boasi when UAE Team Emirates’ Alessandro Covi slipped on the wet road surface, taking down the pink jersey and most of the Ineos Grenadiers team along with Roglič.
Geoghegan Hart’s condition was unkown prior to the end of the stage but his team posted on Twitter that the British rider was being taken to the hospital for checks.
At the hospital in Genoa, imaging scans confirmed that Geoghegan Hart sustained a fracture of his left hip and would undergo surgery. Thomas was able to avoid serious injury and finished with the main pack after another crash inside the 3 km to go envelope split the field. Sivakov finished almost 12 minutes down and had visible cuts and bruises.
Prior to the start of stage 11 the general classification was tight, with Thomas leading only two seconds ahead of Roglič and five seconds ahead of Geoghegan Hart. The Giro has already seen a host of major abandonments including Remco Evenepoel. The Soudal Quick-Step rider won both the opening time trial and the TT on stage 9, and was wearing the pink jersey when he tested positive for COVID-19 prior to Sunday’s stage.
Geoghegan Hart started the Giro as one of the favourites to win the overall, after winning two stages and the overall at Tour of the Alps in April. It was Geoghegan Hart’s best start to a season since his Giro-winning 2020 campaign, and the British rider tweeted that he was “devastated” to end his race this way. His return to training and racing is TBD, but Escape Collective wishes him a speedy, smooth recovery.