Matteo Pelucchi (Bora-Hansgrohe) will live to fight another day at the Giro d’Italia after finishing with his jersey and shorts in tatters at the top of Mount Etna on Tuesday.
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The Italian sprinter crashed on the descent of the day’s first categorised climb with around 80km to go, and endured a torrid day in the saddle as he fought to stay within the time limit.
Pelucchi eventually finished behind the gruppetto, 36 minutes behind stage winner Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates), and second last on the stage.
More than two minutes behind Pelucchi came Alberto Losada, with the Katusha-Alpecin rider also fighting a lone battle not to be eliminated from the race.
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Despite initial reports that the Spaniard had abandoned after crashing and dislocating his shoulder with 70km remaining, Losada received treatment in an ambulance from team staff and race doctors before getting back on his bike and finishing the stage.
Both riders are expected to take to the start line of today’s 159km stage five from Pedara to Messina.