Remco Evenepoel fell out of the overall contention after losing 24-minutes to race leader Egan Bernal on the 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia 2021.
Evenepoel (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) had another tough day in the saddle in the Giro d'Italia and didn't have much support around him either with his team-mate, João Almeida getting into the breakaway early on.
The young Belgian finished alongside his team-mate, James Knox in 58th place at 24-05 behind the stage winner and overall leader, Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) who had put on a show in the horrible weather conditions.
This time loss meant that Evenepoel dropped out of the top-10 in the general classification to 19th overall at 28-07 from Bernal. Almeida has since jumped up to 10th in the GC after an impressive ride with him sitting at 10-01 down on pink.
Deceuninck - Quick-Step boss, Patrick Lefevere told L'Equipe on May 23: "We have to see if his body has not been too strained. If he loses too much time, we will make him come home, I don't think it would be a service to him if he stayed in the race to suffer. He has already learned enough in two weeks"
It is easy to forget that the 21-year-old is not only making his Grand Tour debut in very difficult conditions, but he is also in his first race since his crash at Il Lombardia nine months ago.
The stage was a tough one from the start with the pace being very high as a few riders in the break did pose a threat to some involved in the top 10 in the GC, including Almeida. This meant that several riders lost contact on the first climb.
EF Education-Nippo took over from Ineos Grenadiers at the front just before the final climb of the stage, the Passo Giau to try and set up their leader Hugh Carthy but it didn't go to plan for the British rider as Bernal went on the attack halfway up the Giau to solo to victory.
Bernal now leads the Giro d'Italia by 2-24 over Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Victorious) going into the final rest day of the race.
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