The Sicilian Vincenzo Nibali gained precious seconds on his own land, despite the rain, during the third stage of the Tour of Italy which culminated at the top of the Etna volcano on Monday.
Ecuadorian Jonathan Caicedo crossed the finish line first after a hasty breakaway, while Portugal's Joao Almeida captured the pink jersey handed to the leader of the general classification.
Geraint Thomas never in the game
Geraint Thomas, the winner of the Tour de France in 2018 who was one of the favorites to win the Giro at the start, fell even before the start of the event and found himself at the back of the pack as the race approached. 'ascent of the volcano. He could never be in the game.
As the rain poured down vigorously on the winding slopes of the Etna volcano, Simon Yates - another favorite - was also dumped.
Caicedo, who wears the EF team colors, took more than four hours to complete the 150 km stage that had started in Enna.
Giovanni Visconti finished second, at 21 seconds, and Harm Vanhoucke completed the stage podium, at 30 seconds.
Cataford 103 e
Alexander cataford, Ottawa, finished 103 th at 19:47 Caicedo. The only Canadian cyclist registered in this competition ranks 96 th level overall.
Almeida and Caicedo have the same cumulative time so far, while Spaniard Pello Bilbao took third place, 37 seconds behind.
Nibali, who finished seventh in a small group of cyclists, is now sixth, at 55 seconds. The Italian is one of the seven cyclists who have won each of the three grand tours the Giro (twice), the Tour de France and the Tour of Spain.
Thomas fell in the neutral zone before the marshals gave the start, and as a result his elbow was bloodied and his jersey torn on the left side of his back.
Filippo Ganna - who was recently crowned the time trial world champion and won the first stage of the Giro - allowed Thomas to return to the main peloton while wearing the pink jersey. Thomas, however, could not keep pace with his opponents.
Thomas, who lost more than 12 minutes, was also unlucky in his previous participation in the Giro d'Italia three years ago. He had been forced to retire after being injured in a collision with a police motorcycle.
The ascent of the Etna volcano continued for 18.8 km, on an average slope of 6.6%. The last three kilometers were on a 9% slope, and it even reached 13% at one point.
The cyclists will negotiate a final stage in Sicily on Tuesday over 140 km between Catania and Villafranca Tirrena, and the stage will be punctuated by a third category pass.
The Giro will then continue in mainland Italy, heading north, where the Alps are located, for the final week of activities.
The Giro d'Italia, which was originally scheduled to take place from May 9 to 31 with three stages in Hungary, has been postponed and modified due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The race will continue until October 25, and will culminate with an individual time trial in Milan.