A nightmarish day for Guillaume Martin in pain: the Norman climber lost more than 19 minutes in the 16th stage of the Giro, Tuesday in Aprica, and all chances in the general classification.

“This stage is like my Giro. There was desire but not the legs. I was not at the level today”, reacted the leader of the Cofidis team who fell six places to find himself in 16th place, more than 25 minutes from the pink jersey (Carapaz).

The French took on this poor performance: “I want to apologize to my teammates, the team, the staff who invested in me and trusted me. And today, I did not assure. We will have to take this difficult moment, try to raise our heads and why not aim for a stage if the legs allow it.

“Then I’ll try to analyze why it didn’t work and move on. I may have done too much in preparation, ”added the Ornais who left for three weeks on an altitude course on Etna in order to best prepare for his discovery of the Giro.

In this long stage of 202 kilometers, Guillaume Martin joined the breakaway of 22 riders formed on the first of the three main climbs of the day, some 160 kilometers from the finish. But he could not hang on to the wheel of the best in the Mortirolo, which he climbed for a long time in the company of Dutchman Wilco Kelderman.

The Frenchman, who was still in a group inserted at the bottom of the descent, lost his footing in the final to rank 27th in the stage.