Giro d’Italia: ‘Shake your hand, take your watch!’ – Ben Healy’s cheeky attack after Thibaut Pinot handshake

Ben Healy (EF Education–EasyPost) appeared to concede defeat in his mountain classification duel with Thibaut Pinot (Groupama–FDJ) on Stage 19 at the Giro d’Italia – only to drop another attack just moments after shaking his rival’s hand.

The Irishman began the day ranked second in the maglia azzurra standings on 164 points, 63 adrift of Frenchman Pinot. But with Friday’s queen stage featuring five classified climbs, there were still enough points up for grabs for the blue jersey to change hands.

However, both Healy and Pinot missed out on the day’s 15-man breakaway, meaning all the early mountain points were likely to be hoovered up by those at the front of the race.

The lead group had an advantage of almost five minutes when Healy decided to launch a wildly audacious move to join them up the road with 113km remaining – leaving Pinot with little option but to ride clear of the peloton in pursuit of his rival.

Pinot eventually caught his rival 3km later, prompting the Irishman to offer his hand in an apparent concession of defeat as his pace slowed.

“The shake of the hand with the head turned away from Thibaut Pinot. Not sure how much we can read into that, probably not too much,” said Dan Lloyd on Eurosport commentary.

“Unfortunately for us as viewers, it looks like Ben Healy has conceded defeat to Thibaut Pinot.”

But Healy was not quite ready to concede defeat. Instead, moments after the pair were swallowed up by the main bunch, Healy danced off the front of the main pack again as Pinot was forced to chase again.

“It’s a case of ‘I’ll shake your hand but I’ll take your wristwatch!’” joked 12-time Giro stage winner Robbie McEwen.

Healy’s second charge was quickly snuffed out by Pinot as the pace belatedly settled ahead of the serious climbs later in the stage.

“From now on Pinot will be glued to Healy’s wheel, that’s all he has to do for the rest of the day,” added Jens Voigt.

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