Mark Cavendish's hopes of a third stage victory at the Giro d'Italia were dashed by a pile up at the end of stage nine.
The world champion, winner of stages two and five, had high hopes of coming out on top at the end of the 166 kilometres route from San Giorgio del Sannio to Frosinone.
He and the team had negotiated the final climb inside the last 10km and the subsequent descent but the whole complexion of the race was changed on the final corner, a tight left turn 350 metres from the line.
A crash just in front of him involving Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini) and Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEDGE) caused all sorts of problems behind.
Cavendish was forced to take evasive action and his momentum was then completely halted by the aftermath of the crash as riders and bikes blocked the right-hand side of the road.
Thankfully the Team Sky rider touched the tarmac in a much tamer fashion than he did when taken out at the end of stage three but it all left a much-reduced bunch to contest the sprint.
Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Nissan) had been left in front but it was Movistar rider Francisco Ventoso who powered through to take the stage.
Fabio Felline (Androni-Venezuela) was second, with Nizzolo staying on for third.
Also in the top 10 was Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) which means he continues to top the general classification by nine seconds from Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha). Team Sky pair Rigoberto Urán and Sergio Henao remain 11th and 14th respectively.
Afterwards Sports Director Steven de Jongh said: "It was a disappointing way for the stage to finish for us but unfortunately these things can happen in sprints.
"At the end Cav couldn't start his sprint because he was caught right behind the crash; he didn't crash hard himself luckily but it's a real shame.
"He's absolutely fine though and it didn't cause him any trouble from an injury point of view."
Earlier in the day Pierre Cazaux (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Brian Bulgac (Lotto-Belisol) and Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM) formed the day's breakaway as the peloton travelled out of San Giorgio del Sannio.
Team Sky and FDJ-BigMat controlled matters at the front of the main group, meaning the trio up the road never had a realistic chance of staying away to the finish.
Keizer eventually dropped his companions and opted to go it alone but could not stop the group from reeling him in with 16km to go.
Before the catch had been made, Cavendish sprinted out of the peloton to take second place in the intermediate sprint in Ceprano to reduce his gap to Goss in the points standings.
Several riders, including overall contender Rodriguez, then tried to get away on a series of hills that led into the finish, but it all eventually came back together for a group sprint.
The focus on Tuesday switches back to the GC, with an uphill finish in Assisi rounding off a 187km route from Civitavecchia.
And de Jongh added: "Both Rigo and Sergio need to make sure they don't lose any time on that final steep ramp so for the team it's about putting them in a good position into that last climb."