WARNING: This article contains mature and mature language
The 2016 Giro d’Italia winner Giniel de Villiers – who was battling a bug and a knee injury throughout the race – got back on his bike and took time to respect the peloton.
But after Vaz put in an all-out effort, he was left humiliated when he fell behind De Villiers and was denied a one-two finish by four seconds.
Drivers turn to fury over green-yellow split
“It was just miserable. It was just so depressing,” the 41-year-old Vaz told local media afterwards.
“A man cannot put in seven hours and still think, ‘Nothing hurts.’ He could still feel pain in his legs. I didn’t go to the bus to go home.
“After the race, I went home, stretched my legs and did a very slow walk in the streets. It hurts you to know you hurt another man. I felt it.
“That day he ruined my victory. The guy didn’t finish the race.
“I could have told him to jump off the bike and nobody would have been able to stop him. He was the last one to celebrate. He was the last one on the podium.
“We were both suffering. He could have done it more magnificently. That bike could have gone to him. I can’t help but feel sorry for him, really, really sorry.
“Today is not the day to be wearing yellow.”