"I have to thank the team for everything they did to try to bridge the gap, but with all the other teams working against us, we had to call it and save our legs for the bigger picture".
After his tough first nine stages, Froome felt that the Giro's longest day had gone well for him, despite the intensity of the racing.
But he has lost a little more time, dropping to 2:30, on race leader Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) after his fellow Briton snatched a three-second time bonus in a hot spot sprint.
Quick-Step Floor's star sprinter Elia Viviani, in the points jersey, was also with Chaves and the race split into two as general classification and sprint teams in the peloton worked together to distance them.
Mitchelton-Scott's Simon Yates keeps his overall lead, with Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin in second and Groupama-FDJ's Thibaut Pinot third.
Colombian rider Egan Bernal of Team Sky surged late in the final climb to win Monday's second stage of the Tour of California cycling race, seizing the overall lead.
Second over the line was AG2R La Mondiale's Nico Denz, with Bora-Hansgrohe's Sam Bennett in third. "That's why I tried to attack him before", an elated Mohoric said after his gruelling ride. He gave me the green light.
Slovenian rider Matej Mohoric edged Nico Denz in two-man sprint to win the stage while all of the other leaders finished in the main pack, 34 seconds behind.
"Maybe I pulled a bit more than him".
The Giro continues with stage 11 on Wednesday, another hilly stage but this time terminating with a short, sharp climb to the finish line in Osimo that includes sections of 16 per cent gradient.
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