The Giro D’Italia sees Geraint Thomas take back his lead after thrilling 16th stage
In a thrilling finish to the 16th stage of the Giro D’Italia, Britain’s very own Geraint Thomas reclaimed his overall race lead as Joao Almeida took victory on Monte Bondone. The first two weeks of this year’s tour have been marred by appalling weather and Covid-related withdrawals that significantly contributed to a lacklustre start.
The general classification race ignited on Tuesday with Thomas making an impressive move in the saddle. Roglic is now trailing behind him by only 29 seconds after finishing third in the recent leg of Italy’s iconic cycling championship. While it would have been nice for him to win that specific stage outright, such was not meant to be, he did claim a well-deserved runner-up spot just behind Joao Almedia who sits second overall.
A Win After Four Long Years!
UAE Team Emirates rider Joao Almeida clinched his first-ever Giro Stage win at Monte Bondone and could not contain his joy during post-race interviews where he stated: “I’m super happy; It’s a dream come true for me! After four years, I was so close and finally got across that finishing line.” Indeed it was more than worth celebrating given how long he had waited between victories.
In comparison with other stages ridden so far in this season’s championship tournament, Roglic limited his losses over time while coming alongside Ireland’s Eddie Dunbar, ensuring that the Slovenian remains firmly in contention. Italy’s fourth-placed Damiano Caruso is two minutes 50 seconds behind Thomas, while former leader Bruno Amirail dropped to seventh.
The Battle for Maglia Rosa
Following a fortnight overshadowed by heavy rain, Covid-19 withdrawals and crashes of some riders, the battle for maglia rosa took center stage on Tuesday as Thomas made a statement with just five stages remaining before the end of this year’s competition tournament. The highly anticipated 203km stage from Sabbio Chiese to Monte Bondone summit included an elevation gain of approximately 5,200m with a steepest gradient of fifteen percent on its final climb.
Thomas started the day one minute and eight seconds behind France’s Bruno Amirail but would eventually lose it on stage fourteen. However, Almeida attacked inside the last five kilometres and only Geraint could follow closely enough without dropping out completely. Together they pushed forward and soon established a sizeable lead over everyone else as Sepp Kuss worked hard to keep Jumbo Visma teammate Roglic in touch.
Thomas’ preceding efforts meant that Almeida was able to take home first place during this particular round! “It’s nice being back in pink,” said Thomas after reclaiming his spot atop overall standings following his loss earlier at Stage Fourteen where he lost time due to unfortunate circumstances beyond his control concerning other riders’ behaviour during that specific leg!
A Flat Route Ahead?
The upcoming seventeenth stage scheduled for Wednesday looks promising as it entails a flat 195km route from Pergine Valsugana to Caorle before three more challenging mountain stages ahead later in the week!
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