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Race Report: Almeida and Thomas strike as GC fight starts on Giro stage 16

The third week of the Giro started with its toughest stage, and some Certified GC Action.

Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) double up on the attack on stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia. (Photo © Cor Vos)

João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) won the 16th stage of the Giro d’Italia with an attack on the finishing climb of Monte Bondone as the long-stalemated fight for the general classification finally got unstuck. Almeida made his move with six km to go and briefly looked like he’d be recaught, but latched on to a counter from Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and the duo gradually pulled clear as Jumbo-Visma’s Primož Roglič couldn’t match the pace. Thomas regained the race lead he gave up on stage 13 as overnight leader Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ) lost more than four minutes.

Brief Results:

  1. João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates)
  2. Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) @ same time
  3. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) @ :25
  4. Eddie Dunbar (Jayco-AlUla) @ same time
  5. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) @ 1:03

New GC:

  1. Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers)
  2. João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) @ :18
  3. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) @ :29
  4. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) @ 2:50
  5. Eddie Dunbar (Jayco-AlUla) @ 3:03

Landscape appreciation moment

The area around Lake Garda is a cyclist’s paradise. We have no idea why. Total mystery. (Photo © Cor Vos)


We didn’t talk about Bruno

Bruno Armirail has been in the race lead since stage 13, but was all but ignored because he was widely seen as just keeping the maglia rosa warm for others. A sincere tip of the cap to the French time-trial specialist for a spirited defense of the lead on the toughest day of the race.

Next Stage:

The last week of the Giro is always, by tradition, brutal, but Wednesday’s stage 17 is one for the fast men again: 197 km, pretty much all (literally) downhill. Several top sprinters are out of the race, including stage winners Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Trek-Segafredo’s Mads Pedersen. Expect a breakaway. Expect it to be caught, and expect Milan to vie with Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates) and soon-to-be-retired Mark Cavendish (Astana) among others.

Stat of the day:

Gee may not get the points jersey but at this point he’s a lock for the final combativity award. He’s been in the break on five of 16 stages so far, spending 779 km out front, or 29 percent of the total kilometers ridden so far. Will he go on the attack again? Does a bear …


Survivor, Soudal edition, continues with just two riders left on the island, er, team bus:

At least they’re not drafting this time?

Giro can’t go a day without at least some rain. Blame Rudy.

Meanwhile, for all that talk of swapping the Giro and Vuelta calendar spots for better weather for both…


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