Giro d'Italia: Almeida extends lead as Ulissi makes it a magnificent eight

By Sports Desk October 16, 2020

Joao Almeida extended his lead in the Giro d'Italia as Diego Ulissi triumphed on stage 13.

Ulissi claimed the eighth Giro stage win of his career as he outsprinted Almeida at the end of a 192-kilometre ride from Cervia to Monselice.

Almeida's efforts saw him pick up six bonus seconds, stretching his General Classification advantage to 40 seconds over Wilco Kelderman.

Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) was third, while Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) saw his hopes vanish.

Demare, winner of four stages this year, could not keep pace after the peloton was split into three on a short final climb and eventually finished 41 seconds off the pace.

While Demare still holds a healthy lead in the battle for the Maglia Ciclamino, he is over two minutes behind Almeida in the GC standings with eight stages to go.

Speaking after his victory, Ulissi - who also won stage two - conceded another success in this Giro had not been in his thoughts.

"We did a great job on the last climb and the team set-up me up perfectly. We dropped the sprinters and reduced the peloton to a small group," said Ulissi. 

"I was tired after doing the climb so fast but [team-mate Brandon] McNulty was fantastic in the way he led it out. I saw I'd got my wheel ahead and won. I've been on form all season. I didn't expect to win another stage but it’s a great feeling."



1. Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) 04:22:18
2. Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +00:00
3. Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) +00:00
4. Tao Geoghegan Hart (INEOS) +00:00
5. Mikkel Frolich Honore (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +00:00


General Classification
1. Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 53:43:58
2. Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) +00:40
3. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-McLaren) +00:49

Points Classification
1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 221
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 184
3. Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 78

King of the Mountains
1. Ruben Guerreiro (EF Pro Cycling) 87
2. Giovanni Visconti (Vini Zabu-Brado-KTM) 76
3. Filippo Ganna (Team INEOS) 45


Saturday sees the riders tackle a challenging 34.1km time trial from Conegliano to Valdobbiadene, which features one categorised climb and a maximum gradient of 19 per cent on the Muro di Ca' del Poggio.

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  • Giro d'Italia: Merlier claims sprint finish as Ganna retains GC lead Giro d'Italia: Merlier claims sprint finish as Ganna retains GC lead

    Tim Merlier won Stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia as Filippo Ganna retained his place at the top of the General Classification standings.

    Belgian Merlier executed a superb sprint to edge out Giacomo Nizzolo, 'the Bridesmaid of Milan', who has the most runner-up finishes in Giro history without ever winning a stage.

    Elia Viviani, Dylan Groenewegen and Peter Sagan rounded out the top five following the 179km ride from Stupinigi (Nichelino) to Novara on Sunday.

    Merlier kicked with around 250 metres to go and held his nerve, while Fernando Gaviria collided with UAE Team Emirates colleague Juan Sebastian Molano as he tried to squeeze through by the barriers.

    "I'm really happy, really proud of it," Merlier said after clinching a first Grand Tour stage win. "I knew there was a roundabout that was really important in the end. When I saw it I knew I was in a good position. When I came out I was thinking, 'We need to go faster, faster, faster.'

    "I was in an altitude camp together with my girlfriend and then I came here. It paid off."

    Ganna, who leads the GC by 13 seconds, felt it was important to strengthen his position before Monday's more arduous ride from Biella to Canale.

    "I did the time bonus sprint just to take the bonification away from the others, thinking of the coming days if Egan [Bernal] or Pavel [Sivakov] are fighting for the Maglia Rosa," he said.

    "I saw Remco [Evenepoel] was trying to go for it, too. But Gianni [Moscon] and myself did a good job. I enjoyed hearing the crowd of Piedmont yelling my name today. We know tomorrow is a perfect stage for Peter Sagan."


    1. Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) 4:21:09
    2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Qhubeka Assos) same time
    3. Elia Viviani (Cofidis) same time
    4. Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) same time
    5. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) same time


    General Classification

    1. Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) 4:29:53
    2. Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) +00:13
    3. Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) +00:16

    Points Classification

    1. Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) 50
    2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Qhubeka Assos) 35
    3. Elia Viviani (Cofidis) 30

    King of the Mountains

    1. Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team) 3
    2. Filippo Tagliani (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) 2
    3. Umberto Marengo (Bardiani CSF Faizane) 1

  • Giro d'Italia: Ganna in pink after flying start sees INEOS pick up where they left off Giro d'Italia: Ganna in pink after flying start sees INEOS pick up where they left off

    INEOS Grenadiers started the defence of their Giro d'Italia title in some style on Saturday, as Filippo Ganna cruised to victory in the stage one time trial.

    Tao Geoghegan Hart finished top of the general classification standings in 2020, and Ganna ensured INEOS hold the maglia rosa once more after day one. 

    Ganna won the same stage last year – a 15km individual time trial from Monreale to Palermo – and repeated the feat on an 8.6km course in Turin this time around.

    The defending time trial world champion, who won four stages in total in the 2020 Giro, went round in a time of 8:47, beating Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) by 10 seconds.

    Affini and his team-mate Tobias Foss had looked well placed after their efforts, but Ganna ultimately had far too much power as he claimed what is the third-fastest individual time trial record in Giro history.

    "It was a lot of time waiting in the hot seat at the finish, but I've won the stage, I'm here, and I'm really happy," Ganna, who recorded an estimated average speed of 58.748kmph, said in a flash interview.

    "Now, we think about tomorrow, and recovering, because this Giro is really hard. I have this amazing victory."

    Ganna is the first rider to wear the pink jersey after stage one of successive Giros since Francisco Moser in 1984 and 1985, while only Diego Ulissi (eight) and Vincenzo Nibali (seven) have won more stages in the event of the riders taking part this year.

    Deceuninck-Quick Step riders Joao Almeida, Remi Cavagna and Remco Evenepoel all claimed top 10 finishes, while only a second separated GC favourites Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) and Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers), who recorded times of 9:07 and 9:08 respectively.


    1. Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) 8:47
    2. Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) +00:10
    3. Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) +00:13
    4. Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +00:17
    5. Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +00:41


    General Classification

    1. Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) 8:47
    2. Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) +00:10
    3. Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) +00:13

    Points Classification

    1. Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) 15
    2. Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) 12
    3. Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) 9

    King of the Mountains


  • Giro d'Italia: Bernal and Yates primed for maglia rosa battle amid fierce competition Giro d'Italia: Bernal and Yates primed for maglia rosa battle amid fierce competition

    The Giro d'Italia returns to its usual spot on the calendar after its coronavirus-delayed scheduling last year and it promises to be another classic.

    It was not until October that last season's event took place, with Ineos Grenadiers rider Tao Geoghegan Hart taking the honours for his first Grand Tour triumph.

    However, the Briton's primary target in 2021 is the Tour de France so he will not be wearing the maglia rosa in Milan at the end of the month.

    Here is a rundown of everything you need to know about this year's Giro.



    It is 3,479 kilometres of hard graft from the start in Torino on May 8 to the finish line in Milan 22 days later.

    That spans 21 stages, with two rest days, beginning and ending with individual time trials.

    In between are some punishing days in the saddle, including seven major mountain stages and brief trips into Slovenia and Switzerland along the way.

    All eyes will be on what could be a pivotal day in the mountains on stage 16, which takes in climbs up Passo Fedaia and the Passo Giau in the Dolomites.

    The literal high point of the race – though perhaps not at all figuratively for the competitors – will also come on that day atop the Passo Pordoi, at 2,239m above sea level.


    There is little to split Simon Yates and Giro debutant Egan Bernal in the bookies' odds, with stiff competition from elsewhere in the pack.

    Bernal is from the rich stock of Ineos Grenadiers' stable and will have the backing of a strong team, as will Team BikeExchange's Yates.

    Both have Grand Tour successes under their belts, Bernal winning the 2019 Tour, while Yates prevailed at the 2018 Vuelta a Espana.

    Given that Geoghegan Hart was not giving any billing ahead of last year's race, it would be remiss to exclude supposed 'outsiders' from the reckoning.

    On that front, Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Bernal's team-mate Pavel Sivakov would be two to look out for, while 2020 runner-up Jai Hindley (DSM) cannot be discounted.



    2020: Tao Geoghegan Hart 

    2019: Richard Carapaz

    2018: Chris Froome

    2017: Tom Dumoulin 

    2016: Vincenzo Nibali


    Tour winner and five-time Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins shed some light on the supposed fragility of Bernal, suggesting the dynamic with Sivakov could prove problematic.

    Wiggins favours Yates instead and suggested he could be joined on the podium by fellow Briton Hugh Carthy.

    "The air of invincibility around Bernal has now gone after his failure at the Tour last year due to injury," Wiggins told Cyclingnews.

    "There are question marks over his form and if he's through the period of being able to get through three weeks of racing without problems for his back.

    "But for me this is Simon Yates' moment. He's won the Vuelta and it's been three years since he won that race and he dominated the Giro until Chris Froome did what he did.

    "We could have two British riders [Yates and Carthy] on the podium and I think that it's going to be great race, I really do."

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