Thomas reclaims Giro overall lead on stage 16-News

Geraint Thomas’ two previous attempts to win the Giro ended in crashes in 2017 and 2020.

Britain’s Geraint Thomas regained overall lead at the Giro d’Italia as Joao Almeida won on Monte Bondone in a thrilling 16th stage.

After bad weather disrupted the first two weeks of the Giro, the all-class race started on Tuesday with Thomas, 36, on the move.

The Briton ended the race with Almeida, who now leads him by 18 seconds.

Primoz Roglic is 29 seconds behind Thomas after his third place finish.

“It would have been nice to win the stage but I still had to ride, we didn’t want to play cat and mouse with Roglic at the back,” said Thomas.

“He took it out and jumped me and unfortunately he won the race. But it’s good to be back in the pink and get some time.”

After winning his first Giro race, UAE Team Emirates rider Almeida said: “I’m very happy, it’s a dream come true. After four years I was so close and I finally got it.”

Stage 17 on Wednesday is a flat 195km route from Pergine Valsugana to Caorle, three more challenging mountain stages.

How stage 16 appeared

Following two nights covered by heavy rain, the departure of Covid-19 and accidents, the battle for the maglia rosa began on Tuesday when Thomas addressed the remaining five sessions.

The highly anticipated 203km section from Sabbio Chiese to the summit of Monte Bondone included a 5,200m climb, with a steep 15% gradient on the final climb.

Thomas, the 2018 Tour de France champion, started the day one minute and eight seconds behind France’s Bruno Amirail of Groupama-FDJ, who beat him on stage 14.

But, with Amirail already removed from the reduced group, Almeida attacked within the last five kilometers and Thomas was the only rider able to follow.

The pair pushed forward, creating a huge lead as Sepp Kuss’s effort kept Jumbo Visma Roglic’s team in touch, with Thomas’ efforts meaning Almeida was able to take the win.

Roglic was able to cut his deficit to 25 seconds – coming in alongside Ireland’s Eddie Dunbar – to ensure the Slovenian remains in contention.

Fourth-placed Italian Damiano Caruso is two minutes and 50 seconds behind Thomas, while former leader Amirail dropped to seventh.

There was bad news for Thomas, who turns 37 on Thursday, with the departure of Pavel Sivakov midway through the stage leaving him with his four Ineos teammates.

All groups

1. Geraint Thomas (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) 67hrs 32mins 35sec

2. Joao Almeida (Author/UAE Team Emirates) +18secs

3. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) +29secs

4. Damiano Caruso (Winner of Ita/Bahrain) +2mins 50secs

5. Eddie Dunbar (Ire/Team Jayco AIula) +3mins 03secs

6. Lennard Kamna (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) +3mins 20secs

7. Bruno Armirail (Female/Groupama-FDJ) +3mins 22secs

8. Andreas Leknessund (Nor/Team DSM) +3mins 30secs

9. Thymen Arensman (Ned/Ineos Grenadiers) +4mins 09secs

10. Laurens De Plus (Bel/Ineos Grenadiers) +4mins 32secs

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