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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, May 24, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Giro d'Italia stage sixteen reports

We posted the report from GC leader Geraint Thomas' Team INEOS Grenadiers with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner Joao Almeida's UAE Team Emirates:

Joao Almeida and UAE Team Emirates put on an exhibition in teamwork on the summit finish of stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia taking an exciting victory to win his first Giro stage on the Monte Bondone.

Joao Almeida wins stage sixteen. Sirotti photo

The 24 year old Portuguese champion was well set-up on the run-in to the final climb with Davide Formolo and Jay Vine putting in huge turns to put pressure on the other rivals.

Diego Ulissi also played his part, dropping back from the breakaway to put in a hard turn on the front of a heavily depleted bunch.

Sensing weakness in his rivals and on a particularly strong day, Almeida hit-out for victory with -7km to go with only Geraint Thomas (Ineos-Grenadiers) able to follow.

The pair worked all the way to the line before Almeida summoned a final push to take Thomas in the sprint and earn UAE Team Emirates their third stage win of the Giro and the 28th season success.

Almeida: “This is a dream come true. I’ve come so close in the past to taking a stage win and I’m super happy, I’m speechless. My team did an amazing job. This was the hardest stage of the race so far and I took the risk to go on the attack. I took the risk and it paid off so I’m very thankful to my team, my family, my girlfriend and everyone who supports me. It’s a very special feeling.”

Almeida now moves up to 2nd on GC, just behind race leader Thomas and continues to lead the white jersey classification.

On Wednesday the Giro continues with a flat stage from Pergine Valsugana to Caorle (197km) on a day earmarked for the sprinters.

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Here's the Giro report from Primoz Roglic's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Primoz Roglic has lost time to his two closest rivals in the general classification in the 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia. The Slovenian leader of Team Jumbo-Visma had a bad moment four kilometres from the summit but limited the damage, thanks in part to the work of Sepp Kuss, to finish third. On the line, he was 25 seconds behind.

Primoz Roglic finishing third in stage 16. Sirotti photo

A challenging stage awaited the peloton the day after the rest day. With almost six thousand metres of climbing, the stage featured five categorised climbs. At the start of the stage, a large lead group broke away, and Team Jumbo-Visma took control of the race.

Thanks to the hard work of Edoardo Affini, Sam Oomen, Michel Hessmann and Rohan Dennis, the lead group was within reach before the final 10 kilometres. Roglic and Kuss maintained their position in the lead group, which also featured Geraint Thomas, Joo Almeida, and Eddie Dunbar, with eight kilometers remaining.

Roglic struggled in one of the hairpins, allowing Thomas and Almeida to ride away from the Slovenian. Kuss gave his all for his leader. Partly as a result of this, Roglic was able to limit the damage compared to the competition.

"We decided to take control and ride a solid pace on the final climb", he said. After the other teams got involved at the front, it turned out that Primoz didn't have his best legs", sports director Marc Reef said. "He rode completely empty with Sepp. The first three riders are within half a minute of each other. We lost a battle here, but certainly not the war. There is still a lot to come over the next few days, so we have confidence in the best possible outcome. In the coming days, we will utilise the team's qualities to fight for victory."

After the stage, Koen Bouwman also alluded to the strength of the collective. "As a team we showed that we are in good shape. The race did not erupt on purpose, but Rohan raced so aggressively at the front of the pack that it did. That Primoz lost time on the final climb was obviously not the plan. It will be an exciting battle for the top spots in the general classification until Saturday", Bouwman predicted.

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Ilan Van Wilder's Team Soudal Quick-Step posted this:

Monte Bondone, the daunting climb where Charly Gaul achieved immortality at the 1956 Giro d’Italia, returned at the race after 31 years, at the end of a brutal stage featuring five classified ascents and almost 6000 vertical meters.

Soudal Quick-Step entered the third week with just two riders, after illness forced Davide Ballerini to say goodbye to the race, but the Wolfpack spirit remained prevalent despite this new setback that left Pieter Serry and Ilan Van Wilder to sport the team jersey as the peloton took on one of this edition’s hardest stages.

Ilan, who in the past week has gradually moved up the general classification, impressed again with his resilience and fantastic determination on a day that disintegrated the bunch and brought more changes to the overall ranking. The 23-year-old Belgian, riding his first Giro d’Italia, remained with the big favourites until the steepest part of Monte Bondone, when a pair of accelerations at the front shredded the peloton, leaving in the lead a small group from which Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) took the win.

Ilan Van Wilder (left) finishes sixth. Sirotti photo

Part of an eight-man chasing group and feeling better and better with each kilometer, Van Wilder showed a maturity beyond his age, remaining calm and taking some long pulls that reduced the deficit. Despite this solid effort, he still had enough left at the finish to get out of the saddle and sprint for a remarkable sixth place against more seasoned opponents – a confirmation not just of his potential, but also of his upward trajectory at the Giro in the last couple of days, which has brought him just three minutes from cracking the top 10.

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And here's the Giro report from Lennard Kämna's Team Bora-hansgrohe:

After the last rest day, the final decisive week of the Giro started with a tough mountain stage. Following the start in Sabbio Chiese, the 203km long route led flat along Lake Garda for the first 60km. On the following 140 km, more than 5000m of elevation gain were spread over five climbs until the peloton reached the mountain finish at Monte Bondone.

Before the first climb, Cesare Benedetti and Patrick Konrad successfully fought their way to the leading group in a chase group, which had already gained a small advantage by this time. When two riders went clear from the breakaway before the summit of the second climb, the Polish BORA - hansgrohe rider chased after the leading duo solo, but eventually fell back. On the penultimate climb, the first chasing group including Patrick caught the two leaders, while at the back of the decimated peloton with Lennard Kämna, Jumbo - Visma took over the pace.

On the final climb, the lead group with Patrick was still 3:30 minutes ahead, but a little later the group disintegrated and its advantage over the peloton shrank quickly. Patrick Konrad fought in the group of remaining riders, but the GC favourites were close on their heels and caught them with 10 km to go. Over the final kilometres, the GC favourites exchanged blows, while the group with Lennard was over a minute behind. With Joao Almeida winning the two-man sprint, Lennard Kämna finished 11th as the best BORA - hansgrohe rider and is now in 6th place in the general classification.

The peloton races next to Lake Garda.

"We hoped that the leading group would come through but nobody really wanted to show commitment. In such a situation I wasn't able to invest everything. Unfortunately, we were caught at an inopportune moment before the climb and although I tried everything to fight my way through, it just didn't work out in the end. I will try something again on the next mountain stage, otherwise I will give Lenni my full support. Now we'll see what else is possible in the coming days." - Patrick Konrad

"The day was actually quite alright. But when the others pushed the pace, I somewhat rashly went to the front and accelerated because I wanted to try to keep the time loss within limits. But then the others attacked and it didn't work out the way I wanted it to. Still, I can be pretty pleased with the day." - Lennard Kämna

"It was a tough mountain finish. We wanted to send Koni into the break so he could race for a stage win. Cece was also at the front, which was of course special for him because the stage went through his birthplace, it was a once in a life time experience. In the end, Paret-Peintre had a very good position in the overall classification and so did Jack Haig and so Jumbo-Visma took control and so it was not possible for us to fight with Koni for the stage win. In the reduced field, Lenni rode quite conservatively because he wasn't 100% in the last few days. I think everyone did a good job and I'm quite proud of the performance of our guys." - Enrico Gasparotto, Sports Director

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