Giro d'Italia cycling race – Stage 16 (Sabbio Chiese – Monte Bondone, 203 km), 23 May 2023. Stage winner Joao Almeida of Portugal in front, followed by Geraint Thomas of Britain .
Monte Bondone (Italy) – The 16th mountain stage of the Giro d'Italia was won by Portuguese cyclist Joao Almeida after a sprint with Briton Geraint Thomas, who returned to the front of the race. Almeida, who won his first Grand Tour victory, moved into second place in the standings, 18 seconds behind.
Slovenian favorite Primož Roglič crossed the finish line on Monte Bondone in third after 203 kilometers with a distance of 25 seconds. The same position belongs to him in the overall classification, he is 29 seconds behind Thomas.
The British rider stripped the Frenchman Bruno Armirail of the pink jersey, who became the surprising leader of the Giro after Saturday's 14th stage. For the rest of the race, Thomas has to do without his important helper Pavel Sivakov, who withdrew today due to the consequences of an injury after falling in the 11th stage. He had already lost two colleagues from Ineos – Briton Tao Geoghegan Hart broke his hip and Filippo Ganna was sidelined by covid-19.
“It was very difficult today, a lot of hills. I'm happy how it turned out. Almeida was better in the sprint. He didn't surprise me. He's an excellent rider and a great opponent in the fight for the pink jersey,” said Thomas, who will celebrate his 37th birthday on Thursday and can become the oldest winner of the Giro. He would surpass the Italian Fiorenzo Magni, who won in 1955 at the age of 34.
In his Giro debut in 2020, Almeida rode for over two weeks in the pink jersey and finished fourth overall, but only won the stage today. “It's an extraordinary victory for me. We worked together with Thomas to get something on Roglič, but my main goal was to win. I'm trying to improve day by day as best I can,” said the 24-year-old Portuguese.
After a demanding day with five climbs, the peloton will have a “rest” stage on Wednesday, during which they will descend to the Adriatic Sea. The finish will be in Caorle after 197 kilometers.
Cycling race Giro d'Italia – 16th stage (Sabbio Chiese – Monte Bondone, 203 km):
1. Almeida (Portug./SAE Team Emirates) 5:53:27, 2. Thomas (Brit./Ineos Grenadiers) same time, 3. Roglič (Slovenia/Jumbo-Visma), 4. Dunbar (Ir./Jayco-AlUla ) both -25, 5. Kuss (USA/Jumbo-Visma) -1:03, 6. Van Wilder (Belg./Soudal-Quick-Step) -1:16, …116. K. Vacek (CZ/Corratec-Selle Italia) -46:55.
Current order: 1. Thomas 67:32:35, 2. Almeida -18, 3. Roglič -29, 4. Caruso (It./Bahrain Victorious) -2:50, 5. Dunbar -3:03, 6. Kämna (German/Bora -hansgrohe) -3:20, …95. Vacek -2:56:19.