Kelderman pulls Almeida closer on Giro’s high mountain finish on Piancavallo

Sunday’s high mountain finish in the Giro d’Italia made it apparent that the pink jersey race is really between João Almeida and Wilco Kelderman. On the last stage before the second and last rest day Kelderman pulled within 15-seconds of Almeida, outclimbing the Portuguese rider on Piancavallo. Ineos Grenadiers took their fifth stage victory and third in four days, as Tao Geoghegan Hart earned his first career Grand Tour triumph.

You can find out where to watch the Giro here.

This was the GC overnight:

1) João Almeida (Portugal/Deceuninck-Quick Step) 49:29:46
2) Wilco Kelderman (The Netherlands/Sunweb) +0:56
3) Pello Bilbao (Spain/Bahrain-McLaren) +2:11
4) Brandon McNulty (USA/UAE-Emirates) +2:23
5) Vincenzo Nibali (Italy/Trek-Segafredo) +2:30
6) Rafal Majka (Poland/Bora-Hansgrohe) +2:33
7) Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy/NTT) s.t.
8) Fausto Masnada (Italy/Deceuninck-Quick Step) +3:11
9) Patrick Konrad (Austria/Bora-Hansgrohe) +3:17
10) Jai Hindley (Australia/Sunweb) +3:33

The Course

Four categorized climbs were spread somewhat evenly along the 185 km from Base Aerea Rivolto to the top of Piancavallo. The final two ascents were Forcella di Pala Barzana (9.2 km of 5 percent) with 41 km to go and then the summit finish of Piancavallo (14.3 km of 7.9 percent).

It was the kind of profile that would draw a large breakaway, and on Sunday a raft of eleven dashed away to crest Cat. 2 Climb 2, Forcella di Monte Rest (7.4 km of 7.7 percent), with a 4:30 gap and Giovanni Visconti (Italy/Vini Zabù-KTM) leading the fugitives over. Having also led over the first Cat. 2, Sella Chianzutan, Visconti was the new King of the Mountains on the road.

On the Forcella di Pala Barzana the breakaway split. Sunweb pulled the peloton to within 3:00 of the escape. Australian Rohan Dennis went solo, dreaming of Ineos Grenadiers’ fifth stage win. Oh, they would get it too.

Dennis hit the foot of Piancavallo with a minute’s lead over his ex-breakmates.

Sunweb was still labouring at the front of the peloton. Jakob Fuglsang was isolated. Dennis would succumb to the will of the big hitters with 9.5 km to climb.

Sunweb dropped Fuglsang, third place Bilboa and seventh place Pozzovivo. Then it was two-time winner Nibali popping.

When 10th place Jai Hindley went hard with 7-km to go, only Kelderman and Geoghegan Hart come match him. Almeida fought hard to limit his losses.

Almeida fought hard to keep Kelderman within sight.

With 5-km to go, Almeida was 14 seconds back, Nibali +1:00 and Fuglsang ten seconds behind the Shark.

Hindley continued to pull himself, Geoghegan Hart and Kelderman up the GC. In the final 200-metres Kelderman tried to go for the win and maximum bonus seconds, but the Brit had more left.

Monday is the last rest day before a brutal last week.

2020 Giro d’Italia Stage 15
1) Tao Geoghegan Hart (Great Britain/Ineos Grenadiers) 4:58:52
2) Wilco Kelderman (The Netherlands/Sunweb) +0:02
3) Jai Hindley (Australia/Sunweb) +0:04

2020 Giro d’Italia GC
1) João Almeida (Portugal/Deceuninck-Quick Step) 59:37:38
2) Wilco Kelderman (The Netherlands/Sunweb) +0:15
3) Jai Hindley (Australia/Sunweb) +2:56
4) Tao Geoghegan Hart (Great Britain/Ineos Grenadiers) +2:57
5) Pello Bilbao (Spain/Bahrain-McLaren) +3:10
6) Rafal Majka (Poland/Bora-Hansgrohe) +3:18
7) Vincenzo Nibali (Italy/Trek-Segafredo) +3:29
8) Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy/NTT) +3:50
9) Patrick Konrad (Austria/Bora-Hansgrohe) +4:09
10) Fausto Masnada (Italy/Deceuninck-Quick Step) +4:12

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