PIANCAVALLO, Italy (AP) – Tao Geoghegan Hart emerged triumphant from packing Sunday at the end of the hilly course of the Giro d’Italia’s 15th stage, with João Almeida clinging to the overall lead.
Geoghegan Hart, a British rider for the Ineos Grenadiers team, was part of a trio of riders who arrived together on the ascent to the finish line, managing to overtake Wilco Kelderman and Jai Hindley, both from the Sunweb team.
Geoghegan Hart, 25, pointed skyward and yelled “Nico” in tribute to Nico Portal, Ines’s athletic director who passed away in March.
Almeida ended up exhausted, throwing himself to the pavement at the end of the 115-mile (185-kilometer) mountain route between Codroipo and Piancavallo.
In a desperate attempt to defend the leader’s pink jersey, the Portuguese staged a solo escape on the first promotion to the finish line.
The 22-year-old rider, from the Deceuninck-Quick Step team, managed to finish fourth and remains the leader. But the difference narrowed to 15 seconds over Kelderman.
Hindley moved to third overall, 2:56 behind Almeida.
The Giro will have its second rest day on Monday before the 16th stage on Tuesday, a 229 kilometer (142 mile) mountain ride between Udine and San Daniele del Friuli.
The Italian round was originally going to start with three stages in Hungary and would be held from May 9 to 31, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It will conclude on October 25 with an individual time trial in Milan.