PIANCAVALLO, Italy – Tao Geoghegan Hart sprinted to victory at the end of the mountainous 15th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Sunday, and Jo?o Almeida held onto the overall leader’s pink jersey.
Geoghegan Hart, a British rider with the Ineos Grenadiers team, was part of a trio of riders to reach the summit finish together and he sprinted to edge out Team Sunweb pair Wilco Kelderman and Jai Hindley.
The 25-year-old Geoghegan Hart pointed to the sky and shouted “Nico” as he crossed the line, in tribute to Nico Portal, the Ineos sports director who died in March.
Almeida collapsed onto the floor with exhaustion at the end of the mountainous 185-kilometre (115-mile) leg from Codroipo to Piancavallo.
The Portuguese rider had made a huge solo chase on the first-category climb to the finish, desperate to hold onto the pink jersey.
The 22-year-old Almeida, who rides for the Deceuninck-Quick Step team, managed to finish fourth and remain in the lead but saw his advantage cut to 15 seconds ahead of Kelderman.
Hindley moved into third, 2:56 behind Almeida.
The Giro has its second rest day on Monday before Tuesday’s 16th stage, a hilly 229-kilometre (142-mile) route from Udine to San Daniele del Friuli.
The race was rescheduled from its usual May slot because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Giro ends on Oct. 25 with an individual time trial in Milan.