Picture: 123RF/STEFANSCHURR
Picture: 123RF/STEFANSCHURR

Piancavallo — Tao Geoghegan Hart claimed a fifth-stage win for Ineos-Grenadiers in the Giro d’Italia when he won the 15th stage on Sunday, a 185km mountain trek, as Joao Almeida’s overall lead was whittled down to just 15 sec.

Briton Geoghegan Hart was the freshest man at the end of the final ascent, a punishing 14.5km effort at an average gradient of 7.8%, to beat Dutchman Wilco Kelderman by 2 sec.

Kelderman’s Sunweb teammate Jai Hindley of Australia was third, 4 sec off the pace, after pacing the leading trio up the climb. Portuguese Almeida came home fourth, 37 sec behind the winner. He retained the overall race leader’s Maglia Rosa jersey, with a 15 sec lead over Kelderman.

It was a bad day at the office for double champion Vincenzo Nibali, however, who dropped to seventh overall, 3 min 29 sec behind Almeida after cracking with 8.8km left on the last ascent.

Ineos-Grenadiers lost team leader Geraint Thomas to a crash early in the race, but they can now count on Geoghegan Hart to mount a challenge in the final week. The 25-year-old jumped to fourth overall, a distant 2 min 57 sec off the pace.

But his apparent superiority on Sunday made him a force to be reckoned with, with three more summit finishes left in the race. Monday is a rest day on the Giro.

Reuters

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