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Sport Giro d'Italia: Which GC contenders lost time on stage 18

20:55  22 october  2020
20:55  22 october  2020 Source:   cyclingnews.com

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A brutal day in the Dolomites on the road to Laghi di Cancano saw the general classification of the Giro d'Italia upended over the Passo dello Stelvio on stage 18.

a group of people standing on the side of a snow covered mountain: Cyclists ride uphill at the Passo dello Stelvio Stelvio Pass during the 18th stage of the Giro dItalia 2020 cycling race a 207kilometer route between Pinzolo and Laghi di Cancano on October 22 2020 Photo by Luca Bettini AFP Photo by LUCA BETTINIAFP via Getty Images © Provided by Cycling News Cyclists ride uphill at the Passo dello Stelvio Stelvio Pass during the 18th stage of the Giro dItalia 2020 cycling race a 207kilometer route between Pinzolo and Laghi di Cancano on October 22 2020 Photo by Luca Bettini AFP Photo by LUCA BETTINIAFP via Getty Images

After 15 days in the maglia rosa, Deceuninck-QuickStep neo-pro João Almeida finally ceded the race lead to Team Sunweb's Wilco Kelderman, with an entirely new situation at the top of the rankings as we head into the final three stages.

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The Portuguese 22-year-old lost contact with the Sunweb-driven lead group 48 kilometres from the end of the stage and nine from the top of the Stelvio.

He had teammate Fausto Masnada for company but had no answer to the power of Sunweb and Ineos, crossing the finish line at the top of Torri di Fraele 4:51 down on stage winner Jai Hindley (Sunweb), falling to fifth overall, 2:16 down.

Hindley rode himself into overall contention along with the man he beat to the line, Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers). The pair were the cream of the crop after being towed by Ineos' Rohan Dennis to the top of the Stelvio, down the freezing descent and through the valley.

They finished first and second on the stage and now lie second and third on GC, with Hindley just 12 seconds down and Geoghegan Hart 15 seconds back. Kelderman holds that slender lead, benefitting from gaining 2:33 on Almeida to jump up into first overall with just a sprint stage, the triple-Sestriere day, and the Milan time trial between him and overall victory.

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A resurgent Pello Bilbao (Bahrain McLaren) took third place, 46 seconds behind the two leaders, with the Spaniard and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) working well as the third group on the road before overhauling Kelderman on the final climb.

The Dane finished fourth at 1:25 and moves up six places into sixth overall, 3:59 down. Bilbao, meanwhile, is in striking distance of the podium – or even overall victory depending on the events of stage 20 – at 1:19 down on Kelderman.

Further back, Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) left co-team leader Rafał Majka behind on the final climb to finish sixth at 4:04. The Austrian moves up two spots to seventh overall, 5:40 down, while Majka, who lost almost seven minutes, fell five spots to 10th overall.

Other losers on the stage included Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) and Domenico Pozzovivo (NTT Pro Cycling), the two Italians losing contact on the Stelvio, eventually losing 4:51 and 8:17 at the line. They are now in eighth and 12th overall – Pozzovivo the last man on the general classification within 20 minutes of the lead.

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  Geoghegan Hart eyes Giro d'Italia podium after Ineos attack on the Stelvio 'We can almost smell Milan now. We'll stay focused and see what happens,' says British riderGeoghegan Hart was beaten by Jai Hindley (Team Sunweb) in the two-rider sprint near the Laghi di Cancano above Bormio and across from the summit of the mighty snow-covered Stelvio.

Finally, Fausto Masnada and Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain McLaren) occupy ninth and 11th after riding to the final spots in the top 10 of stage 18.

The GC picture after stage 18
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb77:46:56
2Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb0:00:12
3Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers0:00:15
4Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren0:01:19
5Joao Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quickstep0:02:16
6Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team0:03:59
7Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:05:40
8Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:05:47
9Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:06:46
10Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:07:28
11Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain McLaren0:07:43
12Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling0:09:34

Geoghegan Hart, Ineos top prize winners in Giro d'Italia .
Team takes home €430,693 with €314,781 won by Geoghegan HartIneos Grenadiers took home roughly €430,693 - excluding the daily Intergiro sprints and combativity bonuses. In comparison, the top team in the Tour de France, UAE Team Emirates, won almost €200,000 more.

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