João Almeida pounces on Monte Bondone to take Giro d’Italia stage 16 victory

Geraint Thomas puts in late attack to reclaim maglia rosa and finish second on tough mountain top finish behind Portuguese climber

Joao Almeida
(Image credit: Getty Images)

João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) put in an impressive late attack on the slopes of Monte Bondone to win stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia.

The Portuguese climber launched a move with 5km to go to the line as the gradients of the final climb began to bite. Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) was the only other general classification favourite that was able to follow, the Welshman reclaimed the pink jersey of the race leader in the process.

Both riders put time into Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) in the fight for overall victory.

After his teammate, Jay Vine, had shredded the remnants of the group of favourites, Almeida took over and soon made his move, dancing away up Monte Bondone. Sensing an opportunity, Thomas would soon follow in pursuit and looked to be the stronger of the two as the summit approached.

As they reached the final few hundred metres, Almeida had the upper hand and dispatched the Welshman in a two-up sprint for the line. Roglič finished third, losing 25 seconds on the brutal mountain stage that featured over 5,000 metres of elevation gain.

The Slovenian was able to snatch four bonus seconds with third place ahead of Eddie Dunbar (Jayco-AIUla) who impressed with fourth.

Thomas now leads Almeida by 18 seconds with Roglič in third 29 seconds back.

Speaking to the media after the stage, 24-year-old Almeida said it was a “dream come true” to finally have secured a stage win at the Giro.

“I’m super happy… after four years I was always so close but so far at the same time and finally I got it,” Almeida said. “So yeah, I’m super super happy and don’t have the words to describe it.”

The Portuguese climber, who leads the best young riders classification, heaped praise on his teammates who had worked to set him up earlier on the climb. Davide Formolo and Vine were instrumental in the victory, both putting in huge turns to put the other favourites under pressure.

“My teammates were amazing, they did a really good job like always and I tried to give it a go in the end,” he added. “It was a super hard day, always up and down, for the legs it was super hard. I would say it was the hardest so far, but I was feeling good.”

Joao Almeida

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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Tom joined Cycling Weekly in early 2022 and his news stories, rider interviews and features appear both online and in the magazine. 

He has reported from some of professional cycling's biggest races and events including the Tour de France and the recent Glasgow World Championships. He has also covered races elsewhere across the world and interviewed some of the sport's top riders. 

When not writing news scoops from the WorldTour, or covering stories from elsewhere in the domestic professional scene, he reports on goings on at bike shops up and down the UK, where he is based when not out on the road at races. He has also appeared on the Radio Cycling podcast.