The Italian Diego Ulissi (UAE) won the sprint this Friday in the thirteenth stage of the Giro d'Italia, on a 192-kilometer route between Cervia and Monselice, ahead of the Portuguese Joao Almeida (Deceunick Quick Step), who reinforced his pink jersey .
Ulissi finished the stage in four hours, 22 minutes and 18 seconds after the final sprint, on a podium completed by Almeida and the Austrian Patrik Konrad (Bora Hansgrohe).
The Italian rider sealed his second victory in this year's Giro and the eighth in his starts in the Carrera Rosa. Despite losing the victory by a few centimeters, Almeida added a bonus of six seconds and increased to 40 his advantage in the general over the Dutch Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) and to 49 compared to the Spanish Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Merida), eighth this Friday.
After the cold and rain of Thursday's stage in Cesenatico, the riders faced a flat test at the beginning, but difficult in the last thirty kilometers by two mountain passes, Roccolo and Calaoni, with slopes that touched 18%. Seven riders, the French Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R La Mondiale), the Swiss Simon Pellaud (Androni), Simone Ravanelli (Androni), the Colombian Rodrigo Contreras (Astana), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani), the Belgian Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) and Lorenzo Rota (Vini Zabù-KTM), sought glory at the beginning of the test, although the group controlled them with relative ease.
The Roccolo took its toll on five of them, including Contreras, who could not keep up with the rhythm of their teammates on the run and who were hit by the peloton, which accumulated about 35 seconds behind the leaders, Tonelli and Bouchard. The Italian and the French held out until the Calaoni climb, but there the group caught up with them and ended their dreams of glory. The decisive section of the test then began, with Almeida remaining at the head of the pack.
The Deceunick Quick Step worked excellently, with Britain's James Knox and Fausto Masnada who brought Almeida with them in the attempt to give the Portuguese his cards in the final sprint. Further back, Frenchman Arnaud Demare (Groupama FDJ) and Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe) lost more than half a minute.
He tried to take the win and the bonus of ten seconds Almeida, who was nevertheless struck down on the sprint by Ulissi, who attacked 200 meters from the end and entered with a half wheel ahead of the Portuguese.
Despite this, the Portuguese increased his advantage over Kelderman, second, to 40 seconds, and the margin over Bilbao to 49 seconds, awaiting the time trial on Saturday, which is also shaping up to be favorable to his characteristics. Better tests for the Spanish Sergio Samitier (Movistar), sixth, the Danish Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) or the Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Trek Segafredo).