The Italian rider Diego Ulissi claimed an eighth career Giro d’Italia stage when he won Friday’s 13th stage, a 192-km ride between Cervia and Monselice.
The Team UAE Emirates rider just managed to outsprint the race leader, João Almeida, who extended his overall lead as second place earned the Portuguese a six-second time bonus. The 22-year-old now leads the Dutchman Wilco Kelderman by 40sec. Patrick Konrad of Austria took third place.
The peloton was split in three in the last short but brutal climb of the day, with the sprint specialists being dropped.
Arnaud Démare of France, winner of four stages and leader in the points classification, could not sustain the pace and abandoned all hope of victory with 18km left while the triple world champion Peter Sagan chased in vain and also missed out on the sprint for victory.
Saturday’s 14th stage is a 34.1km individual time-trial between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene.
Earlier on Friday, the Paule Ka women’s cycling team said they were ending racing activities with immediate effect because their French fashion label sponsor had failed to make payments since August. Paule Ka became Bigla-Katusha’s main sponsor in July and committed to the team until 2024 but made only one payment, the team said.
“It is with great regret that Équipe Paule Ka announces the immediate cessation of its racing season and, unfortunately, the closure of the team – currently ranked fourth in the world with over 3,000 UCI points – due to the absence of sponsor payments since August,” Équipe Paule Ka said in a statement.
The British rider Lizzy Banks, who rode for the team, posted on social media: “The truth is that this has been an incredibly difficult two weeks.
“We learned at the beginning of last week that @paulekaofficiel, who committed to three and a half years of sponsorship, only paid one instalment in July and as of this moment, the team is waiting for the rest, and because of this the team was simply unable to manage any further financial commitments of racing. That’s pretty much the whole story that there is to tell.”