Almeida retains pink jersey as Geoghegan Hart wins Giro stage 15

Piancavallo (Italy) (AFP) –


Team Ineos' British rider Tao Geoghegan Hart soloed to victory in the 15th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Sunday after a tough climb to the summit of Piancavallo.

With a week left to race, Portugal's Joao Almeida holds the overall leader's pink jersey which had been under threat after Dutch rival Wilco Kelderman finished the stage in second position.

Kelderman closed to 15seconds behind Deceuninck-Quick Step's Almeida with the race finishing in Milan on October 25.

Former two-time winner Vincenzo Nibali and Dane Jakob Fuglsang, both among the race favourites struggled on the final climb before Monday's rest day.

The Giro returned to altitude, leaving the Rivolto Air Base in Udine, covering 185km before the final gruelling climb to the Piancavallo ski resort in the Friulian Dolomites.

Geoghegan Hart, 25, crossed the line alone 2sec ahead of Kelderman with Australian Jai Hindley, who had set the pace in the final kilometres, third at 4sec.

Almeida was fourth 37sec off the pace.

It was the fifth stage win for Ineos after losing Welsh team leader Geraint Thomas after stage four with a broken pelvis.