Almeida: Maybe my rivals are starting to think I can keep Giro d'Italia lead until the end

Joao Almeida defended his pink jersey with apparent ease
Joao Almeida of Deceuninck-QuickStep defended his pink jersey with apparent ease on stage 13 (Image credit: Getty Images)

He's still here. João Almeida defended the maglia rosa for a 10th successive day and extended his overall lead to 40 seconds when he sprinted to second place on stage 13 of the Giro d'Italia in Monselice. A week from the planned finish in Milan – or sooner, if circumstances have it so – the Deceuninck-Quickstep neo-professional looked increasingly comfortable in the role of Grand Tour leader.

Friday's finale saw Almeida competing on familiar terrain in the Colli Euganei south of Padua. Like the poet Ugo Foscolo, he spent a formative period in these hills, riding a season in the colours of local outfit Unieuro Trevigiani in his first year out of the junior ranks in 2017.

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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation, published by Gill Books.