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Almeida still in pink as Tratnik wins Giro d’Italia 16th stage

Jan Tratnik

Slovenian Jan Tratnik soloed to victory in Tuesday’s 16th stage of the Giro d’Italia with Portugal’s Joao Almeida holding the leader’s pink jersey in the final week of the race around Italy.

Tratnik, a 30-year-old Bahrain McLaren rider, crossed the line seven seconds ahead of Australian Ben O’Connor, after the run from Udine on the border with Slovenia.

Deceuninck’s Almeida finished nearly 13 minutes off the pace among the peloton of favourites to keep the overall lead. The race finishes in Milan on October 25.

Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria was among two positive coronavirus tests announced before the stage from a batch of 492 during Monday’s rest day. The second was an AG2R La Mondiale team employee.

“Gaviria went straight into isolation after the test result. He feels fine and is completely asymptomatic,” his UAE Emirates team announced.

“All the other riders and staff members returned negative tests and will have other tests today,” the team said.

Gaviria, who also tested positive for the virus in February, had been 126th out of 138 in the general classification, almost three and a half hours behind Almeida.

Monday’s total of two positives was down on the first round of testing, when the virus was detected in riders Steven Kruijswijk and  Michael Matthews along with six team personnel.

The day after the first tests, two teams quit the race — Kruijswijk’s Jumbo-Visma outfit and Michelton-Scott whose leader Simon Yates had stopped after developing minor symptoms.

Tuesday’s undulating 229km stage ran from Udine through the foothills of the Julian Alps with a final circuit around Daniele del Friuli, with Monte Ragogna climbed three times – over two 27km circuit laps. 

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