Koen Bouwman claimed his second victory of the Giro d'Italia on stage 19, while Richard Carapaz maintained his three-second general classification lead on Friday.

Jumbo Visma's Bouwman profited from a dramatic uphill finish at Santuario Di Castelmonte following a day-long five-man breakaway across the 178-kilometre race, which included a brief visit to Slovenia.

The Dutchman, who also leads the King of the Mountains classification, watched a last-corner mistake from Mauro Schmid (QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl) forced Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroen) off the road.

Bouwman surged through to win as Schmid recovered to take second, with Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) taking third and Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) finishing ahead of a furious Vendrame.

However, Schmid was quick to question the last-corner problems with Bouwman and Vendrame.

"My opinion it was not a fair sprint, it was pretty clear, my handlebars are still in front and he nearly crashed in the last corner, he just knows he's slower in the sprint and he just pushed me away. You'll see when you watch the last 100-200 metres. I can do nothing," he told reporters.

"It was not fair in my opinion. Second place is first loser, so I'm not happy with that. I think I had it in the legs today. Of course, I'm disappointed but I want to say thanks to the team."

Bouwman, though, offered a different version of events to Schmid as he added: "I knew there was a corner to the left but I didn't know it was this sharp. I had to brake quite hard and I knew I had to take the inside [of the corner].

"After my first victory I said it would be really nice if I could have another one, but I also said I have to be realistic. It was my first victory as a pro. Now to win two stages in the Giro – I'm just so happy I don't have words.

Meanwhile, Carapaz finished eighth on the same time as Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) as the general classification battle continues.

Carapaz loses key team-mate Porte

Ineos Grenadiers' Richie Porte was forced to abandon the Giro at stage 19 due to illness, leaving Carapaz without a key supporter for the final two summits of the race.

Porte will be disappointed to finish his 13-year Grand Tour career in such fashion, having announced his intention to retire at the end of the season, and Carapaz was frustrated to lose his team-mate.

"Truth is, it's been a really difficult day today. I'm really disappointed for Richie it's unlucky," he told reporters.

"But the team is doing a good job and we're dealing with everything the best we can. We're all at a good level and trying to make it into a positive.

"It was a little give and take today but I think we're all pretty much on the same level at the top. It wasn't such a fantastically difficult finale that it was going to break up very much."

STAGE RESULT 

1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo Visma) 4:32:55
2. Mauro Schmid (QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl) same time 
3. Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) same time
4. Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) same time
5. Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroen) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 81:18:12
2. Jai Hindley (BORA-Hansgrohe) +0:03
3. Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) +1:05

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 254
2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 136
3. Mark Cavendish (QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl) 132

King of the Mountains

1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 294
2. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 103
3. Diego Rosa (EOLO-Kometa) 94

Dries De Bondt sprinted to victory on stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia, as Jai Hindley remained three seconds adrift of race leader Richard Carapaz despite a late puncture.

It was De Bondt among a breakaway quartet who had the pace to take his maiden victory in a Grand Tour race in Treviso on Thursday.

The Alpecin-Fenix rider pipped Edoardo Affini, with Magnus Cort Nielsen third and Davide Gabburo just missing out on a podium at the end of a 156-kilometre route from Borgo Valsugana.

That group of four riders made an early move and there was no catching them on a day Belgian De Bondt will never forget.

The 30-year-old's win was his first since crossing the line first in the Belgian National Road Championships in September 2020.

There was drama when Hindley suffered a puncture, but the BORA-Hansgrohe rider did not lose time in the general classification battle as the mechanical issue came within three kilometres of the finish.

Carapaz finished 20 seconds after De Bondt as he retained the maglia rosa, with Mikel Landa staying in third place behind Hindley.

"I checked Landa and Hindley all the time as I knew there could be some gaps. I want to keep the maglia rosa till the end, I trust in my legs." INEOS Grenadiers rider Carapaz said.

Almeida ruled out after positive COVID-19 test

Joao Almeida was fourth in the GC standings, but the Portuguese rider's race is over after he tested positive for COVID-19 following stage 17.

UAE Team Emirates team principal Mauro Gianetti said: "We are obviously deeply upset because Joao and the supporting team were doing an excellent race.

"Our goals were the podium of the Giro and the white jersey as best young rider, and we were fighting to win them both.

"It is bad news, but this is the reality we have been living every day for two years. We have to accept it and look forward. Now the most important thing is that Joao recovers as soon as possible."

STAGE RESULT 

1. Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix) 3:21:21
2. Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) same time
3. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education-EasyPost) same time
4. Davide Gabburo (Bardiani CSF Faizane) same time
5. Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) +0:14

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 76:41:21
2. Jai Hindley (BORA-Hansgrohe) +0:03
3. Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) +1:05

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 254
2. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 132
3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 124

King of the Mountains

1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 218
2. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 103
3. Diego Rosa (EOLO-Kometa) 94

Santiago Buitrago won stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia as Richard Carapaz kept hold of the maglia rosa despite pressure from Jai Hindley.

Colombian Buitrago had not won a Grand Tour stage before the mountainous 165km route from Ponte di Legno to Lavarone, but the Bahrain Victorious rider got off the mark on Wednesday.

Having caught Gijs Leemreize on the final climb, Buitrago cruised to victory with a margin of 35 seconds.

Mathieu van der Poel turned in another gutsy ride, but the Dutchman did not have enough in the tank to push on for a second stage win of the Giro after going out ahead on his own with around 65km remaining. 

Van der Poel's compatriot Leemreize crossed the line second, almost two minutes ahead of third-placed Jan Hirt, who won Tuesday's stage.

Hugh Carthy was fourth ahead of Carapaz and Hindley, who both finished two minutes and 53 seconds behind Buitrago.

"It's been a really hard stage. I think we're happy – every day everything is being defined more, everything is clearing up in the GC and I'm happy to have the jersey another day," said Carapaz, who holds a three-second lead over Hindley.

"Tomorrow will be an important day – we have to get through the remaining days, no day is easy and we've got a very difficult weekend coming up."

Hard luck for Yates

It has been a frustrating race for Simon Yates, who has won two stages but found himself way out of contention for the maglia rosa.

His race is now run, with Yates withdrawing due to a knee problem, with Team BikeExchange-Jayco team doctor Matteo Beltemacchi confirming: "Despite daily therapy and Simon's tenacity, the knee pain grew worse."

STAGE RESULT 

1. Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious) 2:27:41
2. Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma) +0:35
3. Jan Hirt (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +2:28
4. Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) +2:28
5. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +2:53

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 73:19:40
2. Jai Hindley (BORA-Hansgrohe) +0:03
3. Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) +1:05

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 238 
2. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 121
3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 117

King of the Mountains

1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 218
2. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 103
3. Diego Rosa (EOLO-Kometa) 94

Richard Carapaz's overall lead at the Giro d'Italia was cut to just three seconds as Jai Hindley finished third in a gruelling stage 16 won by Jan Hirt.

The Giro returned in some style on Tuesday following Monday's rest day, with a 202km route from Salo to Aprica that included three category one climbs and over 5,000 metres of climbing in total.

Hirt came out in front, sealing the first grand tour stage win of his career.

The Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert rider was part of the breakaway and subsequently pushed up the final climb on the Valico di Santa Cristina before managing a difficult descent. 

He finished seven seconds clear of Thymen Arensman, with Hindley sprinting ahead of Carapaz to put pressure on the rider wearing the maglia rosa and claim the four-second bonus for finishing third. 

"I've had a few problems during the stage. My chain dropped, I cramped, but I never gave up," Hirt said.

"I'm glad I managed to go solo. I always said that my biggest achievement would be to win a stage at the Giro d'Italia and I could stop after that, but I won't stop now."

Carapaz said: "It's been a hard stage and at the end I'm happy. I thought I was going to win the sprint for third place.

"I eventually didn't, but it's still a good day for me. I've lost a few seconds on Hindley, but I gained more on [Joao] Almeida."

Alejandro Valverde, on his final Giro appearance, got himself up the GC standings, though not enough to be a true contender in the final week. He sits 11th overall.
 

Mythical Mortirolo

An initially big breakaway group split on the Mortirolo Pass, one of the most notorious climbs in professional cycling.

Hirt was one of the riders to drop off, but he recovered brilliantly and joined a seven-strong group that wound its way to the final climb.

"Every time I hear Mortirolo I want to anticipate. I wanted to go in the breakaway today," Hirt said.

"There were difficult moments when the group split, so then we had to come back on the Mortirolo, then in the end on the last climb I had a problem with my bike, it was not shifting properly and the chain was jumping.

"Then I had cramps on the downhill, so I had all these problems, but I just wanted to fight all the way to the finish."

STAGE RESULT 

1. Jan Hirt (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 5:40:45
2. Thymen Arensman (Team DSM) +0:07
3. Jai Hindley (BORA-Hansgrohe) +1:24
4. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +1:24
5. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +1:24

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 68:49:06
2. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:03
3. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +0:44

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 238 
2. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 121
3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 117

King of the Mountains

1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 167
2. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 99
3. Diego Rosa (EOLO-Kometa) 92

Giulio Ciccone broke down in tears after claiming his "most beautiful victory" on stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia, as Richard Carapaz retained the pink jersey ahead of Jai Hindley.    Ciccone, who has suffered an injury-blighted two years, made his decisive move with 19km remaining, breaking clear of Hugh Carthy and Santiago Buitrago on the final uphill stretch towards Cogne, as he recorded his third Giro stage win.   The triumph represents his first since 2019, when he also won the race's mountains classification, and the 27-year-old declared it his finest moment after crossing the line in Northern Italy.   "This was my most beautiful victory," said Ciccone. "It's even better than the yellow jersey in the Tour de France or my first stage win at the Giro.   "It's been a really difficult period. When you try and win and nothing happens, it's always more difficult and it really tries your mental strength. I didn't feel like myself again, but I kept waiting and waiting and I found it today."

Buitrago took second at 1 minute 31 seconds behind the Trek-Segafredo rider, while Antonio Pedrero was third at 2:19 behind the Italian, with Carthy in fourth.

Meanwhile, Carapaz retained the overall lead despite crashing with 171km remaining, being one of around a dozen riders to be brought down when the back of the peloton came to a standstill after a collision, with Saturday's stage 14 winner Simon Yates also hitting the deck.

But the 2019 Giro winner recovered to finish the stage and retain a seven-second advantage over Hindley, with Joao Almeida 30 seconds behind the Ecuadorian, while Koen Bouwman edged ahead of Diego Rosa in the mountain classifications. 

Ciccone's finest hour

Ciccone has experienced success at the Giro d'Italia before, claiming a stage-10 win back in 2016 and a stage-16 victory during an impressive showing back in 2019. But the Italian missed the 2020 edition of the race after testing positive for COVID-19 before withdrawing after a crash the following year, and was overcome with emotion after ending two frustrating years by claiming an impressive triumph.

STAGE RESULT 

1. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 4:37:41
2. Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious) + 1:31
3. Antonio Pedrero (Spa/Movistar) +2:19 
4. Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) +3:09
5. Martijn Tusveld (Team DSM) +4:36

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 63:06:57
2. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:07
3. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +0:30

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 238 
2. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 121
3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 171

King of the Mountains

1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 109
2. Diego Rosa (EOLO-Kometa) 92
3. Jai Hindly (Bora-Hansgrohe) 62

Simon Yates did not want to put "a downer" on his stage 14 victory at the Giro d'Italia but is far from satisfied with his overall race. 

Yates was seen as one of the contenders for the maglia rosa heading into the first Grand Tour of 2022 but the Briton is way down in 17th place in the general classification standings, 18 minutes and 44 seconds off new race leader Richard Carapaz. 

Team BikeExchange-Jayco rider Yates, who won the individual time trial in Budapest on stage two, finished 15 seconds ahead of second-placed Jai Hindley on a day that threw the race wide open. 

Yates latched onto a chasing pack that caught up with INEOS Grenadiers rider and 2019 Giro winner Carapaz, who had made a break with 28 kilometres remaining in Saturday's 147km route from Santena to Turin – the first of four consecutive mountain stages. 

Hindley and Vincenzo Nibali, who is racing in his final Giro, were the initial chasers, but Yates – whose GC hopes were all but ended when he dropped 11 minutes on the Blockhaus climb on stage nine – had the momentum to cruise to victory. 

While Yates was delighted with a sixth Giro stage win of his career, he could not help but be frustrated by being so far off the pace overall. 

"I mean, not to put a downer on the day, but I came here to win the race," the 29-year-old said. "For me, it's another stage. I have five already and it's number six. 

"I hope the legs stay as good as today. Today was a really big effort, not just for me but for everybody. The gaps are enormous, so if this heat sticks around it's going to be a very hard final week." 

A bad day for Lopez

Juan Pedro Lopez wore pink for 10 straight days but Saturday's stage was always likely to prove crucial and he went from holding a 12-second lead to ninth place, four minutes and four seconds behind Carapraz. 

The experienced Ecuadorian attacked at just the right time for the GC standings, even if he was unable to hold on for the stage win.  

STAGE RESULT

1. Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) 3:43:44 
2. Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe) +0:15 
3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:15 
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan Team) +0:15 
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +0:28 

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS   

General Classification  

1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 58:21:28 
2. Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe) +0:07 
3. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +0:30 

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 238 
2. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 121 
3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 117 

King of the Mountains  

1. Diego Rosa (Eolo-Kometa) 92 
2. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 69 
3. Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe) 62 

Arnaud Demare won a third stage at the 2022 Giro d'Italia after he held off Phil Bauhaus and Mark Cavendish in a thrilling sprint finish.

Demare won stages five and six and made it a hat-trick as he powered across the line first in Cuneo following a 150km route from Sanremo on Friday.

That keeps Demare top of the points standings and comfortably in possession of the maglia ciclamino, which he won in 2020 and looks all set to regain this time around, with Cavendish some 117 points behind.

The Frenchman was part of the chasing pack that caught a four-rider breakaway in the final section of stage 13, and it was he who launched the final sprint.

Demare had just enough power to edge across the line ahead of Bauhaus to his right and Cavendish to his left.

"It was an incredible day. They really resisted at the front. We had all the elements ready and everybody worked," said Demare.

"We were really riding hard. The guys did a great job. It was a monstrous lead-out. With 1.5km to go we had to go up that climb hard. I did as strong a sprint as I could."

Juan Pedro Lopez remains wearing pink for another day, as he maintained his 12-second lead over Richard Carapaz and Joao Almeida.

Bardet bows out

It was a bad day for Romain Bardet, who was only 14 seconds shy of Lopez in the general classification standings when he fell ill during stage 12 on Thursday.

Unfortunately for Bardet and Team DSM, the Frenchman's condition worsened overnight and he has had to abandon the race.

Team-mate Romain Combaud said: "There was only one week left. It's horrible for us. He is a great champion.

"My role today was to stay with him. We said we would have an easy day, and he would get better tonight. But with the heat it was just too much for him."

STAGE RESULT

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 3:18:16
2. Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Victorious) same time
3. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Viny) same time
4. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) same time
5. Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS   

General Classification  

1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 54:37:23
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:12
3. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +0:12

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 238
2. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Viny) 121
3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 117

King of the Mountains  

1. Diego Rosa (Eolo-Kometa) 83
2. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 69
3. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) 43

Stefano Oldani gave Italy its second winner in two days at the Giro d'Italia as the man from Milan grabbed stage 12 glory in Genova.

The 24-year-old fended off compatriot Lorenzo Rota in a mad dash for the line after they and Dutch rider Gijs Leemreize staged a three-man breakaway, riding for over 50 kilometres as a trio before it became every man for himself at the finish.

Oldani, of the Alpenin-Fenix team, followed Alberto Dainese in delivering a home victory after the Team DSM man won on Wednesday. Until that point, Italy had been waiting for its first stage winner of the 2022 race.

Leemreize made the first dart for glory as the riders wound up for a big finish, but his legs soon went and it became a duel between the Italian duo, with Oldani earning his first Grand Tour victory, remarkably also a maiden professional race win of any kind.

Oldani said of his win on Eurosport: "For sure it was not easy. I knew Rota, he is my friend, so I knew that he was also fast, so I had to watch out.

"And for sure, the other guy, it was obvious that he wanted to try to anticipate, so it was not so easy to manage it, but in the end it looks like I did it."

The stage from Parma, a 204-kilometre ride, stretched out when Leemreize, Oldani and Rota raced clear of a breakaway group with just over 50km remaining.

Four riders continued to loosely track them but sat 44 seconds back with 20km remaining and never looked like fully closing the gap, finishing 57 seconds back. The peloton, meanwhile, was eight minutes down the road as long-time leader Juan Pedro Lopez retained the Maglia Rosa – the leader's pink jersey.

Lopez said: "For sure when I arrived here my objective was to try to win some stage, but now I live one dream, nine days in Maglia Rosa, and it was amazing."

STAGE RESULT

1. Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Fenix) 4:26:47
2. Lorenzo Rota (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) same time
3. Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma) +0:02 seconds
4. Bauke Mollema (Tre-Segafredo) +0:57s
5. Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain-Victorious) +0:57s

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS   

General Classification  

1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 51:19:07
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:12
3. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +0:12

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 185
2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 99
3. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 96

King of the Mountains  

1. Diego Rosa (Eolo-Kometa) 83
2. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 69
3. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) 43

Alberto Dainese gave Italy its first success of the 2022 Giro d'Italia as he claimed victory with a stunning late sprint on stage 11.

Dainese came from way back on the final sprint to the line at the end of the 203km flat stage from Santarcangelo di Romagna to Reggio Emilia.

The DSM rider appeared to have been boxed in but found an infusion of pace when it mattered most to get his wheel just ahead of that of Fernando Gaviria.

It marked Dainese's first win since the opening stage of the Herald Sun Tour in February 2020.

That is a gap of 833 days, with Dainese saying afterwards: "It feels pretty amazing."

Dainese, whose home stage will come on stage 18 when the Giro heads to Treviso, added: "Especially being so close to home, it's something incredible.

"I cannot believe it happened, I'm super happy."

The sprint came after Dries De Bondt was reeled in going into the final kilometre following his solo breakaway.

General classification leader Juan Pedro Lopez was predictably not in the mix for the stage win but keeps ahold of the maglia rosa.

Dainese hails Bardet after ending wait

While Lopez did not feature prominently at the end of the stage, his GC rival Romain Bardet gave Dainese a key lead-out to set him up for triumph.

Dainese said: "I was just trying to stay relaxed, following the guys, it's insane that Romain sitting third in GC (now fourth) gave me a lead-out to the last corner, that shows we really work as a team.

"I was a bit boxed in but then I found a gap on the left and I just went to the line, I think I had Gaviria on the right, the last 20 metres I could pass him, that feels super."

At 24 years, one month and 23 days, Dainese is the youngest Italian to win at the Giro since 2016.

STAGE RESULT  

1. Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) 4:19:04
2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) same time
3. Simone Consonni (Cofidis) same time
4. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) same time
5. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS   

General Classification  

1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 46:43:12
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:12
3. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +0:12

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 173
2. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 96
3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 91

King of the Mountains  

1. Diego Rosa (Eolo-Kometa) 83
2. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 69
3. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) 43

Biniam Girmay has withdrawn from the Giro d'Italia after suffering a freak eye injury following his historic stage 10 victory on Tuesday.

The Eritrean became the first black African winner of a Grand Tour stage when he sprinted away from Mathieu van der Poel in a sprint finish in Jesi.

Girmay's celebrations were cut short when he leaned down to open a bottle of champagne and was struck in the eye by the cork.

The 22-year-old was taken to hospital, where it was discovered that he sustained a haemorrhage in the anterior chamber of the left eye.

Girmay was able to return to the team hotel on Tuesday evening, but did the Intermarche-Wanty Gobert rider will play no further part in the Giro.

Team doctor Piet Daneels said: "Following an incident on the podium, medical examinations revealed a haemorrhage in the anterior chamber of the left eye of Biniam Girmay.

"His injury is evolving in the right direction and will be followed up by a medical team in the next days. In order to minimize the risk of expansion of the haemorrhage and the intraocular pressure,

"It is strongly recommended to avoid physical activity. Our priority is a complete healing of the injury and that's why we decided together with the rider and the sports direction that Biniam will not appear at the start of the eleventh stage."

History-maker Girmay had finished second in the opening stage and secured another three top-five finishes before winning stage 10.

Biniam Girmay suffered a worrying eye injury after being struck in the face by a cork from a Prosecco bottle during Giro d'Italia celebrations and could be ruled out of the rest of the race.

A moment of joy for Girmay turned sour on Tuesday, when he became the first black African winner of a Grand Tour stage but then had to be taken to hospital in the town of Jesi.

The freak incident occurred on the podium as he leaned down to open a large bottle of the sparkling wine and the cork flew straight against his left eye, causing Girmay to show immediate anguish.

He put on a brave face to spray the bottle, in keeping with tradition, but spent much of his time on the stage with the injured eye closed before being taken away for treatment.

Intermarche-Wanty Gobert team doctor Piet Daneels told Belgian broadcaster Sporza: "After the ceremony, Girmay could no longer see.

"We immediately came to the hospital of Jesi, here he was treated well. He had a bleeding in the anterior chamber of the eye. Such bleeding is not threatening to the eye itself, but it is important that this is monitored."

Girmay was able to leave hospital later and be reunited with members of his team.

"At the moment it is better. But to decide whether he starts tomorrow, that will have to take another night," Daneels added on Tuesday evening.

"As it stands now, I don't think there is permanent damage, but we have to wait and see. There will be a new evaluation tomorrow, but we will be careful with this incident."

Girmay fended off Mathieu van der Poel in a sprint finish to win stage 10 in Jesi, at the end of a hilly 196-kilometre ride from Pescara.

The 22-year-old Girmay finished second on the opening stage of the race and secured another four top-five finishes before finally taking the top step of the podium.

Wednesday's 203km stage takes the riders from Santarcangelo di Romagna to Reggio Emilia Parmigiano.

Biniam Girmay became the first black African winner of a Grand Tour stage on a historic and eventful day at the Giro d'Italia.

The Eritrean outpaced Mathieu van der Poel in a pulsating sprint finish to win stage 10 in Jesi on Tuesday. Reports said Girmay was then hit in the eye by a cork from a bottle of sparkling wine as he celebrated the win, needing hospital treatment.

Girmay and Van der Poel had burst away from the pack, and the Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert rider fended off the Belgian to put his name in the record books.

Van der Poel gave the 22-year-old history-maker the thumbs-up followed by a warm embrace after they crossed the line at the end of a hilly 196-kilometre ride from Pescara.

Girmay had finished second on the opening stage of the race and secured another four top-five finishes before finally taking the top step of the podium.

An elated Girmay said: "It's unbelievable, I'm really grateful and happy.

"Since the start, we controlled [the stage]. I don't have any words for my team for what they did today."

Juan Pedro Lopez retained the maglia rosa – the leader's jersey – and a 12-second lead from Joao Almeida after having his advantage slashed on Sunday.

There had been a shake-up in the general classification battle on Sunday, but Lopez remains the man to catch and Romain Bardet kept third place - with 14 seconds to make up the leader.

 

Girmay's 'best moment ever' arrives

Girmay had stated before this race that "it's going to be, I think, the best moment ever" when a black African rider won a Grand Tour stage.

He added: "It's a dream of all African cyclists to win in a Grand Tour, especially the Tour [de France] or Giro. A black rider has never won a Grand Tour stage."

Girmay did not have long for that moment to arrive and there will surely be more to come for the youngster.
 

STAGE RESULT  

1. Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 4:32:07
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) same time
3. Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa) same time
4. Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) same time
5. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS   

General Classification  

1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 42:24:08
2. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +0:12
3. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) +0:14

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 151
2. Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 148
3. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 90

King of the Mountains  

1. Diego Rosa (Eolo-Kometa) 83
2. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 69
3. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) 43

Jai Hindley held off strong competition from Romain Bardet and Richard Carapaz to claim victory on stage nine of the Giro d'Italia on Sunday.

The Australian secured victory on Blockhaus despite being pushed hard by Bardet and Carapaz, with a very tight sprint ending at the top of the second summit.

Mikel Landa and Joao Almeida were not far behind, while Juan Pedro Lopez was able to recover from coming off his bike to retain the maglia rosa heading into Monday's rest day.

"It's pretty incredible," Hindley said after the race. "It wasn't the easiest year I had last year. I worked [hard] to get back to the level to compete at the Giro and I'm at a loss for words. It's pretty amazing.

"I was just trying to survive as best I could, actually. I knew it was flattening out in the last k's and there was a right-hander before the finish with around 200m to go. I wanted to take the corner first and gave it everything to the line."

It was a day to forget for Simon Yates, though, who finished the stage over 11 minutes down on Hindley, and is likely now out of contention for the maglia rosa.

Lopez fought hard to recover after being forced off his bike following a collision with Sam Oomen, though the Spaniard offered an apology to the Jumbo-Visma rider afterwards.

"I want to say sorry to Sam Oomen because after we touched each other and I had to put one foot on the ground, I threw my bottle," Lopez said.

"When I came to my first Giro I didn't expect to have the maglia rosa so it was hard to believe that I still have it. I'm very tired but luckily I have a rest day tomorrow."

NO BREAKS IN THE HAND IS WORTH ONE IN THE BUSH

It must have been a scary moment for Natnael Tesfatsion as he went too fast into a left turn, veered off the road and flew over his handlebars headfirst into a bush.

He got back to his feet and carried on, but it was a particular blow after he had been leading the breakaway.

Tesfatsion was seen by a doctor and the official Giro race feed thankfully confirmed he had safely resumed the race, with seemingly more ego bruised than body.

STAGE RESULT  

1. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) 5:34:44
2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) same time
3. Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) same time
4. Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) same time
5. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS   

General Classification  

1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 37:52:01
2. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +0:12
3. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) +0:14

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 147
2. Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 120
3. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) 78

King of the Mountains  

1. Diego Rosa (Eolo-Kometa) 83
2. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 69
3. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) 43

Thomas De Gendt celebrated "finally winning a stage again" as he claimed victory in stage eight of the Giro d'Italia.

De Gendt, who was dubbed the 'Breakaway King' earlier in his career, won his first Giro stage back in 2012 and the 35-year-old Belgian rolled back the years to cross the line first on Saturday.

It was a superb ride from the Lotto-Soudal man who, as his nickname would suggest, led from the breakaway and then held off Davide Gabburo's late charge in Naples.

De Gendt, who took King of the Mountains jersey at the Vuelta a Espana in 2018 and has two Tour de France stage wins to his name, suggested he thought his time had past, but was thrilled to finally end his wait for another Giro success.

He told reporters, as quoted by cyclingnews.com: "Today was one of those days that suits me. It looks a little bit like the Barcelona stage in Volta a Catalunya, always up and down.

"It's hard to recover. It's also hard to close the gap. But 10 years after the Stelvio stage, I finally won a stage in the Giro again.

"If you would have asked me two weeks ago, if I was able to win a stage in the Giro I would have said no because I was in such bad shape. But now the good legs are coming."

Juan Pedro Lopez had a bit of work to do to maintain his 38-second lead in the general classification standings, but he fended off an attack from Lennard Kamna, who stays second ahead of Rein Taaramae.

Guillaume Martin was the big mover, leaping up 24 places into fourth as he finished three minutes ahead of the peloton.

SLOW DOWN!

Spectators are a huge part of any Grand Tour, and while sometimes they can get too close, the support is always appreciated, and one fan took to the side of the road with an amusing request.

With stage eight being a 153km circuit around Naples, there were four ascents of the Lago Lucrino, and it appears this particular spectator holds – or, held – the record pace up the climb on Strava, a website that amateurs and professionals alike use to track their rides.

"Slow down, don't take my KOM pls", read his sign. It is doubtful the pros met that request.

STAGE RESULT  

1. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) 3:32:53
2. Davide Gabburo (Bardiani CSF Faizane) same time
3. Jorge Arcas (Movistar) same time
4. Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto-Soudal) +0:04
5. Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) +0:15

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS   

General Classification  

1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 32:15:31
2. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:38
3. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +0:58

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 147
2. Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 120
3. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) 78

King of the Mountains  

1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 68
2. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) 43 
3. Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious) 27

Koen Bouwman hailed the work of Jumba-Visma team-mate Tom Dumoulin after securing his first Grand Tour victory on stage seven of the Giro D'Italia.

The maglia rosa of Juanpe Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) and blue jersey of Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) led the early stages of the 196km race to Potenza on Friday.

Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious) then took charge through the 30km incline of Monte Sirino, the longest climb in the race, but the expertise Dumoulin and Bouwman came to the forefront from there on in.

Bouwman won the largely uncontested intermediate sprint before Dumoulin did much of the defensive work to keep Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) and Bauke Mollema (Trek–Segafredo) at bay.

Dumoulin, who finished fourth to boost his general classification hopes, could be seen mirroring Bouwman's celebration as he crossed the finish line, with Mollema beating Formolo to second place.

Victory also marked Jumbo-Visma's first stage win at the Giro in three years, and Bouwman highlighted Dumoulin's efforts.

"It's unbelievable, I can't believe it," Bouwman told reporters. "It was such a hard day. We were in the final with four riders and two of us. Tom did a superb job in the last 2km.

"I was feeling good all day. One time on the climb I was in trouble but I came back and actually I was confident for the sprint.

"It was steep but when I started to sprint I felt so much power left. I looked behind with 50 metres to go and saw I had a big gap – perfect."

Meanwhile, Lopez retained the maglia rosa for another day and maintained his 38-second lead over Kamna after finishing safely in the peloton.

FLYING DUTCHMEN

For the first time in history, the Netherlands had three riders – Bouwman, Dumoulin and Mollema – in the top four places in a stage of the Giro d'Italia.

STAGE RESULT  

1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 5:12:30
2. Bauke Mollema (Trek–Segafredo) +0:02
3. Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) same time
4. Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) +0:19
5. Davide Villella (Cofidis) +2:25

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS   

General Classification  

1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 28:39:05
2. Lennard Kaemna (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:38
3. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +0:58

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 147
2. Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 94
3. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) 78

King of the Mountains  

1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 68
2. Lennard Kaemna (Bora-Hansgrohe) 43 
3. Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious) 27

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