Joao Almeida strengthens his lead as Diego Ulissi wins his second stage at the Giro d'Italia

Diego Ulissi won Stage 13 as Joao Almeida remains in the Maglia Rosa stretching his advantage to 40 seconds before the Individual Time Trial

Joao Almeida strengthens his lead as Diego Ulissi wins his second stage at the Giro d'Italia

Italy's Diego Ulissi won the 13th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Friday as Joao Almeida retained the race leader's pink jersey ahead of a crucial time trial that the Portuguese rider admitted will be "difficult".

It was a second stage victory for Ulissi, of the UAE Emirates team, on this Giro and an eighth career stage win.

Ulissi edged Deceuninck's Almeida and Austrian Patrick Konrad by half a wheel in a sprint finish to end a 192km stage.

"I was confident, I knew I was in good shape," said Ulissi, 31, who won his first stage of the Giro on his debut in 2011.

Almeida gained bonus seconds for his finish, meaning he stretches his lead in the overall standings over Dutch rider Wilco Kelderman and Spain's Pello Bilbao.

The stage, largely flat over the opening 150km, featured a seven-strong breakaway group that was reeled in gradually over two final climbs, the last of which was 17km from the finish.

Saturday's 14th stage is a 34.1km time trial from Conegliano to Valdobbiadene, "It will be difficult, I have never done such a long time trial," said 22-year-old Almeida who was left frustrated by Friday's near-miss. I'm a little disappointed, I wanted to win the stage."

Meanwhile, the day after the Education First team had recommended ending the race a week early due to a "compromised coronavirus bubble", Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali insisted there should be no rash decisions.

Nibali, a two-time Giro winner, believes the bubble is working well, "We are trying to do things as well as possible, the Giro is Italy's racing heritage, we must think twice before stopping it."

VIDEO: 2020 Giro d'Italia Stage 13 Highlights

2020 Giro d'Italia Stage 13 Top 10

1 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 4:22:18
2 Joao Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quickstep
3 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
4 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
5 Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep
6 Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Movistar Team
7 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
8 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren
9 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
10 Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb

2020 Giro d'Italia GC after Stage 13

1 Joao Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quickstep 53:43:58
2 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:0:40
3 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 0:0:49
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:07
5 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:17
6 Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:01:25
7 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:02:26
8 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:02:51
9 Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Movistar Team 0:08:49
10 Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:32:04
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