Brandon McNulty achieves his goal but Bruno Armirail continues to have the edge

Brandon McNulty won stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia while Bruno Armirail retained the Maglia Rosa.

The UAE Team Emirates rider won in thrilling circumstances to secure his first victory at the Giro following a three-man sprint in the final kilometre of the race.

The climax of the the 195-kilometre long Seregno-Bergamo meant McNulty edged out Ben Healy and Marco Frigo, who finished second and third respectively.

McNulty said afterwards: “I’m stoked. This was my goal coming here. I wanted a stage win but I got sick in the time trial.

“I wanted to finish solo but luckily I managed to win, even in a sprint.

“I knew the third guy was coming across. Let’s hope this win adds to the team’s motivation on GC with Joao Almeida.”

Sunday’s result means Geraint Thomas still trails Armirail in the general classification by just one minute and eight seconds.

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Geraint Thomas remains in contention (PA)

The French Groupama rider keeps the lead going into Monday’s rest day and admitted it had been a difficult challenge to retain the jersey.

Armirail said: “It’s been difficult to retain the Maglia Rosa.

“It was a hard stage with a lot of climbing and there was Einer Rubio at the front. He was likely to take the jersey so my team-mates had to pace all along.

“Yesterday I didn’t realise what it was to take the Maglia Rosa but today with the incredible support of the crowd I’ve found out what it’s like.

“It’s huge and I’m delighted to stay in the lead on the rest day.”