Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-Nippo) triumphed on stage 18 at the Giro d'Italia with a solo victory into Stradella. Simon Consonni (Cofidis) led the chase group for second place ahead of Nicolas Roche (Team DSM) in third.
Bettiol was part of the day's decisive breakaway, bridged across to earlier attacker Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quickstep), and then went on to win solo by 17 seconds ahead of the next chase group.
He also finished 23 minutes ahead of the main field that included overall leader Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers). Bernal leads the overall classification by 2:21 ahead of Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) and 3:23 ahead of Simon Yates (BikeExchange).
Stage 18 was the longest stage of the Giro d'Italia - a 231km race from Rovereto to Stradella. Bettiol formed part of a 23-rider breakaway and with no chase coming from the main field behind, the large group gained over 20 minutes during what was considered a transition stage. No one in the breakaway seemed to admire the vineyards of Lombardia as they charged by, with all efforts focused on the sweeping turns on four climbs in the final 40km.
It was on the first of those climbs that Bettiol and five others rode clear of their breakaway companions to create a gap. When they were brought back with 26km to go, Cavagna launched an attack that looked as if it would be a winning move as he quickly grabbed a 30-second advantage.
Bettiol and Roche pursued Cavagna in earnest with 14.8km to go on the penultimate climb, and with 7.8km to go on the final ascent, Bettiol dropped the struggling Roche and locked in the catch of Cavagna. The EF Education-Nippo rider then rocketed into the lead that he held to the line.
Watch how stage 18 unfolded in the highlights video above.
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