Giro d'Italia: Alberto Bettiol wins stage 18

Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-Nippo) provided a masterclass on how to win from the breakaway with a solo victory on stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia into Stradella.

The Italian attacked several times, most importantly on the final climb of the day to distance, first, Nicolas Roche (Team DSM) and then Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-QuickStep) to win his maiden race on home soil and take his team’s first stage of this year’s race.

Roche would go on to finish third on the stage after Simone Consonni (Cofidis) overtook him just ahead of the line.

The stage came down to a battle between 23 riders from the break with a series of four climbs in the final 40km providing the terrain after the peloton endured the longest stage of this year’s race. 

The maglia rosa group allowed the break to establish a 15-minute lead with Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) enjoying a relatively stress free day and maintaining his lead over Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious).

Bettiol was part of an initial six-rider move that went clear of the break on the first of the four final climbs but he was caught out when that attack was caught and Cavagna made a move with just over 26km to go. 

The Frenchman’s acceleration was so strong that Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Fenix) was unable to respond, despite being on the Deceuninck rider’s wheel and on the second climb Cavagna pushed his advantage to over 30 seconds as he took a series of risks through virtually every corner. 

It looked as though Deceuninck would rescue their Giro after losing Remco Evenepoel to a crash on stage 17 but Bettiol and Roche had other ideas. The pair jumped after Cavagna, first with 25km to go but after that counter-attack was nullified they tried again.

Bettiol went first with 14.8km to go on the penultimate ascent with Roche making contact on the descent. By that point, Cavagna had seen his lead yo-yo between 30 and 15 seconds with Bettiol the more powerful climber but the Frenchman using his time trial skills to draw out vital seconds on the flat sections between the two last climbs.

At the foot of the final climb, Cavagna held a slender 15 seconds and it briefly looked like he would have enough but when Bettiol dropped Roche with 7.8km to go the catch looked on.

With around 500m of climbing remaining, Bettiol dropped down the gears, rose from the saddle and effortlessly ground his way up to Cavagna’s wheel with 6.9km go before dropping him 300m later.

From there it became a battle of wills. Bettiol, who hadn’t taken a WorldTour win since the Tour of Flanders in 2019, still had to make it down the final descent but with his lead growing and the chase fragmenting the 27-year-old ended the day with plenty of time to celebrate his well-deserved stage win.

How it unfolded

This was the last chance for the majority of the peloton to win a stage in this year’s race with only two mountain stages and a final time trial between here and Milan on Sunday. As expected, the fight for the breakaway went from the gun with wave after wave of attacks in the opening kilometres as several teams looked to throw riders up the road.

With such a long stage and so few sprinters left in the race, there was little control from the main field but when the break finally formed it took the likes of Peter Sagan, Daniel Oss and Filippo Ganna to come to the front and verbally ask that hostilities cease as up the road 23 riders began to establish a lead.

Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën), Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Fenix), Simon Pellaud, Andrii Ponomar, Natnael Tesfatsion (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Samuele Battistella, Gorka Izagirre (Astana-Premier Tech), Filippo Zana (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Simone Consonni (Cofidis), Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-Nippo), Francesco Gavazzi, Samuele Rivi (EOLO-Kometa), Wesley Kreder (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Patrick Bevin (Israel Start-Up Nation), Stefano Oldani (Lotto Soudal), Dario Cataldo (Movistar), Nikias Arndt, Nico Denz, Nicolas Roche (Team DSM), Jacopo Mosca (Trek-Segafredo), Alessandro Covi, and Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) were present and accounted for as the gap quickly moved above ten minutes.

There was little appetite from within the peloton to race from that point on. With such a long transition stage, and with two daunting days to come in the mountains, the focus was on recovery for as much as possible as the likes of Bernal and his most dangerous rival, Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) hovered near the front but rarely moved into the wind. They would eventually come home over 23 minutes down, while up ahead, a number of teams tried to rescue their Giro outings.

Bettiol had already proved himself one of the best climbing domestiques in the race, having stuck with his struggling leader Hugh Carthy through stage 17 and the Italian was part of the six-man move that formed on the first climb when Zana ended the break’s collaboration and jumped away. There was no way that the first move would succeed – there were too many strong riders left to chase – but Bettiol marked himself as a rider to watch as soon as he latched onto the attack.

Cavagna had not been in the first assault, the Frenchman wisely waiting for the right moment to strike, and his acceleration caught everyone off guard. Not least the race motos that were almost bowled out of the way in surprise – such was the Frenchman’s rapid turn of speed. But despite building up a relatively substantial gap, Cavagna could do little by the time Bettiol expertly and confidently picked his way across with just under seven kilometres remaining. If his win in Flanders was about opportunism as much as it was about timing and strength then this victory was based upon calculation, risk and reward. And in the end victory.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo 5:14:43
2Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis 0:00:17
3Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team DSM
4Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team DSM
5Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
6Samuele Battistella (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
7Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
8Natnael Tesfazion (Eri) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
9Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:24
10Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:12
11Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal 0:01:34
12Dario Cataldo (Ita) Movistar Team
13Simon Pellaud (Swi) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
14Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën Team 0:02:11
15Nico Denz (Ger) Team DSM 0:02:36
16Samuele Rivi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team 0:02:58
17Patrick Bevin (NZl) Israel Start-up Nation 0:03:16
18Andrii Ponomar (Ukr) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:03:50
19Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
20Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team 0:07:09
21Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
22Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) UAE Team Emirates 0:08:37
23Wesley Kreder (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:10:29
24Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 0:23:30
25Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
26Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
27Jhonatan Narvaez Prado (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
28Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers
29Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
30Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
31Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
32Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
33Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
34Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
35Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain Victorious
36Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
37Michael Hepburn (Aus) Team BikeExchange
38Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange
39Cameron Meyer (Aus) Team BikeExchange
40Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
41João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
42Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den) Team BikeExchange
43Jens Keukeleire (Bel) EF Education-Nippo
44Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Team BikeExchange
45Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
46Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
47Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team DSM
48Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
49Tanel Kangert (Est) Team BikeExchange
50Vadim Pronskiy (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
51Filippo Tagliani (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
52Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
53Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cofidis
54Tejay van Garderen (USA) EF Education-Nippo
55Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
56Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ
57Simon Carr (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
58Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team Qhubeka Assos
59Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM
60Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
61Paul Martens (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
62Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
63Michael Storer (Aus) Team DSM
64Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
65Edward Ravasi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
66Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
67Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
68Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
69Alexander Krieger (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix
70Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
71Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
72Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
73James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep
74George Bennett (NZl) Jumbo-Visma
75Guy Niv (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
76Lars van den Berg (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
77Larry Warbasse (USA) AG2R Citroën Team
78Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation
79Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJ
80Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
81Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team Qhubeka Assos
82Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
83Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
84Harold Tejada Canacue (Col) Astana-Premier Tech
85Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team
86Max Kanter (Ger) Team DSM
87Márton Dina (Hun) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
88Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
89Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
90Einer Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar Team
91Lawrence Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
92Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
93Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
94Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
95Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
96Umberto Marengo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
97Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
98Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
99Attilio Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
100Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
101Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
102Senne Leysen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
103Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
104Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
105Davide Gabburo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
106Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
107Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
108Romain Seigle (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
109Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar Team
110Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates
111Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Team Qhubeka Assos
112Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
113Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
114Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
115Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Team Qhubeka Assos
116Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
117Simone Petilli (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
118Simone Ravanelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
119Nicola Venchiarutti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
120Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
121Mark Christian (GBr) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
122Edoardo Affini (Ita) Jumbo-Visma
123Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
124Riccardo Minali (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
125Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar Team
126Amanuel Gebreigzabhier (Eri) Trek-Segafredo
127Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation
128Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Movistar Team
129Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team
130Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
131Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
132Samuele Zoccarato (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
133Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
134Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
135Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis
136Jan Hirt (Cze) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
137Iljo Keisse (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
138Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
139Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
140Matthias Brändle (Aut) Israel Start-up Nation
141Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
142Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
143Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
144Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:24:18
145Julius van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-Nippo
146Callum Scotson (Aus) Team BikeExchange
147Mauro Schmid (Swi) Team Qhubeka Assos
DNSRemco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
DNSGiulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 148 - Cell 2
DNSNick Schultz (Aus) Team BikeExchangeRow 149 - Cell 2
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Sprint 1 - Cremona km. 134.2
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 12
2Simon Pellaud (Swi) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 8
3Samuele Rivi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team 6
4Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal 5
5Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team DSM 4
6Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis 3
7Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) UAE Team Emirates 2
8Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 1
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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo 50
2Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis 35
3Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team DSM 25
4Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team DSM 18
5Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 14
6Samuele Battistella (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech 12
7Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 10
8Natnael Tesfazion (Eri) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 8
9Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 7
10Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 6
11Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal 5
12Dario Cataldo (Ita) Movistar Team 4
13Simon Pellaud (Swi) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 3
14Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën Team 2
15Nico Denz (Ger) Team DSM 1
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Mountain 1 (Cat. 4) Castana km. 208.6
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 3
2Patrick Bevin (NZl) Israel Start-up Nation 2
3Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 1
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Bonus Sprint 1 - Broni km. 222
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:03
2Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo 0:00:02
3Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team DSM 0:00:01
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Young Riders
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Samuele Battistella (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech 5:15:00
2Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
3Natnael Tesfazion (Eri) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
4Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal 0:01:17
5Samuele Rivi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team 0:02:41
6Andrii Ponomar (Ukr) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:03:33
7Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 0:23:13
8Jhonatan Narvaez Prado (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
9Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
10Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
11Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
12João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
13Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
14Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
15Vadim Pronskiy (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
16Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ
17Simon Carr (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
18Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
19Michael Storer (Aus) Team DSM
20Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
21Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
22Lars van den Berg (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
23Harold Tejada Canacue (Col) Astana-Premier Tech
24Max Kanter (Ger) Team DSM
25Márton Dina (Hun) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
26Einer Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar Team
27Attilio Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
28Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
29Senne Leysen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
30Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
31Nicola Venchiarutti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
32Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
33Edoardo Affini (Ita) Jumbo-Visma
34Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar Team
35Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
36Samuele Zoccarato (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
37Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis
38Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
39Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
40Julius van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-Nippo 0:24:01
41Callum Scotson (Aus) Team BikeExchange
42Mauro Schmid (Swi) Team Qhubeka Assos
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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team DSM 15:47:19
2Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:02:31
3Astana-Premier Tech 0:27:46
4UAE Team Emirates 0:29:14
5Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team 0:30:27
6EF Education-Nippo 0:43:50
7Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:44:07
9Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:44:14
10Trek-Segafredo 0:45:02
11Movistar Team 0:45:24
12AG2R Citroën Team 0:46:01
13Israel Start-up Nation 0:47:06
14Alpecin-Fenix 0:47:40
15Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:54:19
16Ineos Grenadiers 1:07:20
17Bahrain Victorious
18Team BikeExchange
22Team Qhubeka Assos
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General classification after stage 18
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 77:10:18
2Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious 0:02:21
3Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange 0:03:23
4Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech 0:06:03
5Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo 0:06:09
6Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM 0:06:31
7Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:07:17
8João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:08:45
9Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma 0:09:18
10Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation 0:13:37
11George Bennett (NZl) Jumbo-Visma 0:19:08
12Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious 0:27:30
13Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:27:43
14Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:29:17
15Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ 0:35:12
16Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team 0:38:31
17Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team 0:38:37
18Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech 0:41:13
19Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 0:42:01