Skip to main content
Live coverage

As it happened: Battle of the sprint titans on Giro d'Italia stage 18


Buongiorno and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 18 of the 2024 Giro d'Italia!

Half an hour to go until the start of stage 18 and it's one for the sprinters today.

A look at the profile of today's stage.

Four days left to run in this Giro d'Italia and this is the penultimate spring stage of the race.

Here's today's stage map.

Giro d'Italia GC contenders catch breath as sprinters reap rewards of surviving mountain challenge – Stage 18 preview

David Dekker was a DNF yesterday and Cristian Scaroni is also out of the race this morning. 144 riders to start today, barring any further withdrawals.

Scaroni is out with a fever, his Astana Qazaqstan team has reported. He had been in three breakaways during the race and wore the climber's blue jersey during yesterday's stage as he lay second in the classification.

Giro d'Italia abandons: The full list of riders who have left the 2024 race

Just a few minutes to go until the stage starts.

A host of sprinters have already left the Giro, including Biniam Girmay, Olav Kooij, Max Kanter, Fabio Jakobsen, Phil Bauhaus, and Danny van Poppel.

Stage winners Jonathan Milan and Tim Merlier are still around, though.

The riders have rolled out to start the 1.9km neutral zone today.

Jonathan Milan has a mechanical but is back up and running quickly.

178km to go

Lots of attacking to start the stage.

It's a quick downhill start to the day.

172km to go

It's pouring with rain to start the stage.

Three riders have a small gap currently.

164km to go

The riders now hit the day's only classified climb, the fourth-category hill at Lamon (3.4km at 5.8%).

Polti-Kometa leading a move on the way up.

Their man Andrea Pietrobon is leading both the Intergiro and breakaway competitions at the moment.

Filippo Fiorelli of VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè leads the Intergiro competition, meanwhile.

Both men are in this attack.

Pietrobon and Fiorelli are away with Mirco Maestri (also Polti-Kometa) and Mikkel Honoré (EF Education-EasyPost).

The quartet near the top of the climb. They have 1:35 on the peloton.

It has stopped raining now and the roads are largely dry.

Lidl-Trek massed at the head of the peloton, though they're racing slowly up the climb.

152km to go

The rain is falling again after a brief respite.

Race leader Tadej Pogačar greets new blue jersey wearer Giulio Pellizzari at the start (though Pogačar still leads that classification).

Lidl-Trek and Soudal-QuickStep lead the peloton.

Find out how to watch the Giro d'Italia today with our comprehensive streaming guide.

Pieter Serry and Juan Pedro López are among the riders working at the head of the peloton at the moment.

140km to go

Take a look back at yesterday's stage 17 report here.

And the stage 17 results and current GC standings heading into today...

Back to today and the rain has stopped again. Some sunshine for the riders as they exit Feltre.

The riders are on largely flat ground to the finish now.

129km to go

Serry and López lead the peloton.

And here's a look at the break of the day.

121km to go

A few small uncategorised hills coming up as the riders race through Valdobbiadene.

A 47.5kph average speed so far today.

Geraint Thomas: 'I didn't have the legs to go' on Giro d'Italia stage 17 summit finish

The breakaway heading towards the intermediate sprint in Valdobbiadene.

110km to go

Pietrobon led the way over the sprint point. It was Maestri who led over the climb earlier on.

106km to go

The leaders are racing into the final 100km of the day now.

The peloton had closed things up to 40 seconds but they now appear to be slowing up again.

‘I’ve gone better than expected’ – Antonio Tiberi edges closer to Giro d’Italia white jersey

1:35 for the break now.

The peloton racing downhill from Valdobbiadene a little while ago.

It's fully flat all the way to the finish in Padova.

It's still Lidl-Trek massed on the front of the peloton with a handful of riders from Tudor and Soudal-QuickStep mixed in there.

The breakaway continue to battle on even if there's little chance of them staying away to the finish today.

74km to go

'The big goal is the Tour and the Worlds' – Tadej Pogačar rules out Grand Tour treble attempt

Fiorelli leads the break across the Intergiro sprint in Villorba.

67km to go

The yo-yoing time gap is back down to 40 seconds.

Stefan De Bod (EF Education-EasyPost) tries an attack but Lidl-Trek close it down.

60km to go

Now Edoardo Affini tries an attack.

The break is almost over.

Affini still battling his way across the gap.

Trek and QuickStep tried to shut down the move but now the gap is back up to 25 seconds.

55km to go

'I'm not at my best' - Ben O'Connor sick and struggling but not broken at Giro d'Italia

Things are getting closer again at the front as the peloton closes back in.

Milan among his Lidl-Trek teammates today.

Fiorelli led the break over the final intermediate sprint of the day for three bonus seconds in Martellago.

Affini among his breakmates.

The Visma-Lease A Bike rider is fairly local to the finish today. He's from Mantova, around 100km to the west of today's finishing city of Padova.

35km to go

It's hard to have any idea why Lidl-Trek have kept the breakaway so close for so much of today's stage. Surely they have more faith than this in their ability to bring things back before the finish line...

26km to go

We're just waiting for the catch and the closing sprint now.

Into the last 20km now and the small gap remains the same.

16km to go

Ineos Grenadiers and UAE Team Emirates also towards the front.

Alessandro De Marchi is caught in a crash in the peloton.

The breakaway holding it at 13 seconds currently.

12km to go

It's almost over for them now, however.

11km to go

But now it's all over and the break is caught.

9km to go

Thymen Arensman stops with a mechanical problem and gets Connor Swift's bike.

Narváez is pacing Arensman back.

7km to go

And at the rear of the peloton, the Shimano neutral service car almost takes out Arensman.

He's back in the peloton already.

Alpecin-Deceuninck hit the front.

4km to go

Ineos back on the front now.

A host of different teams behind them.

And now Ineos drop back as the peloton approaches the 3km mark.

Alaphilippe on the front for QuickStep with FDJ behind him.

Intermarché, DSM, Trek up there now too.

2km to go

FDJ and Tudor lead on opposing sides of the road.

They're flying along at 65kph here.

QuickStep and Trek back to the front.

1km to go

Lidl-Trek have numbers up front but Milan is far back.

Milan is well down as the sprint is launched by Alberto Dainese.

Dainese is facing off against Groves at the front.

Milan comes through a space very late while Merlier also comes through in the last moments.

But it looks like Merlier has taken the win!


Merlier ended up just about edging out Milan at the line.

First it was Dainese at the front and then Groves took over in the dying metres. But Merlier was coming up the right-hand side having to round Aniołkowski while Milan had open road to dash into up the middle.

Here's the stage 18 result.

A shot of the dash towards the line in Padova.

Merlier celebrates his second stage victory of the Giro d'Italia.

Here's what Merlier had to say after his stage win...

Merlier celebrates his stage win on the podium.

The stage doesn't change the leadership of any of the Giro standings, however.

Giro d'Italia: Tim Merlier nabs a second wins on stage 18 as Milan loses position in mad dash into Padova

Another day in pink for Tadej Pogačar.

The Giro heads back to his territory in the next two days with a mid-mountain stage at Sappada and then a tougher test over Monte Grappa before Sunday's sprint closer in Rome.

We'll be back with more live coverage tomorrow and throughout the weekend. That's all for the live coverage of stage 18, however.

Latest on Cyclingnews