Skip to main content
Live coverage

Giro d'Italia 2014: Stage 18


Welcome to live coverage of stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia from Belluno to Rif. Panarotta

We have mountains again today! A category two climb, plus two category one climbs, including a mountaintop finish at Rif. Panarotta (Valsugana).

 We will be losing at least one more rider today, Ivan Santaromita will not be at the start for Orica-GreenEdge. Or as the team tweeted, "The three amigos become los dos compadres as ‪@ivansantino falls victim to illness." Double stage winner Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) is also not at the start today. A bacterial infection, sore throat and fever have finally done him in. 

Sorry, that link didn't work out quite as intended....

The stage was to have started at 12:10. At least the weather is co-operating today, there is sunshine!

Or not? We saw photos earlier with sun, now the race ticker is telling us rain.....

A number of teams and riders were not happy with the ending of the 16th stage, saying that Quintana should not have attacked or continued on, or should be penalised. We think we can see some hard attacks today as some riders want to take back the time they lost.

And, in case you have forgotten, here are our top ten in GC:

Speaking of the controversy surrounding Stage 16, the AIGCP had requested that the stage results be annulled. That request has been denied. 

161km remaining from 171km

Stefano Pirazzi of Bardini was the happy winner yesterday, taking his first Giro stage win.

154km remaining from 171km

We aren't seeing much cycling action here at the moment, so why don't you take a look at our YouTube channel? And while you are at it, you can subscribe! 

We understand that a few riders have indeed tried to get away already, but the pace is very high and no one has been successful.

We are at km 27 now and the road is staring to go up. That is apparently the cue for Albert Timmer (Giant-Shimano) to try and get away.

So much for the sunshine we thought we saw earlier. Now we have some rain drops -- hardly anything new at this Giro! But at least it is a comfortable 21°C.

144km remaining from 171km

Elia Viviani looks far from happy as he is dropped from the group along with Iljo Keisse from Omega Pharma QuickStep

131km remaining from 171km

Kiserlovski is trying to bridge across to a group of riders who have gone ahead of the maglia rosa group, we will bring you names as we have them.

However, it is Tim Wellens who has forged on and is the sole leader at the moment. He's attacked out of the small group at the front. Wellens was in the break yesterday and finished second to Stefano Pirazzi.

Wellens has been caught by about five riders, but they only have a small gap over the advancing peloton.

Mountains classification leader Julian Arredondo has now come out of the peloton, followed by Pelizotti and Cataldo.

128km remaining from 171km

The leading trio are now joined by Edoardo Zardini of Bardiani

Appologies, the Androni rider is actually Emanuele Sella

All of there riders have been in the break at some point, but none have yet come out with a victory. Arredondo came painfully close on stage 8, but was denied on the final climb.

Ok we have five men in the lead. They are Jualian Arredondo (Trek Factory Racing), Dario Cataldo (Team Sky), Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani CSF), Emanuele Sella and Franco Pelitzotti (Both Androni)

124km remaining from 171km

The new additions to the breakaway group are Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol), Phil Deignan (Team Sky), Thomas de Gendt (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Ivan Rovny (Tinkoff-Saxo)

123km remaining from 171km

Movistar are managing things on the front of the peloton at the moment. They look like they're taking it fairly easy, the peloton is not too strung out. However, we have lost most of the sprinters who will be riding the grupetto all the way home today.

Michael Rogers back in the cars. He doesn't look happy that the camera bike is around and he waves it on.

Alberto Losada (Katusha) has set off in chase of this leading group. The gap to the 11 men out front is now 1:50.

Ivan Basso and Matteo Rabottini have attacked from the peloton. Their advancement is briefly paused to get some rain jackets from the car as the rain has begun to fall.

Basso hasn't had a great Giro d'Italia. He currently sits in 13th place, but he's 22:28 behind Quintana.

The lead group have hit the hardest part of this climb and Sella gives a big dig on the front. How long before Arredondo makes his move?

119km remaining from 171km

Luca Paolini has to pull over and stop to sort out a problems with possibly his shoe. It's on a pretty steep section, heading around a corner but he manages to get going before the entire peloton pass him by.

Arredondo has now been joined by Deignan at the front. Deignan is no threat to Arredondo's mountains jersey an the Colombian will be happy to have some company.

Arredondo currently leads Robinson Chalapud by 26 points in the classification, so these points are vital for him. Here is how the standings looked this morning.

Losada has joined the front group and Basso and Robottini are about to do so as well.

With Arredondo and Deignan up front, it is actually the second group that they've joined. No time checks yet on the two out front.

Outside of the Giro, Deignan's teammate Bradley Wiggins is on the radar of Orica-GreenEdge. The Brit is out of contract at the end of the season. Read the full article here.

116km remaining from 171km

Arredondo now has 127 points at the top of the mountains classifcation. Those 14 points for Cataldo, added to those from stage 14, move the Italian into second place - 51 points behind Arredondo.

112km remaining from 171km

As we hit the descent, here is a picture of Nairo Quintana from this morning. He's chosen to go for the all pink option. Wise choice? We're not too sure. He has toned it down a little with his black rain coat.

104km remaining from 171km

Basso looks like he's giving Deignan a bit of info about the descent. The two riders swapping notes.

Patrick Gretsch is trying to bridge across on this descent. The German is right down on the top tube, getting as aero as he can. Not taking it easy at all.

De Gendt, Basso and Sella have made a little gap for themselve on this descent, but they decide it's not worth it and sit up a little bit. They keep looking back at their fellow escapees, waiting for them to come back to them.

Shots of the finish show that it is absolutely hopping it down at the moment. At least we've got an uphill finish.

Sky have got two men up front, but back in the peloton is their road captain Bernhard Eisel. The Austrian rider is the one who runs things on the road for the team. We caught up with him during the Giro d'Italia to ask him about his role in the team You can watch that and subscribe here.

After getting dropped on the first climb, Nacer Bouhanni has managed to make it back to the peloton. He is still in good shape to take the maglia rossa, provided he can make it to Trieste. If he does, it will be the first grand tour completed for the Frenchman and it just may earn him a spot in the Tour de France team.

90km remaining from 171km

Other news coming through today is that despite puncturing a lung earlier this season, Chris Horner could be back in time for the Tour de France. Read the full article here.

83km remaining from 171km

Wellens attacks and takes the points at the intermediate sprint ahead of Sella.

77km remaining from 171km

None of the riders in the break have won a stage of this year's race, however we have a few previous stage winners. Basso is the obvious one, after winning the general classification in 2006 and 2010. De Gendt won the epic Stelvio stage in 2012 that put him onto the podium. Rabbotini also won a stage in 2012, along with the mountains classification. Pellizotti is the final Giro stage winner in this group. He's taken two stage victories in the past.

Zardini himself hasn't won a stage of the Giro d'Italia, only taking his first professional win in the Giro del Trentino. However, it has been a sterling Giro d'Italia for the Bardiani team as a whole. They've won three stages with Canola, Battaglin and Pirazzi this year. Can he make it a fourth today?

At 23, Tim Wellens is the youngest rider in the break. He joined turned professional with Lotto-Belisol in 2012. Wellens finished second in the Belgian National Time Trial Championships earlier this season. He is yet to take his first pro victory, but came close in yesterday's stage.

62km remaining from 171km

Fernando Alonso and Paolo Bettini are with the race today, possibly scouting for riders to sign. They've had some problems getting the team set up and we await the first announcements of who will be in the team for next season.

60km remaining from 171km

55km remaining from 171km

Oleg Tinkov has got one of his riders in the break today. He has been very outspoken about incidents of the last week. We spoke to him earlier this week about his thoughts on the Giro d'Italia. Watch the video here and don't forget to subscribe.

52km remaining from 171km

Things are pretty calm in the peloton at the moment, but we can expect the action to really light up when they hit the final ascent in around 27 kilometres time. We could see the final spot on the podium change at the finish here.

49km remaining from 171km

There is still a kilometre to the top of this climb, but the two forge ahead.

48km remaining from 171km

From the top of the of the penultimate climb it is 22 kilometres to the foot of the final ascent of Refugio Panarotta.

Thomas de Gendt pushes on and splits the leading group. He is joined by Basso and Duarte.

Arredondo and Cataldo are back in the main group of leaders after racing for the KOM points.

The peloton crest the penultimate climb, 6:16 behind the leaders. Movistar have upped the pace and they're looking to close the gap.

There are two other races going on today. Tom Boonen has won the second stage of the Tour of Belgium, while Mathias Frank took victory in the Bayern Rundfahrt.

As it was on the first descent, Ivan Basso has made a little gap out at the front. He's got Sella, Wellens and De Gendt with him. They've got 23 seconds on the chasers.

35km remaining from 171km

30km remaining from 171km

28km remaining from 171km

Movistar continue to lead things in the peloton, as it snakes down this descent in one long line. With Ulissi's departure after yesterday's stage, Movistar are one of only two teams who have all their riders remaining. The other team is Trek Factory Racing.

After initially bringing the gap down to six minutes, Movistar seem happy to let the escapees have a bit more rope now. The gap is up to 7:30. Have the Spanish team decided to let the break stay out to the finish?

24km remaining from 171km

We also can't forget Deignan, Rabottini and Cataldo. This stage is no forgone conclusion, it could come down to tactics over anything else.

22km remaining from 171km

20km remaining from 171km

Basso is around 14 minutes outside of the top 10 at the moment. He won't be able to make it back in today, but if they can hold a decent advantage over the peloton it will help his cause a little.

16km remaining from 171km

16km remaining from 171km

De Gendt did this yesterday, but from a little further out. No immediate reaction from the other escapees

14km remaining from 171km

14km remaining from 171km

13km remaining from 171km

Riders immediately being dispatched off the back of the peloton as they start climbing.

13km remaining from 171km

12km remaining from 171km

12km remaining from 171km

11km remaining from 171km

The favourites are moving to the front of the peloton. There could be a lot to gain from this climb.

11km remaining from 171km

Basso goes again and he gaps the five riders he was with. He's obviously going deep, judging by that grimmace.

10km remaining from 171km

9km remaining from 171km

9km remaining from 171km

8km remaining from 171km

8km remaining from 171km

8km remaining from 171km

8km remaining from 171km

The peloton has been drastically reduced, but all the main favourites are in there. AG2R and Movistar have the numerical advantage.

7km remaining from 171km

6km remaining from 171km

6km remaining from 171km

6km remaining from 171km

Duarte follows him and they are riding up together.

5km remaining from 171km

De Gendt manages to haul him self back to the front group with Pelizotti, as Romain Sicard attacks the peloton.

5km remaining from 171km

5km remaining from 171km

4km remaining from 171km

4km remaining from 171km

Rolland attacks again

Rolland has Quitana, Hesjedal and Uran with him.

3km remaining from 171km

Back in the group of favourites Pozzovivo, Majka and Kelderman are in that group too.

Deignan is now chasing again. So that's Arredondo, Duarte and then Deignan spread out along this climb. Pelizotti doesn't have the legs to keep up

2km remaining from 171km

2km remaining from 171km

2km remaining from 171km

Rolland attacks for the third time, no one follows.

1km remaining from 171km

1km remaining from 171km

1km remaining from 171km

1km remaining from 171km

1km remaining from 171km

Rolland has passed Wellens, but the maglia rosa group is not too far behind

In the maglia rosa group we have Quintana, Pozzovivo, Aru and Majka.

A few hundred metres for Arredondo

Aru attacks the group of favourites

Arredondo looks behind them but there is no one, not even a car and he starts thumping the air

Arredondo wins, Duarte follows him over 16 seconds later

Deignan rounds off the top 3. Great effort by all three riders.

The group of favourites pass under the flamme rouge. Rolland back with them.

Quintana has been looking lively and he might try something soon

Basso finishes 1:45 down on Arredondo

Aru attacks. He's close to the final podium spot too.

Arus heads around the final corner and has a small gap on Rolland

Aru takes about four seconds on Quintana, but the important time will be against Rolland.

Aru started the day only 8 seconds behind the Frenchman. It will be a close call, but I think Rolland may have the podium spot for now. However, we've still got two very big days to come.

Evans crosses the line well down today. He finishes 4:22 back on Arredondo and almost two minutes on Rolland.

Riders are crawling across the line in ones and twos. This was a very tough finish and it has had a big impact on the top 10.

Today's victory is the third professional success for Arredondo. He's definitely one for the future and Colombia can continue to revel in their massive revival in cycling.

Rolland moves to third, he's two seconds ahead of Majka and Aru (who are on the same time). Evans is the biggest loser today. He's now down to 9th in the general classification.

You will be able to find full results, pictures and report here soon and you can watch all our Giro d'Italia videos right here.

Arredondo is all smiles on the podium. This is the biggest day of his young career. The victory also consolidates his position in the mountains classification. Few will be able to catch him after today.

Here is the man of the moment, Arredondo exhausted but celebrating his victory.

Here is the top 10 from today's stage

And after that exciting finish, this is our top 10 in the GC.

Tomorrow is the mountain time trial, which could have a huge impact ahead of the final weekend. InCycle caught up with former rider Eros Poli, who rode the stage. You can watch the video here.

You can also read our preview of the stage here. The winner of last year's mountain time trial, Vincenzo Nibali isn't here, but Samuel Sanchez is. He finished second to Nibali, could he do the same again?

Fernando Alonso was behind the podium after the race. He might be looking into signing Arredondo after his efforts today. It was some ride by the young Colombian. It's the nation's third stage win, after Uran and Quintana taking a victory each.

We've still got two more days to go for the GC riders, before the sprinters' stage in Trieste. Nairo Quintana look reasonably secure in their positions. However, it is still all to play for in third place and this Giro is far from over.

That is all from us today. Join us tomorrow for that crucial time trial.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Latest on Cyclingnews