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Giro d'Italia 2016: Stage 18

Hello and welcome to what is the longest day of this year's Giro d'Italia. The riders are signing in and will be setting off on a 240km ride to Pinerolo. 

Much of today's stage is a flat affair but it has a sting in the tail with the second category Pramartino after 211km.

 

This is the sixth time that the Giro d'Italia has finished in Pinerolo. The first time was in 1949 when Fausto Coppi won on the way to taking the overall title. It last finished in the Piedmont town in 2009. Danilo di Luca won that day but the result would later be taken from him. It was also a stage finish in the 2011 Tour de France, when Edvald Boasson Hagen soloed to victory. 

 

The riders have rolled out for the start.

 

 

Vincenzo Nibali underwent tests this morning to ascertain if illness was the reason for his struggles earlier in the week. Here is the Italian at the start and you can read more on the story here

 

 

Yesterday provided some respite for Nibali and his other rivals, and there were no changes in the overall standings. This is how it looks this morning. 

 

1 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 68:11:39
2 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-GreenEdge 0:03:00
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:23
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:04:43
5 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 0:04:50
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team 0:05:34
7 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:07:57
8 Andrey Amador Bikkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team 0:08:53
9 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:10:05
10 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data 0:11:03

 

Roger Kluge was the surprise winner in yesterday's stage. The German took a much-needed victory after escaping inside the final kilometre. You can watch highlights of the race right here

As the big home favourite, Nibali has been under a lot of scrutiny from the Italian press this week. Former rider Paolo Bettini had some harsh words for the Italian rider in his Gazzetta dello Sport column yesterday. However, the two were seen talking together at the start this morning.

 

Today's stage could be one for the breakaway, or will the GC riders take this small opportunity to make time on their rivals? Let us know your predictions on twitter either on @Cyclingnewsfeed or @SadhbhOS

 

Nizzolo vents his anger but keeps smiling after missing out again in Giro d'Italia sprint https://t.co/SmQ5RD8O3E https://t.co/PEC5Z4pQ01

@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 26th May 2016 09:30:04

While there is only one classified climb in today's route, there is a second very challenging climb. The very short San Maurizio which has sections of 20% and it comes inside the final three kilometres. 

 

The riders are well on their way this morning and we are awaiting news of the first breakaway. There have been a few attempts but the elastic is yet to snap. 

 

Red jersey Giacomo Nizzolo was a very popular man at the start this morning. The Trek-Segafredo rider used to live in the start town of Muggio.

 

A group of 25 riders has moved clear of the bunch and has a gap of 1:20. 

 

Some names of the breakaway group are coming through. Lotto-Soudal's Pim Ligthart is up there and Nippo Vini Fantini has two riders up there in Genko Yammamoto and Gianfranco Zilioli.

 

216km remaining from 244km

The gap is swiftly growing and now stands at almost three minutes. 

 

Few, we've finally got all the names of the riders in the escape group. Many teams with multiple riders but, notably, yesterday's stage winner Roger Kluge is one of those. 

 

Axel Domont (AG2R-La Mondiale), Davide Malacarne (Astana), Stefan Kung, Daniel Oss (BMC), Moreno Moser, Ramunas Navadauskas (Cannondale), Gianluca Brambilla, Matteo Trentin (Etixx-QuickStep), Olivier le Gac (FDJ), Andrey Solomennikov (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Roger Kluge (IAM Cycling), Sacha Modolo, Matej Mohoric (Lampre-Merida), Pim Ligthart (Lotto-Soudal), Genki Yammamoto, Gianfranco Zilioli (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Nikias Arndt, Alberto Timmer (Giant-Alpecin), Christian Knees (Team Sky), Pavel Brutt, Jay McCarthy, Ivan Rovny (Tinkoff) and Julen Amezqueta Moreno (Wilier Triestina-Southeast).

 

Here is that very big group out on the road. They've now got 6:20 on the peloton. 

 

 

It is an interesting group of riders out there. Most will be there on the off-chance that they may be able to steal a victory and many have been part of previous breaks. Oss and Brutt were part of yesterday's escape group. 

 

Oss is perhaps on the hunt for points in the red jersey competition and the same could be said for Trentin and to a certain extent Modolo. 

 

This is how the points competition stands at the moment. Oss has been moving up the standings in the past few days by making it into regular breaks.

 

1 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 185 pts
2 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida 137
3 Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team 123
4 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step 107
5 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre - Merida 102
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 83
7 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 83
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 76
9 Alexander Porsev (Rus) Team Katusha 62
10 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step 61

 

Malacarne is an interesting addition to today's break. Is he thinking about his own glory today or is Vincenzo Nibali planning an attack?

 

The riders are heading very swiftly towards the town of Novara where Eddy Merckx claimed a stage win in 1968. 

 

190km remaining from 244km

The gap continues to soar and the big escape group is over nine minutes ahead of the main bunch. 

 

We had just one non-starter this morning and that was Manuel Belletti. A total of 161 riders remain in the race. 

 

There are a few Grand Tour stage winners in this breakaway group. As well as yesterday's victory Kluge and stage 8 winner Brambilla, Modolo, Trentin, Brutt and Navardauskas have all won individual Grand Tour stages. Knees was also part of the Team Sky squad that won the team time trial in 2013.

 

Riis: 'Bahrain, I was involved in but I don’t really see that structure as the right one for me' Story on the Dane's plans coming soon.

@dnlbenson Thu, 26th May 2016 10:35:19

Fortunately for Damiano Cunego, there is nobody in this breakaway that is a threat to his lead in the mountains classification so he can rest easy for another day and save himself for the tougher stages to come. This is how it looks in the mountains classification. 

 

1 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini 134 pts
2 Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling 72
3 Darwin Atapuma (Col) BMC Racing Team 69
4 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 61
5 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team Sky 54
6 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky 50
7 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 42
8 Alexander Foliforov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 41
9 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data 36
10 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 27
11 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani CSF 27

 

175km remaining from 244km

The average speed over the first hour of racing was a zippy 48.3kph as the gap remains over nine minutes. 

 

The next port of call on today's lengthy stage is Vercelli, also known as the European capital of rice (or so they tell us). It was also the scene of a Mario Cipollini victory in 1992 - the only time the race finished in the town. 

 

Speaking of Cipollini, the Italian former sprinter has been his usual self recently. In an interview with the Rouleur magazine he said that he would need just six weeks to get back to sufficient fitness to beat the top Italian sprinters at the moment. 

 

Do you think that the break will make it today? Who will take the victory? How will Vincenzo Nibali do? Let us know on twitter on @Cyclingnewsfeed or @SadhbhOS

 

Huge crowds greeting the breakaway in the Vercelli as the gap is now at almost 10 minutes. Here's a shot of them from a little earlier on. 

 

 

#Giro The break is in Borgo Vercelli https://t.co/NBmVf88F6J

@katushacycling Thu, 26th May 2016 10:51:42

From tomorrow, the race will head back into the high mountains but there are doubts about whether snow might cause stages to be changed or cancelled. Race director Mauro Vegni is determined for the coming stages to go ahead. Read what he had to say here.  

 

@SadhbhOS Brambilla stands out in the break, ahead of McCarthay. Kung will try to go long. and Malacarne's the fly in their ointment.

@tomdouglas16 Thu, 26th May 2016 10:57:55

LottoNL-Jumbo continue to control things on the front. Yesterday they had the sprinters teams to help but it's all on them to make the chase today. Latest time check has the gap coming down a touch to 8:50. With so many riders out front it may be a case of limiting the gap rather than making a catch before the finish. 

 

Italian journalist Antonio Simeoli posted this photo of the San Maurizio climb. As well as its steep ascents, it is also cobbled and narrow. A tough enough prospect without the distance the riders will have ridden by the time they reach it. 

 

 

@SadhbhOS -- Nibs recovered during rest day + flat stage. Media criticism fuels attack on climb of #Pramartino/descent to #Pinerolo #Giro

@toddkingd Thu, 26th May 2016 11:10:46

The feedzone is coming up quickly at the 107km mark in Crescentino. The town was home to the conductor Cinico Angelini, who was born in 1901. The riders will need plenty of fuel for today's marathon. 

 

Away from the race, the Italian Fabio Taborre was handed down a four-year ban for testing positive for EPO in June of last year. Read the full story here

 

A beautiful image of the breakaway. As always, there has been some stunning scenery throughout the Giro d'Italia. 

 

 

@SadhbhOS #Giro Navardauskas got what it takes to win here, would love to see an old friend @leGacOlg up there! Brutt & Oss must be tired!!

@tomCopeland_ Thu, 26th May 2016 11:18:03

Ramunas Navarsauskas is a breakaway specialist. The Cannondale rider took a memorable solo victory in the rain at the 2014 Tour de France. He also soloed to victory in Vajont–Erto e Casso on stage 11 of the 2013 Giro d'italia, where he beat a certain Daniel Oss by 40 seconds. Another rider that was up there on that day was Evgeny Petrov who was forced to abandon the Giro d'Italia this year after suffering a dislocation of his AC joint. 

 

As well as his two individual stage wins, he was also part of two victorious team time trial performances at both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France. 

 

Another internal battle in today's break is the fight for the breakaway competition. Daniel Oss currently leads the way with 557km and Pavel Brutt is in second place with 410km. At the moment, neither are adding to their tally as the break is over 10 riders but we could see them attacking each other later in the stage to try and take a few more kilometres in that classification. 

 

128km remaining from 244km

The average speed after the second hour of racing has dropped but only a little. For the past two hours, the riders have been travelling along at an average speed of 47.3kph while the gap has now surpassed the 10-minute mark. 

 

@Cyclingnewsfeed The break will make it and Brambilla is by far the strongest climber in the group #giroditalia

@andytheciderman Thu, 26th May 2016 11:07:31

Brambilla is certainly a favourite for today's stage. The Italian was very strong in the opening week and wore the maglia rosa for a few days. He's got the benefit of help from a teammate with Trentin. That could be a important factor later in the stage. 

 

Let's not forget the rider who finished third on the day that Brambilla won, Moreno Moser. He too has a another teammate with Navardauskas in the bunch. Moser will want to reverse his fortunes from earlier in the race but it depends on how Cannondale play it. Whatever happens, the team needs a win after their GC contender Uran dropped out of race contention in the past week. 

 

This morning Cyclingnews editor Daniel Benson spoke to Bjarne Riis. The Dane is looking to return to cycling with a team but tells us that it has to be the right project and it won't be as part of the Tinkoff team. Read what he had to say here

 

Wilier Triestina reporting that Matteo Busato is also part of this break but there has been no official confirmation of that.

 

112km remaining from 244km

Past the halfway point and the gap is still growing. 10:40 for the escapees now. 

 

Earlier we told you that Vincenzo Nibali had undergone some tests earlier on today. Well, the team has said that he'll quit it the tests prove that he is ill. If they don't then Nibali will just have to dig in and carry on. We will have the full story very soon. 

 

Meanwhile, the results of the first intermediate sprint is in and Sacha Modolo took the top spot. The riders are now moving onto the next one. 

 

We promised you a Nibali story and here it is. The Italian says he doesn't want to quit but his coach Slongo says that he'll take him out of the Giro d'Italia if he is ill. 

 

97km remaining from 244km

11:12 is the latest time check for the group of 24 out front as they approach Turin. 

 

Turin will of course host the final stage and will be where the final and most important maglia rosa is awarded. It is also the hometown of Giovanni Visconti. 

 

This is Turin in all its splendor.

 

 

@SadhbhOS Surely, despite form, the Shark has to be favourite today given the dicey descent..?

@Jon_Hodgkins Thu, 26th May 2016 12:23:41

The group is now climbing towards Rivoli where the second intermediate sprint of the day is at the 164km mark. That is in just 3km.

Latest time check has @glbrambilla, @MATTEOTRENTIN and the other escapees 11:30 ahead of the pack. #Giro

@Etixx_QuickStep Thu, 26th May 2016 12:41:14

80km remaining from 244km

A reminder of the riders in the breakaway today. 

 

Axel Domont (AG2R-La Mondiale), Davide Malacarne (Astana), Stefan Kung, Daniel Oss (BMC), Moreno Moser, Ramunas Navadauskas (Cannondale), Gianluca Brambilla, Matteo Trentin (Etixx-QuickStep), Olivier le Gac (FDJ), Andrey Solomennikov (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Roger Kluge (IAM Cycling), Sacha Modolo, Matej Mohoric (Lampre-Merida), Pim Ligthart (Lotto-Soudal), Genki Yammamoto, Gianfranco Zilioli (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Nikias Arndt, Alberto Timmer (Giant-Alpecin), Christian Knees (Team Sky), Pavel Brutt, Jay McCarthy, Ivan Rovny (Tinkoff), Matteo Busato and Julen Amezqueta Moreno (Wilier Triestina-Southeast).

 

As well as leading the break competition and closing in on the points classification. Daniel Oss currently leads the intermediate sprint competition with 63 points compared to Marten Tjallingiis 43. He also heads the combativity competition. 

 

The break is in two lines, rotating all the time. They're working very well together and maintaining this quite large gap. 

 

Pim Ligthart goes for the points at the intermediate sprint. He's a long way off the lead in that competition. Modolo crosses the line in second, just ahead of Trentin with Oss a little further back in fourth. They all close in on Nizzolo in the points competition. 

 

LottoNL-Jumbo have the whole team on the front of the bunch with Steven Kruijswijk near the back of their line. They're not worried about anybody in this leading group and are happy just to let this breakaway keep getting further and further away. Ivan Rovny is the best placed rider in this move at 1 hour 19 down on Kruijswijk. 

 

Of course, with this gap as big as it is. It negates any chance of Nibali linking up with Malacarne, if that was the team's intention. Malacarne should be free to do as he likes in this break. 

 

72km remaining from 244km

The road has been pretty flat until now but the remainder of this stage will be pretty undulating and the one classified climb of the day will be in around 40km.

 

Sorry, I said that Rovny was the best place. I have missed Gianluca Brambilla who is at 55 minutes down. 

 

Before it all kicks off very soon, why not let us know your predictions for today's stage on twitter. You can ind us on @Cyclingnewsfeed or @SadhbhOS

 

Avigliana has gone pink for the Giro and has even coloured the fountain pink for the occasion. 

 

Movistar are amassed at the back of the LottoNL-Jumbo train. Alejandro Valverde could try something on one of the climbs today. He's very close to Chaves in second place so could move up the overall classification with a late move. 

 

@SadhbhOS I reckon Modolo's day today, if he survives that bump in the road. #Giro

@Marmeladrome Thu, 26th May 2016 13:04:09

Perhaps a bit of tiredness setting in after already 180km of racing. Solomennikov nearly bumps into one of the Nippo-Vini Fantini riders and has to take evasive action to avoid a crash. 

 

There doesn't seem to be any indication that this gap will even start to come down any time soon. It's now edging up towards the 12-minute mark. 

 

Plenty of fans to greet the riders as they pass on through. 

 

 

Jay McCarthy for the win tonight @Cyclingnewsfeed Tinkoff have the numbers and he's a Queenslander. #giroditalia #giro

@rainbowhill Thu, 26th May 2016 13:08:13

Just 30km to the climb of Pramartino. It might be only 4.6km but it has a maximum gradient of 17 per cent which will shell out quite a few riders from this break. 

 

This is what that climb looks like. Short, but sharp.

 

 

55km remaining from 244km

The leaders are on a small descent while the peloton is climbing. They're still pretty packed together in the bunch with the pace not that high for now. 11:47 the gap at the moment. 

 

@Cyclingnewsfeed @SadhbhOS Brambilla or Moser to win from the breakaway, if not then Valverde, i think breakaway will hold on easily atm

@bestfootyfan12 Thu, 26th May 2016 13:08:10

The gap has now breached the 12-minute mark for the first time today with just over 50km to go. It's been clear from fairly far out that the peloton wasn't interested in this chase but if there were to change their minds, for whatever reason, there would be almost no chance at making the catch now. 

 

Bob Jungels is sitting comfortably near the front of the peloton. He is seventh overall at the moment but he's well clear in the young rider's classification and looks almost certain of taking it when the race returns to Turin in a few days. 

 

1 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step 68:19:36
2 Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky 0:14:17
3 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:34:38
4 Valerio Conti (Ita) Lampre - Merida 0:53:40
5 Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling 1:03:57
6 Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step 1:11:01
7 Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) Dimension Data 1:20:04
8 Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 1:30:22
9 Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling 1:36:32
10 Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-Alpecin 1:42:03

 

@Cyclingnewsfeed @SadhbhOS would love 2 see @tinkoff_team take a stage Gut tells me @glbrambilla or @ramunas88 come away w/Stage18 #Giro2016

@mdaviddrake Thu, 26th May 2016 13:09:49

LottoNL-Jumbo has stepped up the pace now and the escapees' advantage is coming down. It's tumbled to below 10:44 and that is showing in the lead group. They've definitely picked up their pace. 

 

Kung is chasing back to this lead group after crashing on that last descent. He's got a new bike and a hole in his shorts but he seems ok. 

 

One to save for later. We've got the latest episode of inCycle in full with Dani Pedrosa, Gianluca Brambilla and a closer look at Steven Kruisjwijk's Bianchi Specialissima. You can watch it here

 

41km remaining from 244km

Roger Kluge attacks from the leading group. 

 

Le Gac and Brutt are now attacking.

 

They're not chasing Kluge as he was brought back into the main leading group. Butt and Le Gac have only a very small gap on the chasers. 

 

Le Gac and Brutt have 17 seconds on the chasers but they'll need much more than that when they hit the Pramartino climb. 

 

I think Mohric will win from here given the technical final and the way he won the junior worlds. @Cyclingnewsfeed @CyclingCentral

@JamesFox94 Thu, 26th May 2016 13:41:15

36km remaining from 244km

Brutt has dropped Le Gac. Despite the gap falling to just 9 seconds, he is still plugging along on his own. 

 

Elsewhere, Theuns has won stage 1 of the Belgium Tour while Van Aert keeps hold of this lead. Report and full results will be here soon

 

30km remaining from 244km

Brutt is still out front with a nine-second gap. A few other riders have tried to attack of the front and catch him but they've all been brought back. Navardauskas is on the front with Moser in his wheel.

 

Currently Brutt's lead is going up but he's not been given much room. He's got 17 seconds now as he riders into Pinarolo for the first time. How long can he hold this for?

 

The riders get a chance to see the finish for the first time too. It is the same finish as it was back in 2009 when Danilo di Luca claimed the win. 

 

26km remaining from 244km

The leaders on the San Maurizio climb and there are a huge amount of fans cheering on the riders. This is a brutal but mercifully short climb and it has Navardauskas in a whole world of pain. 

 

This is the profile of the San Maurizio climb, which they will ride again in the final kilometres

 

 

The descent off that short climb is narrow and twisting and could put some riders in a bit of trouble too. There is very little respite in this finale. 

 

The descent off that short climb is narrow and twisting and could put some riders in a bit of trouble too. There is very little respite in this finale. 

 

#Giro Unfortunately @pimligthart had to let go of his breakaway mates, so we have no longer a rider in front.

@Lotto_Soudal Thu, 26th May 2016 14:05:36

Brutt has been brought back to the breakaway group, while Ligthart drops into no man's land. So we have 23 riders still in that front group. 

 

It is time for @tinkoff_team today ! With these 3 riders at the front they need to grab the victory... @Cyclingnewsfeed or @SadhbhOS

@LyuboTr Thu, 26th May 2016 14:00:32

23km remaining from 244km

The leaders are on Pramartino now with almost 14 minutes on the leaders. Matteo Trentin leads them up, hoping to set up Brambilla. Navardauskas and Timmer too. We've also lost Arndt. 

 

Knees and Oss are also being distanced and it looks like Modolo has disappeared. Rovny attacks and is quickly followed by Brambilla and Moser. 

 

Rovny is now dropped and it's Moser and Brambilla up at the front together. 

 

22km remaining from 244km

The peloton is finally crossing the finish line for the first time, led by Movistar, and they will now get a glimpse of this San Maurizio climb. 

 

Kruijswijk moves to the front on this short climb. He want to be as safe as possible. Getting caught behind a crash here would be a big setback. It also means that he can set his own pace. 

 

Maglia nera Jack Bobridge is sitting near the back of the peloton. He is almost four hours down in the overall classification at the moment. 

 

Moser and Brambilla are pushing on up the climb and they have 23 seconds on the next group on the road.  

 

Moser vs Brambilla in this ding-dong dynastic showdown en route to Pinerolo - so very Italian! #Giro

@saddleblaze Thu, 26th May 2016 14:17:52

20km remaining from 244km

It is Nikias Arndt that is closest to the leaders. He finished third in yesterday's finish and is a very fast finisher. They will not want him to catch them because he would surely have the bettering of them in a sprint to the line. 

 

Brambilla pushes on near the top of this climb but Moser sticks with him on each move, for now. 

 

In the peloton, Rojas' day is done and he almost comes to a standstill. He has to quickly move to the side of the road so he doesn't get in the way of the rest of the bunch. 

 

Valverde is right on Kruijswijk's wheel as the peloton begins to climb. Will we see him attack today?

 

Arndt still chasing on, alone, but there is no indication as to whether he is catching them or not. He'll likely make up most ground on the descent thought. 

 

Brambilla and Moser crest the climb as Rovny joins Arndt in the chase. They are 28 seconds back on the leading duo. 

 

17km remaining from 244km

The peloton is whittling down very quickly. Kruijswijk and Valverde have just one teammate each. Chaves appears to be on his own but Nibali has about four teammates for now. 

 

Battaglin is the rider looking after Kruijswijk. He moved the LottoNL-Jumbo this season and has two Giro d'Italia stage wins from 2013 and 2014. 

 

14km remaining from 244km

The peloton is on the toughest part of this climb and there can't be much more than 20 riders left in that main group. Out front, Brambilla has distanced Moser on the descent. 

 

This descent is far from easy. It is narrow and technical with buildings on either side. Moser has caught Brambilla but it is not easy going. 

 

All of the main contenders appear to be in the peloton. No attacks yet with 1km to the top of the climb. 

 

9km remaining from 244km

Brambilla and Moser are working well together as Trentin and Modolo have caught the Rovny, Arndt group. They will be a big worry for the leaders, although Trentin is unlikely to help the chase. 

 

Battaglin takes the peloton over the top of the climb as Pozzovivo struggles to keep touch. No attacks from the main contenders but that final, unclassified, climb could be a place for that. 

 

6km remaining from 244km

The gap between Moser and Brambilla and the chasers is just 27 seconds. There's still a chance for them to come back but these two are working well together. 

 

This leading pair have to keep working like this until they're within striking distance of the line. Start attacking too early and they will get caught very quickly. 

 

15km remaining from 244km

With 5km to go the gap is now just 15 seconds and still ticking down. This is going to be very touch and go. 

 

The peloton is making its way down the descent of the Pramartino. Nico Roche is on the back, he doesn't seem to like this descent and he's constantly having to chase back on. 

 

Trentin being very careful to stay right at the back of this chasing group. Whenever someone drops back after doing a turn he opens a gap so they slot into third place and he remains fourth. 

 

2km remaining from 244km

It's now 18 seconds for the leaders as they hit the climb of San Maurizio. 

 

Poor Rovny. He goes into that corner a bit too quickly and hits the barrier. He is ok but that has taken all his momentum. 

 

Moser digs in on the climb but Brambilla attacks. Neither can shake the other on this climb. 

 

1km remaining from 244km

Brambilla does look the stronger but it's a close call.

 

A chance to catch their breath. Moser and Brambilla cross the top of the climb and are back on this descent. This is a thrilling finish. 

 

It's just Modolo and Trentin chasing these leaders and it looks like Moser and Modolo will make it but anything can happen. 

 

Into the final kilometre!

 

Moser leads Brambilla into the final 500m

 

Brambilla looks over his shoulder and he sees Trentin chasing. 

 

300m to go

 

Trentin catches them

 

Trentin wins

 

Moser finishes second with Brambilla in third.

 

That was spectacular from Etixx-QuickStep and Trentin in particular. He put in a huge chase to make it back to the front and won comfortably. 

 

This is how it finished there

 

1 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
2 Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
3 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
4 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre - Merida
5 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
6 Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff Team

 

Here is a shot of that finish. You have to feel for Moser but that was a very good finish. 

 

 

This is what Brambilla had to say about that finish. 

 

"I tell you, I was very good, Very good but Trentin had good legs. I tried to play it and keep Moser a little bit tired to keep him in the front and to try and make the different but I couldn’t keep the difference to get away from him on the climb. I saw a blue jersey coming around so I stopped helping Moser, I just stayed in the wheel and we managed to get the victory. I’m really happy for Matteo."

 

Anton pulling the main peloton along. It has been six minutes since Trentin won and it will be at least double that until these guys finish. They've still got San Maurizio to come. 

 

Riders still filtering through. This is the top nine from the stage. 

 

1 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step 5:25:34
2 Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
3 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
4 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre - Merida 0:00:20
5 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:30
6 Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff Team 0:00:34
7 Matteo Busato (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Southeast 0:01:10
8 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky 0:01:16
9 Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:24

 

Trentin congratulated by his team at the finish. 

 

 

Visconti takes the group of favourites onto the final climb. 

 

Now Kruijswijik takes is up with Valverde in his wheel. He's pulled out a small gap and forces Valerde to drag him back. No attempt at an attack but perhaps a psychological thing. 

 

Valverde, though, takes them over the top of the climb and everyone is through safely onto the descent. 

 

Nibali ups the pace and has a small attack. He's quickly closed down though. 

 

Valverde also has a small attack but the group of favourites roll in together and they survive to ride another day. The mountains await in the final two days. 

 

Valverde can't resist a little sprint to the line but Kruijswijk has his number and they finish on the same time. 

 

Matteo Trentin has won two stages of the Tour de France in the past but never a stage of the Giro d'Italia. His win makes him the fifth first-time winner in a row at this year's Giro. Here he is celebrating that win. 

 

 

No movement in the GC but here it is anyway. We can expect some big changes tomorrow. 

 

1 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 73:50:37
2 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge 0:03:00
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:23
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:04:43
5 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 0:04:50
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team 0:05:34
7 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:07:57
8 Andrey Amador Bikkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team 0:08:53
9 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:10:05
10 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data 0:11:16

 

Here is Valverde coming across the line at the head of the group of favourites. 

 

 

Giacomo Nizzolo still leads the points classification after today's stage but Trentin has slowed the gap to 44 points and it could still be all to play for. Cunego also still holds the lead of the mountains classification but that was never under threat today. 

 

In this #Giro @Etixx_QuickStep won 4 stages with 3 different riders: @marcelkittel, @glbrambilla, @MATTEOTRENTIN. https://t.co/ydqfBZPIqk

@giroditalia Thu, 26th May 2016 15:14:41

This is what today's stage winner Matteo Trentin had to say of his vicotry:

 

“I came to the Giro with the objective to win a stage because I knew that my condition was really good from the Classics. But for some bad luck and some situation, you never really collect anything. Until now it was just empty. I was sure that sooner or later a stage for me would come. First I was thinking of Asolo, but it didn't go as I expected because Jungels attacked.

 

"Today was perfect. We knew the breakaway could go, but I have to say I found really good legs in the climb. I knew i had to go with my tempo and keep the best as I can a little under the limit to not explode, and keep the guys there. Brambilla was perfect in the front because he didn't have to pull because I was behind. Cannondale has to win, so all the stress was on them, not on us. I managed to go away in the last climb, I just put all the power I could on the pedals and it was just perfect."

 

Tomorrow is a brutal stage from Pinarolo to Risoul. 

 

 

We've already got results, a report and photos coming in. You can check it all out here

 

It really has been a very good Giro d'Italia for the Etixx-QuickStep team and today provided Brambilla a chance to return the favour for Trentin. When Brambilla won on stage 8, Trentin spent much of the day working on the front to make sure that it stuck. Today, as soon as Brambilla saw that Trentin was catching him, he sat on Moser's wheel and allowed the Cannondale rider to use up his energy before the line. 

 

Kruijswijk kept his lead today with a cease fire among the favourites. He had this to say after taking yet another maglia rosa.

 

“I didn’t see much of the rest of the peloton today, only my own team in front of me. They were really strong, and kept be safe all day and out of the wind. I think we did a really good job on the last climb. We kept the right pace, a lot of the guys would follow and there were no attacks. On the last climb, I stayed in the front and kept an eye on everyone.

 

[On his falter on the last cobbled climb] “It’s a little bit different on the cobbles. When you’re standing your bike is going everywhere, so I had to sit down for one moment. It wasn’t because I couldn’t follow. I saw [Alejandro] Valverde go and I was on his wheel, no problems."

 

 

Bob Jungels is still at the top of the young rider classification. He seemed fairly happy at the finish. 

 

"It could have been worse eh? - It's another stage for our team. I stayed with the best, and I felt good on the climb. We had good weather the whole day, it was a nice day in the saddle. It's good for the next few days. It's going to be a hard day - it might be a little similar to the day before yesterday. Hard from the beginning on, which could suit me if the climbs are not so steep. We have nothing to lose anymore."

 

 

Only 12 minutes to make up!!! #astanatremblesinfear https://t.co/FNrg4u1HO8

@Vaughters Thu, 26th May 2016 15:44:32

Want to brush up on what to expect tomorrow then take a look at our preview. At 162km it's a little longer than the stage we had on Tuesday but is should be another fast enough day. With just two days in the mountains, Kruijswijk is gong to face an onslaught from his rivals but will they be able crack him?

 

Kruijswijk has looked calm and collected so far in this Giro d'Italia and 3 minutes is a decent buffer for the Dutchman. However, if the others can work together then they stand a chance of breaking him. 

 

There could well be some snow tomorrow but race director Mauro Vegni has said he's determined to have the stage go ahead. Read what he had to say here

 

If you fancy it, you can peruse through a selection of quotes from the finish line, including stage winner Matteo Trentin and race leader Steven Kruijswijk.

 

Eddy Merckx joins stage winner Matteo Trentin on Italian television. 

 

 

On that note, that's it from us today. Keep tuned for all the reaction from today and we'll have full live coverage of tomorrow's stage. You can also find highlights of today's stage here

 

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