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Giro d'Italia 2017: Stage 18

Full live coverage of stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia, the second queen stage of this year's race as we hit the Dolomites.

 

Welcome back. It's stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia and we're about to head into the Dolomites for perhaps the most crucial stage of the race so far. Five cols, just under 140km of racing, and all the GC favourites going head-to-head on another summit finish. 

We are about 25 mins from the official roll out. Several riders have been warming up on the rollers in order to prepare for today's onslaught as Tom Dumoulin makes his way to the stage for his sign on. This is arguably the biggest day of his Grand Tour career. Survive today, keep pink, and he'll move a step closer to sealing the maglia rosa in Milan. 


For Nibali and Quintana, it's a case of taking this opportunity before the final time trial. There are more mountains to come after this, but this is probably their best chance of putting further time into the Dutchman. You can follow our complete coverage right here, throughout the stage as we bring you minute-by-minute coverage so sit back and enjoy.

 

And the riders are being greeted by near-perfect conditions today. The sun is out, there's little wind at present as the start line becomes a hotbed of activity with more and more riders arriving before we set out on the neutralized zone.

 

All of Team Sky were warming up on the rollers earlier today. With no GC hope they're all about the stage wins in this year's and according to Landa they have three 'one-day races' ahead of them. The Spaniard has come close a couple of times but we can expect a full on attack from the British team today as they look to throw several riders up the road in an early move. That will suit Movistar, for sure, who will want to put Sunweb under all kinds of early pressure. 

 

Stuck to every single one of the stems in today's race will be the following information. 


Pordoi (cat 1), Valaparola (cat 2) and Grodnerjoch (cat 2) Passo Pinei  (cat 3) and Pontives (cat 1).

 

They're the five climbs the riders will need to race over before they reach the finish. The first two ascents are relatively similar in length and gradient but they offer the perfect launchpad for an early attack. The race starts in around 10 minutes and it's almost all uphill as soon as the flag drops. Sunweb are down another rider with Bauhaus out of the race so Dumoulin's men will have to be even more vigilant and careful as to which moves they chase.

 

And what of this man? He had such a good opening week but since then he's been off the boil and following wheels rather than attacking in the mountains. He's admitted that he's not at his best but if he has hopes of the podium then he needs to drop Nibali and perhaps Quintana and Dumoulin today. Easier said than done, but he has the talent. Does he have the form, however?

 

We're already heading through the neutralized zone and the flag to start today's proceedings will drop in just a minute or two. After that, we can expect attack after attack. We had over 40 riders in the main move yesterday and something similar today, isn't out of the question. It all depends on the dynamic of the move but given Sunweb's lack of numbers it's hard to see them chasing unless a real podium contender tries to go away. 

The flag has dropped and we're off and racing on stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia.

 

The road gently climbs from here as head away from Moena before we hit the first ascent of the day the Passo Pordoi. It's a first cat climb, 11.9km in length with an average gradient of 6.7 per cent. There are stretches of 9 per cent but they're close to the bottom of the climb. With three climbs over 2,000m this really is one of the toughest stages in recent years at the Giro d'Itlia. A lot will depend on how the riders set off but already we've seen a few attacks.

 

We're about to head through yesterday's finish, where Pierre Rolland took  a well deserved stage win. A few more attacks from the field but so far nothing has really stuck.

130km remaining from 137km

Four riders have gone clear after 8km of racing but they're being chased by a group of 30. The four leaders are Berhane, Rosskopf, Rosa and Boaro. So it's a similar scenario to yesterday's stage. 

 

The four leaders certainly aren't waiting for reinforcements from the chase group as they tear across the road and towards the first climb of the day. There's no let-up as the second group on the road look to also make in-roads. 


Here's a look at the climb we're about to face. 

 

And the four leaders are onto the first climb of the day with Rosa pushing the pace. They have 1'06 on the maglia rosa group. The second group on the road contains riders from Movistar and Bahrain Merida.

More and more riders are looking to attack as that 30 rider group is brought back. Sky, ORica and Trek all firing men up the road. It's all go. Landa is on the move as well and Rolland. It's such a fluid situation at the moment.

 

#Giro100 4 leaders are now on the first climb of the day. They have 1'20 on the peloton. Several others try to make the jump to the front.

@Lotto_Soudal Thu, 25th May 2017 11:31:37

This a really tough start to the stage as we see the four leader plugging away as they take on the climb. Even though Landa is chasing with a group, Rosa will continue to help set the pace in the first group. 

 

119km remaining from 137km

The four leaders have just 27 seconds now as the bunch react and look to bring the race back together. 

 

Boara is really starting to struggle at the back of the lead group. He's let a small gap open but is then able to close it once the road flattens ever so slightly. 

 

Back down the climb and Anacona leads what's left of the peloton. 

 

Dumoulin doesn't panic and just sits about halfway down the main field. There are maybe less than 60 riders left in the maglia rosa group. This climb has 28 hairpins and it's absolutely shredding the field. 

 

Dumoulin is left with about one or two men already from what we can see from the CN blimp. That's really not a good sign as we Foliforov and Anacona attack from the peloton and chase down the four leaders. 117km to go.

 

And now Landa attacks again. The KOM leader goes clear with a lovely little move. He's caught a group that contains Deignan and two Cannondale riders. This is a decent little counter. 

 

But the bunch are not going to let this go and they bring it all back - apart from the original four leaders who have 24 seconds on the peloton. 

 

Boaro is holding on for dear life in the group up front. If he's dropped then Nibali will just send another rider up the road as we see Sky and Dimension Data attack once more. The four leaders have just 18 seconds as Boaro again loses the wheel.

 

Boaro is done. He's dropped but there's a strong group forming behind him that includes Deignan, Landa, two from Cannondale, Anacona and a few more riders. They have about 10 seconds on the maglia rosa group. 

 

And now Pinot sends Morabito up the road as Dumoulin's defences are cut to just one rider - ten Dam.

 

Ten Dam moves to the front and sets the pace for the maglia rosa group but there's a huge amount of responsibility on his shoulders today. 

 

Van Garderen, Dombrowski, Landa are all in the second group as they have the three leaders in their sights already. Siutsou is in the second group so Boaro can ease off and wait for the bunch. 

 

Fraile is trying to close on the leaders too as he hunts more KOM points and a second stage in the race. The maglia rosa group are at 45 seconds as more and more riders try and bridge across. Who will help Sunweb because right now they're on the ropes and we're only on the first climb as the GC rivals send more and more riders on the attack.

 

Rosa is doing the majority of the pace setting at the front of the race but ten Dam is bringing it all back together, slowly. The gap between the three leaders and the maglia rosa group is just 27 seconds as Rosa leads over the top of the first climb.

 

110km remaining from 137km

Ten riders in the second group with five more a few seconds back and then the bunch. 110km to go as Katusha bring Zakarin to the front and set the pace. They've missed the splits and obviously want to keep their Russian leader out of trouble on the technical descent. 

#Giro100 First KOM of the day is won by Rosa. The peloton follows at 47".

@Ride_Argyle Thu, 25th May 2017 12:02:20

Rosskopf takes over on the descent and lead the first group. The chase group with Plaza, Siutsou, Landa and van Garderen are closing with the maglia rosa group at 56 seconds. 

 

A couple of riders from the second group have caught the first group but by the time we hit the slopes of the second climb we should have one lead selection, with both groups coming together. 

 

102km remaining from 137km

We're still descending as we see Deignan make contact with the leaders along with Dombrowski and van Garderen.

 

Stuyven is also about make contact with the front runners. A couple more Sunweb riders have come back on the descent and Dumoulin has put them straight to work as we see the gap go out to 45 seconds as we reach the valley before the second climb. The Landa, Amador, Cataldo, Fraile, Rolland group have just made contact too. That should be our break of the day.

 

93km remaining from 137km

1'54 now for the front group as Sunweb look to take the sting out of the situation. Movistar, Trek and Bahrain Merida are well represented in the leading group as we race into the final 90km of today's stage. 

 

A full breakdown on the leaders as we hit the second climb of the day the Passo Valparola:



Diego Rosa (Team Sky), Philip Deignan (Team Sky), Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team), Joey Rosskopf (BMC Racing Team), Natnael Berhane (Dimension Data), Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Drapac), Ruben Plaza Molina (Orica-Scott), Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac), Omar Fraile Matarranza (Dimension Data), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Dario Cataldo (Astana Pro Team), Andrey Amador Bikkazakova (Movistar Team), Mikel Landa Meana (Team Sky), Kanstantsin Siutsou (Bahrain-Merida), Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom - Rusvelo).

2'04 now for the leaders. Amador is the closest on GC but he's not a real threat as things stand. Sunweb have four men on the front and they're just looking to keep things together on this climb as they look to protect their race leader. A reminder that the magalia rosa only has 31 seconds on Quintana coming into the stage. 

 

The peloton are taking this climb in a steady and controlled fashion as we see the gap to the break move out to 2'28. 89km to go.

 

Coquard wins crash-marred opening sprint at Belgium Tour | https://t.co/Fluutp60Rq https://t.co/TC4ytw2A41

@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 25th May 2017 12:30:38

Nibali isn't happy with the gentle pace in the bunch and puts three more men on the front. It immediately lines out the bunch and puts the pressure back on Dumoulin's men. Nibali doesn't want to let this chance slip through his fingers as up front van Garderen takes a turn on the front of the break.

 

Orica have launched a counter attack. They have a man up the road but is Yates about to try something from a long way out?

 

85km remaining from 137km

This second climb is really starting to put pressure on and rider after rider are being dropped from the peloton and there's no let up from Orica who now have three men on the front of the maglia rosa group. The gap to the Landa/Rolland group is down to 2'18 with 85km to go.

 

Well done @Mads__Pedersen, made it in a break in a mountainstage in the last week of his first grand tour. Impressive talent!

@koendekort Thu, 25th May 2017 12:36:59

Two men for Dumoulin as we continue to make our way up the second climb. Yates is third wheel and really looks primed to do something. 

 

The pace from Orica has really made the difference and Polanc is one the main casualties. Yates remains in third wheel with Dumoulin and his one remaining teammates in the wheel. Jungels is there too, in the white jersey that Yates is hunting. The gap to the break is just 1'45. 

 

We're still on the second climb and have 82km remaining as Sky respond to Orica's pace and move to the front of the break. There are several dynamics in play but so far Quintana and Nibali have held back, using their teams wisely on the opening to ascents. 

 

We're still on the second climb and have 82km remaining as Sky respond to Orica's pace and move to the front of the break. There are several dynamics in play but so far Quintana and Nibali have held back, using their teams wisely on the opening to ascents. 

 

Tremendous work from Orica who continue to set the pace and they've reduced the maglia rosa group to less than 40 men. Up ahead and Rosa and Deignan swap turns as they close in on the summit of the climb. Dumoulin has ten Dam for company - that's it.

 

Orica want to close the gap so that Yates can attack and bridge over. They also want to try and distance Jungels but so far Sky have thwarted that plan by increasing the pace at the front of the break with the gap now at 1'55.

 

Rosskopf has been dropped as Rosa leads Deignan. It will be interesting to see if Landa goes for the points or not. Fraile certainly will.

 

500m to the top of the climb for the leaders as the gap holds at 1'59.

 

Over the top of the Valparola and Landa hits out with Fraile on his wheel. It's the Dimension Data rider who takes maximum points with the Team Sky rider claiming second. Rosa or Deignan is third. 

 

#Giro100 The van Garderen breakaway reached the top of the Passo Valparola with 1'58" on the Maglia Rosa group. 79km to go.

@BMCProTeam Thu, 25th May 2017 12:56:10

The bunch crest the top of the climb and Orica will drive this pace on the descent in a bid to protect Yates but also make sure that Dumoulin remains isolated and the break kept in check.

 

Headwind + 2200 m + short sprint. Interesting combination. Could be seen from Fraile's face. #Giro100

@ammattipyoraily Thu, 25th May 2017 12:59:18

68km remaining from 137km

It's a long, long descent before the next climb. The break need to keep the pressure up in order to hold off the chasing bunch and so far they're up to the task with the advantage at 1'51.

 

65km remaining from 137km

It's Rosa who lifts the pace at the front of the break as Deignan, Anacona and Landa sit just off his wheel. The acceleration lines the break out as we cross the intermediate sprint. 

Dumoulin has moved up and is sitting on Yates's wheel. The race leader is on his own as ten Dam drops back to the team car. We'll be climbing again soon enough and the race leader needs to ensure that he's well stocked for food for the final two hours of racing. 

 

Nibali is glued to Quintana's wheel just a little further down from Dumoulin as we see Landa fiddle with his race radio. The gap holds at 2'04 with 60km to go.

 

Van Garderen starts taking a few turns on the front of the lead group as we see that Rosskopf made contact on that last descent. Rosa then takes over and that lines out the break once more as Sky set themselves up for a potential stage win. The gap is up to 2'14. 

 

A few attacks from the break and Sky and Landa find themselves chasing as a Cannondale Drapac rider attacks.

 

57km remaining from 137km

It looks like Dombrowski has made his move with Plaza, Anacona and Berhane making contact. 

 

Back in the bunch and ten Dam is dropped as Movistar set the pace. 

 

There's a general re-grouping at the front with the break as Rosa, Landa, van Garderen and a few others make contact but several riders are struggling, including yesterday's winner, Pierre Rolland.

 

Onto the climb and already Quintana has burnt off a number of his men as we see the maglia rosa group reduced to around 15 riders. All the main GC men are there apart from ..... Jungels. 

 

The QuickStep rider is about 30 seconds off the Dumoulin group. Advantage Yates in the battle for the white jersey. 

 

For now Quintana marks Dumoulin, who in turn sits on Nibali's wheel. The gap between the break and the maglia rosa group is at 1'50 with 55km to go.

The front group is down to around 8 men with Rosa doing all the damage. Back down the climb and Quintana has used all his men. That brings Bahrain to the front but he can't really do much. Visconti comes to the rescue and takes it up. 

 

At the moment all the main top ten contenders are present in the maglia rosa group, apart from Jungels who is losing his grip on the white jersey as Quintana finds a teammate and puts him right on the front - Izagirre. 

 

He's now done and it's Visconti who takes over. Not many GC riders have teammates left but with 54km to go no one really wants to or are able to control the maglia rosa group. 

 

3km to go for the break until they hit the summit so around 4km for Dumoulin and Co.

 

Plaza is the latest rider to lose contact from the break. His job will be to recover, if he can, and then help Yates. Up front it's still Sky who lead as Visconti looks to protect Nibali's interests. 

 

53km remaining from 137km

53km to go and Quintana attacks with a huge acceleration. 

 

He came from near the back of the group and no one responded. That was a huge surge from the Movistar rider as he looks to bridge up to his teammates, Amador and Anacona.

 

Amador is with Quintana as they riffle by Deignan and close in on the break. It's Dumoulin who is forced to come to the front and do all the chasing but Quintana already has 25 seconds on the race leader. 

 

Nibali has now attacked. He feels this is the moment to jump Dumoulin and go after Quintana. The race leader doesn't respond at the moment.

 

Quintana has 24 seconds on Dumoulin with 52km to go  as Amador leads the way as Cataldo links up with Nibali and tows him up the climb. Dumoulin is under a huge amount of pressure right now. 

 

51km remaining from 137km

Rosa looks spent and Landa takes over at the front of the race as Quintana links up with Amador, Anacona and now Nibali and Siutsou. This is a really dangerous play and Dumoulin has to respond. So far he's coping well but he's up against two entire teams. 

 

As we crest the climb Dumoulin pulls it all back together but that was a huge scare for the race leader. He's survived and the gap to the break is at 52 seconds. 

 

On the descent and Movistar lead the charge. That move from Quintana and Nibali was certainly strong but Dumoulin managed it perfectly. He didn't follow the initial attacks, just plugged away at his own pace and brought his two main rivals to heel just before the summit. We've two more climbs to go.

 

47km remaining from 137km

The riders still in the break:



Mikel Landa Meana, Diego Rosa, Joe Dombrowski, Davide Villella, Tejay van Garderen, Natnael Berhane, and Jan Hirt. They have 42 seconds on the vastly reduced maglia rosa group. 

 

Van Garderen leads the break on the way down the climb and Quintana and Nibali must be scratching their heads right now.  How are they going to crack the race leader because so far he's look so strong on the climbs?

 

A word on Cannondale. They've not had to do much work and they still have two men in the break. Could they pick up their second stage win in two days? The break's gap is coming down, however, it's just 43 seconds with 43km to go.

 

Yates is descending well and he has Quintana for company as we see Nibali follow Dumoulin. A few gaps opening up but they should be closed before we start the next climb. It's 'only' a third cat climb but the racing has been flat out today so there's little chance in a truce being called before the final ascent. Nibali and Quintana can't wait that long.

 

Plaza is leading Yates and Quintana and it's Zakarin who is leading the rest of the maglia rosa group but some work is needed because the Orica/Movistar trio have a gap of around 8 seconds.

 

The next climb, the Passo Pinei, is just over 4km in length but with a stint at 15 per cent it's the perfect launchpad as we see Yates attack after there was a general re-grouping. There's no let up in the valley before the final climb. 

 

The break have 24 seconds and Landa is taking on food as he knows that he either needs to wait for the catch or make a move on the next climb. Yates is being pulled back by the maglia rosa group but there's still no sign from Jungels. 

 

33km remaining from 137km

Dumoulin calls for his team car, as does Anacona, with Quintana and Nibali lying in wait. Finally, Dumoulin gets a drink and some food with 33km to go. A reminder that all the GC contenders are here bar Jungels, who was dropped on the previous climb.

 

It's Plaza who comes to the front again, as Orica want the stage and they want the white jersey. We're just on the lower slopes of the Passo Pinei.

 

Rosa has recovered and he recovers as we start to see a lot of tired legs out there, riders are really starting to flag as the road once again rises up towards the sky. Landa, meanwhile, looks good. 

 

I dont see Formolo in the maglia rosa group, actually as Anacona takes over from Plaza.

 

Plaza is back as Quintana marks Dumoulin, who again watches Nibali. Pinot, Mollema and Pozzovivo are all there too as Amador then takes over. We're not yet at the 15 per cent section but it's coming...

 

Dumoulin has a little look over his shoulder and checks on Nibali but the race leader looks so strong as Amador really starts to suffer as we see Rosa completely crack. 

 

Landa takes over at the front of the break with van Garderen on his wheel as we see the leaders reduced to just five men with Villella the latest to be dropped. 

 

28km remaining from 137km

Dombrowski, Hirt, Berhane, van Garderen, and Landa lead by 39 seconds with 28km to go but now Berhane cracks too so we just have for leaders as Landa turns the screw. 

 

It's the Sky rider who goes over the top in first position as he pulls the lead back out to 44 seconds. Down the climb and all the GC remain together but there's no Formolo and there's no Jungels. 

 

The effort from Landa is paying off as we see the break move the gap out to 53 seconds. We've a 15km descent before the final climb to the finish. So far so good for the race leader. 

 

Villella has meanwhile made it back to the front group as we dip into the final 25km of the stage. 

 

And it's van Garderen who takes it up on the descent as the lead comes down to 47 seconds. It's all going to come down to the final climb. Can anyone trouble Dumoulin because so far he's looked unbeatable today.

 

 

A small rise to break up the descent and it's Movistar who once more set the pace with Dumoulin sitting in fourth wheel. The race leader takes a minute to take on some fuel, and a number of his rivals follow suit.

 

Just 38 seconds for the break as we continue this long descent before the final climb. Plaza is back with the maglia rosa group and once more, moves to the front and sets the pace. He's been immense today. 

 

Final climb stats:

Leng./Lung.: km 9.3
Deniv./Disl.: m 636
Av. Slope/P.med.: 6.8%
Max Slope/P.max: 12%

 

15km remaining from 137km

Landa and van Garderen have created a gap to the rest of the break but the peloton continue to reduce the gap to 32 seconds as we hit the final 15km of the stage.

 

On paper Landa and van Garderen are probably the strongest climbers as Cannondale are forced to chase as the gap opens to 42 seconds.

The two leaders are about to hit the final climb of the stage. If there's a strong reaction from the bunch it's hard to see the break surviving but their lead is almost up to a minute. One would think that Quintana would attack from the bottom of the climb.

 

Onto the lower slopes of the climb and it's Amador who moves to the front. Up ahead and Landa and van Garderen are working nicely together with 12km to go.

 

11km remaining from 137km

Amador lines the maglia rosa group out as Quintana continues to mark Dumoulin. Plaza again moves to the front as we see Cannondale try and catch the two leaders. Landa looks so comfortable even though he's been at the front of the race since almost the very start.

 

52 seconds to the maglia rosa group as the Cannondale chase begins to falter. Just under 11km to go and still nothing from Quintana and Nibali. What do they have in the tank?

 

Pinot is in trouble. He's right at the back of the Dumoulin group.

 

Mollema is also near the back and struggling under the pace of Movistar as the two leaders up ahead hold their 58 second lead with 10.1km to go.

 

Over a minute now for the two leaders with 9.4km to go with Amador really suffering. The pace probably isn't quick enough but this is perfect for Dumoulin.

 

Landa is setting a decent clip with 8.5km to go and he and van Garderen are holding the Cannondale chase at 29 seconds. 

 

7km remaining from 137km

Yates can almost soft-pedal in third wheel as Dumoulin takes a drink and the lead to Landa and van Garderen moves out to 1'08. 

 

Nothing from Nibali either on this climb as Hirt attacks and takes Dombrowski with him. 

 

We're almost at the top of the climb, which levels off slightly with around 3km to go.

 

Anacona lifts the pace and creates a gap.

 

And Katusha throw a man up the road too. Interesting. 

 

6km remaining from 137km

Nibali just follows Quintana, who follows Dumoulin and Quintana does attack.

 

FDJ are chasing as Quintana links up with Anacona.

 

FDJ doing all the chase work though and Dumoulin is still there. No one has cracked yet.

 

Quintana can only open a gap of around 8 seconds as Landa opens a small gap on van Garderen. 

 

And now van Garderen opens up a gap on Landa as we see Quintana attack. 5.7km to go.

 

FDJ continue to lead the chase and the gap is only at 4 or 5 seconds.

He goes again but the gap still isn't extending as FDJ continue to chase. 5.4km to go for the leaders as Nibali marks Dumoulin.

 

Quintana looks back and is about to knock this on the head as up ahead Landa catches van Garderen. 

 

5km remaining from 137km

Quintana caught with FDJ having done all the work. Dumoulin hasn't had to chase once on this climb.

 

And Nibali attacks and Dumoulin chases with Nibali on his wheel. Move caught.

 

The GC men are back together and Dumoulin just drifts back and then attacks.

 

He eases... and then goes again. Quintana follows and then counters. Then they ease off once more. Dumoulin won't be cracked at this rate. 

 

Dumoulin pulls a Riis. He drifts back and looks at his rivals a la Tour 96 and then jumps them all. 

 

Quintana reels him back as the pink jersey sets the pace as up ahead Landa heads for a possible win but there's still 4km to go.

 

It looks like Dumoulin was just playing with his rivals there as Pinot and Pozzovivo and several other riders attack. Now Dumoulin lifts the pace again. 

 

Pozzovivo and Pinot have a gap and Mollema is trying to lead a chase as Dumoulin, Nibali and Quintana mark each other.

 

Hirt is still out there to and his third on the road, 24 seconds down on Landa as we see Zakarin lead a real chase for Pozzovivo and Pinot. It's been reduced to a battle for the minor places.

 

The three GC leaders are chatting now as Zakarin attacks. He's had enough and he's already created a decent gap as Nibali, Dumoulin and Quintana play yet more games with each other.

 

Dumoulin comes through and sets a pace but it's steady rather than lung busting as he's left with Quintana and Nibali. But up ahead are all the other GC men. Nibali could lose third on the podium today with Pinot up the road gaining time.

 

1km remaining from 137km

Pinot is 21 seconds off Landa, who has been joined by van Garderen once more. They have 1.1km to go.

 

The chasing three of Pinot, Hirt and Pozzovivo could also take the stage, they're at 17 seconds as we see Yates come back to the Dumoulin group and then attack. 

 

Pinot and his group are just 15 seconds off the two leaders as Landa leads. Pinot is really charging up the climb.

 

Landa will lead out here. 400m to go. 

 

And van Garderen comes around. He's going to take it.

 

Van Garderen wins stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia with Landa second. Zakarin has also gained time today as Dumoulin leads home Quintana and Nibali.

 

A first Grand Tour stage win for van Garderen. Hats off to him. He's come back from a number of setbacks to take a highly impressive win ahead of Landa, who was second, again.

 

Pinot was third and is the big winner in the GC today - along with Dumoulin who not only survived the attacks but really sent another message to Quintana and Nibali. Jungels is about to come over the line but not sure if he's kept his white jersey.

 

1 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 3:54:04
2 Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:00:08
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
5 Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:00:11
6 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:24
7 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:34
8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
9 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:01:06
10 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team

 

General classification after stage 18

1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 80:00:48
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:31
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:12
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:01:36
5 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:01:58
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:07
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:17
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:05:48
9 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:07:06
10 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:07:24

 

That moment, when Dumoulin drifted to the back of the GC group, looking at all his rivals before attacking was hugely impressive. He looked like he had more in the tank today as well and it's back to the drawing board for Nibali and Quintana who both tried to shake the race leader but failed. The race isn't over but they're running out of time.

 

Van Garderen:

It’s been a rough couple of years in Grand Tours as far as the general classification goes, but I did my best to keep the morale high. It’s my first Grand Tour victory, so it’s an incredible feeling, especially in an area like this, that I’m so familiar with – I’ve done a lot of camps here, so I know every inch of road. It feels incredible to get this victory.

 

Tour of Utah 2017 route: 10km of gravel, more than 11,000 metres of climbing | https://t.co/AKB1Xn4GJv https://t.co/hILJd4SG2g

@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 25th May 2017 15:19:35

It was also a good day for Pozzovivo.

 

 

Tom Dumoulin:

They are only focussing on me, and trying to make me lose instead of trying to win. In the last moment they lost a lot of time to the other competitors. I really hope that riding like this they will lose their podium spot in Milan, that would be really nice, and I would be really happy.

 

Pinot is just 24 seconds down on Nibali in the battle for a podium spot.

 

 

Nairo Quintana:

We tried, one way or another, playing the cards we had in the team. We moved, we tried. But it wasn’t possible. The leader defended himself very well and we finished on the same time.

 

Thibaut Pinot:

It was a good day, I felt strong. For sure it gives me confidence to do that on a stage like this, with a very strong rhythm and tough climbs in a short stage.

 

You can find our race quotes story, right here with quotes from all the leading protagonists from today's stage. 

Full results are now up and our right here in our report

 

A reminder of the new GC after stage 18:

 

1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 80:00:48
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:31
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:12
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:01:36
5 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:01:58
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:07
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:17
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:05:48
9 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:07:06
10 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:07:24

 

So Tejay van Gardenen takes a very well-deserved stage win, his first in a Grand Tour in fact, as Tom Dumoulin sees of the challenges from Quintana and Nibali once more.

 

Dumoulin has just two more days in the mountains before the final time trial and on this performance it's hard to see his rivals cracking him enough to really challenge for the top step on the podium. 

 

 

 

That's about all from us today. Don't forget to check back later for full video highlights. And of course we'll be back tomorrow with another day of full live coverage with stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia. Thanks for joining us.

 

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