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Giro d'Italia 2018: Stage 18

Welcome back one and all. We're back in the mountains as the Giro d'Italia heads towards its climax. The GC riders have just three more stages to try and topple Simon Yates from the Giro's throne. 

Yesterday's stage was the last chance for the sprinters ahead of the final stage in Rome. Elia Viviani added a fourth win to his name, and increased his lead in the maglia ciclamino contest after it was decimated last week. This was how things ended yesterday afternoon.

 

1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors 3:19:57
2 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
3 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
4 Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
5 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Fix All
6 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
7 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
8 Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
9 Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
10 José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin

 

With the start less in just over 20 minutes, sign on is well underway. Viviani has been up on stage and got the usual vociferous welcome from the tifosi. He'll be just hoping to make it through today with no bad fortune.

 

Simon Yates comes into the final three mountain stages of the Giro d'Italia with a tidy advantage of 56 seconds on Tom Dumoulin. Third place Domenico Pozzovivo is 3:11 back. It's a handy lead for the Mitchelton-Scott rider but this is the Giro d'Italia and anything can, and will, happen. 

 

1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 69:59:11
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:56
3 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:03:11
4 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:03:50
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:04:19
6 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:05:04
7 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:05:37
8 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:06:02
9 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 0:06:07
10 George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:07:01

 

Thus far, Yates has taken an aggressive stance to his racing as he tried to build a substantial lead over Tom Dumoulin ahead of the time trial. It delivered him more than enough of a cushion over the time trial world champion and he helped himself to three stage wins along the way. With the time trial behind him, he says that he's going to play a more defensive tactic in the coming days. Read the full story here.

 

It will be interesting to see how the start of today's stage plays out. Yesterday, Bora-Hansgrohe did not want to let the breakaway go clear and rode aggressively from start to finish. The sprint teams, obviously, will be taking a back seat today. With Esteban Chaves' win on Mount Etna the only one that has gone to the breakaway, we're likely to see some heavy competition to get into the move. Whether or not the peloton will let them stay away remains to be seen. My own theory is that the GC guys will be interested in taking something out of today and the break is going to find it tough to succeed. 

 

It is interesting to note that Simon Yates is in a contract year. Strictly speaking, riders aren't ableto sign contracts with new teams until August 1, but that doesn't stop talks going on well in advance of that. Cyclingnews editor Daniel Benson has been speaking to agents, team managers et all. Yates reportedly refused a sizable offer from a team ahead of the Giro d'Italia. With his performance over the past few weeks, he's now reportedly asking for a sum of 4 million euros. Read up on that and more, here.

 

The riders have set off through the neutral zone, which is 4.1km today. Racing proper is expected to begin at 10 minutes past the hour. 

 

Chris Froome wants salbutamol case resolved before Tour de France 'I want this resolved more than anyone else does… https://t.co/KyFcP8nhz4

@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 24th May 2018 09:49:01

Tom Dumoulin signing on this morning. Simon Yates says that he's going to be defensive today, how aggressive will Dumoulin be?

 

Confirmation that all the riders that finished yesterday's stage have started today. We had two non-starters yesterday and one abandon, making it 158 rider remaining in the race. 

 

A few kilometres into the stage and we've got attacks flying already.Nothing has stuck just yet. 

 

Androni have been perhaps the most prolific in making the day's breakaway. There were in many of various incarnations of the break yesterday, though they missed the one that stuck for the longest. We can expect at least one, and maybe more, of them to make it into today's move. 

 

Davide Ballerini leads the intermediate sprint classification for the team while Marco Frapporti has topped the breakaway classification having spent a huge 640km in the break at this year's Giro d'Italia.

 

We have a move in the making. Guess what? We have an Androni rider in the mix. Ballerini is joined by Matteo Catteneo, Christoph Pfingsten, Ruben Plaza, Vyacheslav Kuznetsov, Jos van Emden, Danny van Poppel, Marco Marcato, Giuseppe Fonzi and Alex Turrin.

 

This group only has a very small lead at present so it's not certain that they will be able to make it stick. Perhaps a few more teams interested in getting into the move.

 

16 kilometres into the stage and the margin for the leaders is just 15 seconds. 

 

The group just before the flag dropped for racing. You can see a number of teams up front and ready for the off. 

 

As you can see there, there are some clouds overhead. We saw some heavy rain at the finish yesterday and a quick glance at the forecast says that we'll experience rain at the finish today. 

 

We saw how the wet weather affected the summit finish of Montevergine di Mercogliano on stage 8. The break was expected to stay away but concerns in the peloton meant that they upped the pace and brought them back. Chris Froome also crashed, something he'll be hoping to avoid today. 

 

166km remaining from 196km

EF Education First have been controlling the bunch for much of the opening 30k. They have slowed the pace now, is this the move made?

 

It seems that the answer is yes with the gap going out to 2:30 for the breakaway. 

 

Apologies, I have got my Van Poppels confused. It is Boy rather than Danny in the breakaway. 

 

There are just two climbs in today's stage, the first of which comes after 140k and is just a fourth category ascent. That should mean a relatively fast day out. It also means that there will be fresher legs in the peloton when they hit the climb. If the breakaway wants to make it stick. They're going to have to work hard to build a substantial advantage ahead of it. 

 

The gap has continued to grow out and now stands at 5:40. We have a few additional riders that weren't called over race radio earlier. This is the full make-up of the group: Michael Morkov, Maximilian Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors), Davide Ballerini, Mattia Cattaneo (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Christoph Pfingsten (Bora-Hansgrohe), Ruben Plaza (Israel Cycling Academy), Vyacheslav Kuznetsov (Katusha-Alpecin), Jos van Emden, Boy van Poppel (Trek-Segafredo), Marco Marcato (UAE Emirates), Giuseppe Fonzi and Alex Turrin (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia).

 

The group continues to extend their advantage and it now sits at 7:40. After so many fast stages, the peloton is enjoying some slightly easier racing today. 

 

Former white jersey wearer Max Schachmann is the best placed of the breakaway in the overall classification. The Quick-Step Floors rider is 38:06 back on Simon Yates so no threat whatsoever to the maglia rosa. 

 

145km remaining from 196km

Some 10 minutes now for the breakaway. I think this is possibly the biggest advantage a breakaway has held all race. The average speed over the first hour has been a speedy 48.7kph.

 

Sam Bewley is enjoying his day out there. He's leading the peloton at the moment and gives the peace sign to a fan on the side of the road. Bewley has been a workhorse for the Mithcelton-Scott team during this year's Giro d'Italia. 

 

Bardiani has managed to miss out on today's move. Interestingly enough, I believe there is only one time that a breakaway has contained all four of the Pro Continental teams. The other occasion was stage 6 when a huge move went off the front. Plaza is the only member of that breakaway to have made it into today's move. 

 

Blue jersey wearer Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani) is sat right up near the front of the peloton on the tail of the Mitchelton-Scott train, with a teammate close to him. Race leader Simon Yates is actually leading that competition at the moment, thanks to his stage wins. 

 

The gap between Ciccone and Yates in the mountains competition is 39 points. However, the Italian would have to win the stage in order to overtake Yates and hope that the maglia rosa didn't mop up any points at all, which is an unlikely prospect given the current situation. 

 

1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 91 pts
2 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani CSF 52
3 Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott 47
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 46
5 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 36
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 36
7 Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 35
8 Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 33
9 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 29
10 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 27

 

130km remaining from 196km

Ciccone would has moved off the front now. Mitchelton-Scott and the rest of the peloton has little desire to chase this group down at the moment, they've got enough tough days to come to flog themselves on this flat stretch of road. In what feels like a blink, the gap has ballooned out to 12:26 and it's nudging out little by little. 

 

There is a long way to go but the fact that the peloton has given the breakaway so much room, it gives me a little bit of hope that the breakaway could succeed. What do you think? Let me know on twitter on @SadhbhOS or @Cyclingnewsfeed.

 

Meanwhile, here's a lovely shot of the breakaway. There is some fine scenery in Italy. 

 

@SadhbhOS Breakaway got this. Schachmann vs Plaza, Schachmann wins :)

@Cycling_Crazy Thu, 24th May 2018 11:46:43

I'm inclined to agree with the Schachmann prediction. He's been going very well in this Giro d'Italia. Plaza is also a good shout. Israel Cycling Academy haven't been as active as I'd expected them but a stage win for them in these last few days would be huge. 

 

Including the two climbs, the main points in today's stage come in the second half of the day. The first of the intermediate sprints come just before the opening climb after 123km and the second is just ahead of the final ascent at 169km. 

 

Ballerini will obviously be very interested in those two sprints, which were likely his primary motivation for making it into the break. None of his rivals for that competition are in the break so it will be interesting if any of the others in the break challenge him for it. Ballerini's closest competitor in that competition is his teammate Frapporti, who is a point behind. The two have been trading the lead throughout the race. 

 

109km remaining from 196km

The gap now stands at 13:04. The peloton is not hanging about though and they are well strung out behind the pace setting of Sam Bewley. 

 

A quick aside, you can pre-order our next film on Vimeo. It's called CRESCENDO, and we're going to focus on the final week of the Giro, with more behind the scenes tales from the race. It's out on June 1 but you can pick it up at our special pre-order price now. 

 

And you can still download the hugely popular THE HOLY WEEK too. 

100km remaining from 196km

The stage is approaching the halfway point and for the first time we see the peloton close things down. However, it is still a giant 12:44. The leaders have not long passed through the feedzone, which is likely to be the reason for the change in gap. 

 

Yates has four riders controlling things on the front of the peloton. The Bury-born rider is nestled safely further back in the group. As I write that, two more Mitchelton-Scott riders swing out of the bunch and bring the maglia rosa up to the front. 

 

The movement was in preparation for the feed zone, which the peloton is passing through now. It's easier to pick up a musette when you don't have 50 riders moving about in front of you. Feed zones are dangerous too, so it is wise for Yates to be up front to avoid a possible crash. 

 

Jos van Emden is the only member of the breakaway to have won a stage of the Giro d'Italia before. The Dutchman claimed victory in the final time trial in last year's race, the same stage that saw Tom Dumoulin crowned the overall winner. He was looking to repeat the success in Tuesday's time trial but finished fourth, 27 seconds off the time set by Rohan Dennis. 

 

The riders are in Asti, an important commercial center in the Middle Ages and a Giro d'Italia stage finish on three occasions. #Giro101

@quickstepteam Thu, 24th May 2018 12:31:03

There are other Grand Tour stage winners in this breakaway, however. Ruben Plaza has taken stage victories at the Tour de France (2013) and the Vuelta a Espana (2005 & 2015) in the past. A stage win here would complete the trilogy for the Spaniard. At 38, Plaza is also the oldest rider in the break. 

 

Michael Morkov also has a Grand Tour stage win to his name. He won a stage of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana. If you remember, it was that day that Tony Martin almost completed an epic solo win. What a day that was. 

 

Tom Dumoulin has been looking fairly relaxed during this stage. The real meat and potatoes of today's stage is not for a while so he can take it relatively easier. 

 

80km remaining from 196km

Following the feed zone about 20km ago, the lead for the breakaway has extended past where it had previously been. With 80km to go, the advantage for the leaders is 13:35. Do you think that the breakaway will make it? Let me know on Twitter on @SadhbhOS or @Cyclingnewsfeed

 

It has been brought to my attention that I got the year of Plaza's Tour de France stage win. It was 2015, rather than 2013. Plaza took a solo win in Gap some 30 seconds ahead of Peter Sagan, after making it into the day's break. 

 

Today's stage finishes at Prato Nevoso. It is the third time that the Giro d'Italia will have a stage win at the ski resort. The first time was in 1996 and came on stage 13 with Pavel Tonkov winning the day. He would go on to win the race overall. It returned for the 2000 race, and was stage 18. Stefano Garzelli won that day and he too would win the overall classification. Given how this stage is playing out, it is unlikely that the winner of the stage will be the overall race winner. 

 

The Tour de France has also finished at Prato Nevoso before, in 2008. It was Simon Gerrans that won on that stage after he made it into a breakaway. He beat Egoi Martinez by three seconds in a sprint to the line. 

 

The scenery has been top notch today. It's the sort of backdrop that makes you with you were riding rather than watching. Though, I wouldn't be going anywhere near as fast as the pros. 

 

The leaders have just been through the intermediate sprint with Ballerini taking the points. No surprise there. They are now beginning the first categorised climb of the day. 

 

This year's Giro has been a good one for the Australians and those linked with the nation, with Mitchelton-Scott leading the race and Rohan Dennis taking a stage win and enjoying a stint in the pink jersey. We spoke to Australian former rider Phil Andersen to get his thoughts on the race from a Aussie standpoint. Read his full comments here.

 

Chris Juul-Jensen is currently the rider on the front of the peloton for Mitchelton-Scott. He has Sam Bewley, Svein Tuft and Jack Haig in his wheel. Haig is another rider that has enjoyed a brilliant Giro d'Italia. He has been pretty key in helping Simon Yates during the pointy end of proceedings. 

 

Giuseppe Fonzi attacks and takes the KOM ahead of Ballerini some way behind. 

 

Another shot from today's stage showing the crowds alongside the road. 

 

In case you missed it earlier, we have the latest on the goings on around this year's transfers, including the increasing interest in Giro d'Italia leader Simon Yates. Get the lowdown here.

 

41km remaining from 196km

The leaders are quickly approaching the second intermediate sprint and the final climb to Prato Nevoso. The gap is stable at around 13:40. At this point, I'd bet a lot of money that the breakaway will succeed. (Monopoly money of course, I'm not mad!). 

 

Simon Yates has moved back up towards the front with his team, while Team Sky now sits just behind the wheels of Mitchelton-Scott. The final climb is not too far away and he wants to be in prime position when they reach it. 

 

Vasil Kiryienka is looking calm and collected in the peloton as he munches down a banana. Does he ever look anything other than calm? I don't think there's much that could fluster him. 

 

News from the finish line is that the predicted rain has not materialised at the moment. The riders still have more than 30km to go so it could change before the riders reach the line. 

 

This is the climb that the riders will face up to the finish line. There are plenty of twists and turns but it is a fairly steady effort with few big changes in gradient. 

 

26km remaining from 196km

We're into the final 30 kilometres now and the gap has grown to 14:57. It's a case of who from the breakaway will win rather than if the breakaway will win. 

 

Ballerini hoovers up the points at the second intermediate sprint to add to his lead in that competition. 

 

No signs of any discord between the breakaway riders just yet. They're working well together and swapping through turns. It would be risky to try and do something just yet.

 

A bike change for Elia Viviani. Not sure what the problem is. Doesn't appear to be a puncture. 

 

The gap to the escapees is still growing out as we approach the final climb. They're making sure that nobody can possibly catch the escapees on an attack. it is 15:22 now. 

 

19km remaining from 196km

Meanwhile, it looks like Boy van Poppel has attacked the group. He came right from the back of the group. 

 

Van Poppel is not a known climber so he's clearly hoping he can build a big enough of an advantage before he hits the climb. It is a long way out and he's going to struggle to hold off the others behind. 

 

16km remaining from 196km

Van Poppel, Boy that is, has 16 seconds on the other breakaway riders. 

 

There doesn't seem to be any panic in the breakaway as Van Poppel riders up the road. They're still riding at the same tempo and Van Poppel isn't gaining much of an advantage. Well, at least he gets the sponsors on the television. 

 

A few riders almost come a cropper at a piece of road furniture on a corner. There was no warning for the riders as they rounded the corner. 

 

13km remaining from 196km

Schachmann is pushing on the front of the chase group. Van Poppel just has 25 seconds on the second group at the moment. They have begun the climb. 

 

Meanwhile, the gap to the peloton is now 16 minutes. Mitchelton-Scott making the pace and keeping it comparatively gentle compared to previous stages. 

 

Van Poppel has been caught and he goes straight out the back. He rolled the dice, but it didn't work out. 

 

The leaders are on a 4.8 per cent slope at the moment. It's a pretty steady grind to the top. The peloton have just passed the 20km to go sign while the break is almost at 10 to go. 

 

All the GC teams moving to the front making sure that their riders are safe when they begin the climb. Poor positioning can burn energy that you will need later in the climb. 

 

Ballerini and Cattaneo are on the front of the break, but Marcato takes a punt up the right side of the road and splits the group. Turrin, Van Emden and Plaza are put into trouble. Ballerini is dropped entirely. 

 

9km remaining from 196km

The pace abates and the Plaza group is allowed to regain contact. Plaza didn't look great there when Marcato upped the pace. Is he suffering?

 

Now Kuznetsov drives things on. Turrin is distanced and Plaza looks in trouble once again. They have to work hard to get back.

 

Maybe Plaza was bluffing. The Spaniard attacks and blows things apart. 

 

Pfingsten is the first to respond before Schachman and Cattaneo join him. Marcato and Morkov behind chasing. It looks like Turrin and Van Emden are done. 

 

Kuznetsov was also dropped but he's making his way back again.

 

Further back down the road, the peloton is just about to start the climb. 

 

Jack Haig is off the back of the peloton and struggling. 

 

Back up front, Plaza attacks again and whittles the leading group down to four. He has Schachmann, Pfingsten and Cattaneo with him. 

 

Fabio Aru has also been dropped from the peloton. He doesn't look too fussed by that. 

 

An attack from Cattaneo in the breakaway and Plaza is shelled. He's grinding away though and closing the gap. He doesn't appear to be able to deal with the rapid changes of pace. 

 

6km remaining from 196km

And like a yo-yo, Plaza gets back. But the other riders aren't happy with that and Schachmann attacks.

 

And then there were two. Pfingsten has been dropped. 

 

Back in the peloton, Jose Goncalves has launched an attack. Interesting move. 

 

Pfingsten is pulling himself back to the two leaders. Not too far behind, you can see the bobbing figure of Ruben Plaza. He's not about to give up yet. 

 

Goncalves is about to be brought back to the peloton. Curious that he made that attack where he did. The chance of him staying away from that distance was minimal. 

 

4km remaining from 196km

Pfingsten is lingering just behind the leading pair. He was closing the gap before but they remain so close and yet so far. Plaza looks like he's about to catch the German. 

 

Pfingsten puts in a big dig and he gets back. We have three at the front now. Will it be four? It looks like it will be as Plaza approaches the leaders. 

 

The other riders seem very wary of the veteran rider. Every time he gets within touching distance of the leaders, they put in a little dig and he loses ground again. Schachmann pushes on again and Pfingsten is out the back door again. 

 

Back down the mountain, Mitchelton-Scott are upping the pace in the peloton. The numbers in that group are dwindling, but all of the main GC riders are still up there. Movistar now move up en mass. 

 

2km remaining from 196km

We zoom back up front again and it looks like Plaza's relentlessness is paying dividends. He's back up with the two leaders. You have to admire his tenacity. 

 

Movistar are really driving things on in the peloton. They're working for Carapaz and hoping to put Lopez under pressure in the white jersey. 

 

Poor Plaza. Once again, Schachmann has attacked again and Plaza is dropped. One rider that Schachmann doesn't seem to be able to drop is Cattaneo. The Italian is almost glued to Schachmann's wheel. 

 

2km remaining from 196km

The leaders are into the final two kilometres as Cattaneo has a dig and is brought back by Schachmann. Will one of them be able to drop the other?

 

Bilbao attacks the peloton.

 

Bilbao is a threat in the GC and it has sparked a lot of movement behind. Poels and O'Connor have followed him up the road. 

 

Up the road, Cattaneo attacks again but Schachmann is his match and he refuses to be dropped. 

 

This is a battle of attrition between these two young riders. Whatever happens, we'll have a rider winning a Grand Tour stage for the first time. 

 

Cattaneo attacks again just before the flamme but he can't drop Schachmann. 

 

The pass under the flamme rouge and Catteneo looks over his shoulder to see... Ruben Plaza. He's back again. 

 

Schachmann tries another dig but he can't get away. Who can win this?

 

They're into the final stretch

 

Schachmann goes, he gets a gap

 

Schachmann wins with Plaza in second place

 

Cattaneo takes third place. 

 

Poels is on hi sown up the road but Carapaz attacks from behind. 

 

Lopez follows Carapaz, pauses briefly and then drops the Ecuadorian. 

 

Lopez has joined Poels. Carapaz is still chasing behind. 

 

FDJ is setting the pace in the peloton. Lopez is a threat to Thibaut Pinot in the general classification. 

 

Lopez charges on. He's looking strong and he drops Poels. Carapaz still in no man's land. 

 

Another attacker from the peloton. George Bennett attacks. 

 

Bennett suffered a mechanical problem in the time trial and lost a lot of time. He's 10th at the moment and looking for time. 

 

There are riders all over the place. Yates is staying with Tom Dumoulin, Domenico Pozzovivo and Chris Froome. They're not overly concerned with the attack from Lopez. 

 

Dumoulin attacks

 

Yates is quick to get into his wheel and Pozzovivo is there too. Froome has been dropped. The other attackers have been caught and dropped. 

 

Froome has made it up and he attacks. Pozzovivo is chasing. Yates has been dropped now. 

 

Yates is staying calm at the back of a group. Oddly, they're not making him work. He has lost quite a bit of ground though. 

 

Froome, Dumoulin and Pozzovivo have joined up with Poels, who is churning a high pace. 

 

Yates is in trouble

 

Yates has been dropped by the chasing group. Wow.

 

Pozzovivo drives to the line. He leads Dumoulin and Froome across. We wait for Yates. 

 

Yates has found Nieve to help him. 

 

Yates has crossed the line and he's lost around 27 seconds.

 

This race is far from over!

 

This sort of climb was always going to suit Dumoulin more than Yates but few would have expected Yates to struggle quite in that manner. 

 

That's put Dumoulin around 30 seconds behind Yates in the overall classification with two more mountain stages to come. It ain't over till it's over. 

 

Yates will hope that's as bad as it gets for him in the mountains. His rivals have sensed a weakness though and they will try to exploit it. 

 

It seems like a million years ago already but Max Schachmann won the stage. This is how the top 10 looks. 

 

1 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 04:55:42
2 Ruben Plaza (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy 00:00:10
3 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:16
4 Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:01:10
5 Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 00:01:26
6 Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step Floors 00:01:36
7 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 00:01:52
8 Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 00:03:22
9 Alex Turrin (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia 00:03:29
10 Davide Ballerini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 00:05:09

 

A massive scrum around Dumoulin. A lot of people interested in what he has to say. 

 

Another key photo from today's stage, Max Schachmann crossing the line to take the biggest victory of his career. 

This is what Schachmann had to say for himself on crossing the line. 

 

"I feel amazing. It’s great to win a stage in my first Grand Tour. Everybody agrees that it is a really hard Giro, which makes it even nicer to be on top here.


"Of course, I’m going to help him as much as possible. It’s always nice when somebody wins from our team, it doesn’t matter who. We have a great team and a great team spirit. I just want to mention, a big part of this victory goes to Michael Morkov. The breakaway was already there, he bridged over and took me in his wheel. It’s not the first time that he’s helped me in this race. We’ve shared a room and he’s shared his experience with me. He’s a brilliant rider, he’s our brain and he always plays a big part in our victory."

 

Here is an updated version of the top 10. The other one did not have Schachmann on...

 

1 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors 04:55:42
2 Ruben Plaza (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy 00:00:10
3 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 00:00:16
4 Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:01:10
5 Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 00:01:26
6 Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step Floors 00:01:36
7 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 00:01:52
8 Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 00:03:22
9 Alex Turrin (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia 00:03:29
10 Davide Ballerini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 00:05:09

 

More importantly, this is the updated general classification. 

 

1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 75:06:24
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 00:00:28
3 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 00:02:43
4 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 00:03:22
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 00:04:24
6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 00:04:54
7 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 00:05:09
8 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 00:05:54
9 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 00:05:59
10 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:07:05

 

Yates is not normally the most effusive in interviews but he was particularly clipped in his pre-podium flash interview. 

 

""I didn't have great legs I did the best I could and that's that. I'm still in front so it's all good," was his simple assessment of the day.

 

If Yates can recover over night, the next two days will favour him. Tomorrow will be a brutal day and many have dubbed it the queen stage. It includes the Colle delle Finestre before the finish at Bardonecchia. That plays more to his strengths than that of Dumoulin. 

 

Looking at the GC, Miguel Angel Lopez was a big winner as he climbs up to sixth place and gives himself more than a minute over Carapaz in the white jersey competition. Pello Bilbao also enjoed a solid day and remains in the top 10. 

 

George Bennett put in an attack, but he ended up giving away about 10 seconds to his nearest rivals and has dropped out of the top 10. Rohan Dennis crossed the line with Bennett and slipped down a couple of places. Meanwhile, Fabio Aru has obviously set his sights on a stage win attempt over the next couple of days. He slid off the back of the group at the bottom of the climb and finished 15 minutes behind the main contenders. 

 

Tom Dumoulin stopped for a few words before he rode off to the warmth of the team bus. He has taken a lot of confidence from today but admits that overhauling Yates will still be tough.

 

"I was waiting for the moment and at two kilometres to go I wanted to see what was possible," he said. "[Yates] stayed with my first attack, then Froome attacked and I tried to follow Pozzovivo and Froome and found out he was dropped. Of course it's a good day but the coming two days are going to be different and much harder than today."

 

Simon Yates will be relieved to still have hold of the maglia rosa after today's stage. 

 

You can find our complete post-race quotes story, right here.

A reminder of how things stand after today. Yates has seen his lead cut in two but he holds the pink jersey with three stages remaining:

 

1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 75:06:24
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:28
3 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:02:43
4 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:03:22
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:04:24
6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:04:54
7 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:05:09
8 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:05:54
9 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 0:05:59
10 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:07:05

 

Side note, you can pre-order our next film on Vimeo. It's called CRESCENDO, and we're going to focus on the final week of the Giro, with more behind the scenes tales from the race. It's out on June 1 but you can pick it up at our special pre-order price now. 

 

And you can still download the hugely popular THE HOLY WEEK too. 

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