Skip to main content

Live coverage

Giro d'Italia 2018: Stage 21


Alright. Welcome to our live coverage from the final stage of the 2018 Giro d'Italia. We're in Rome for the final stage, and the likely sprint final to this year's first Grand Tour. Ahead of the peloton, 118km around Rome, before the likely showdown between Elia Viviani and Samuel Bennett.

The stage starts in just under 20 minutes from now and we'll be here throughout the action as we bring down the curtain on what has been a very memorable edition of the race. It seems like an age since we started in Israel doesn't it. 


Ahead of the bunch today, 10 circuits through the city. It's pan-flat and should be a relatively easy pace for the opening laps. We're likely to see a break, step forward Androni, before the pace increases and the teams like Bora and Quick-Step take over ahead of the very likely bunch sprint. At the moment it's 4-2 in Viviani's favour. Can the Irishman claw one back or will Viviani continue his dominance?


The riders are on the start line now, we're about to start the final stage of the 2018 Giro d'Italia. The maglia rosa is present - clear conscience included - while the other jersey holders are also present. Clear conscience... when did you acquire the taste for such luxuries?


And we're racing, the final stage of the 2018 Giro d'Italia. 

The pace through the neutral zone is pedestrian to say the least as we take in the sights that Rome has to offer. 


And the flag drops and we're racing. 10 laps to go. At the back of the bunch yesterday's stage winner Mikel Nieve talks to a former teammate in a rather relaxed mode. As you can imagine, and after such a long race, the bunch are happy to just tap out a gentle pace. 


At the back of the bunch riders are celebrating with their teammates. It's a chance for the photographers to take their shots before the real racing starts. No confirmation yet as to whether Sir David Brailsford has dyed any part of himself pink, or if any pink dye was flown out to the Giro for him. Colouring can be particularly hard to come across in other countries, so I hear. 


108km remaining from 115km

108km to go as the bunch spread out over the road. Apparently we could have some rain later on, but for now it's just overcast. 

There is a slight climb out on the course, and the bunch are on there now, with a number of riders stopping for a comfort break. 


Pinot, confirmed has not started today. He's in hospital after yesterday's efforts - a sign of just how tough Grand Tours can be. And heartbreaking for Pinot, who was on the verge of taking a podium in this race. 

QuickStep are on the front and they're talking to a number of riders from rival teams. They seem to be discussing when the racing should really start. 103km to go.



There have been some really interesting and compelling performances in this year's race, not least from Richard Carapaz, who will finish fourth in Rome. This is just his second Grand Tour, and he heads home with a stage win and his reputation much enhanced. He's also still on the transfer market but it's unlikely that Movistar will let him go at this stage, as he looks a real talent. He finishes just off the podium, and one place down on his main rival for the white jersey Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana).


Out on the road Dumoulin, and a few other high profile riders are talking to the race officials. They don's seem to be happy (the riders) but I'm not sure why. There are a few cobbled sections and there's something going on... Samuel Sanchez comes to the front and has a listen before making his point. Not sure what he's said but it's probably worth listening to. Dumoulin is near the front and he really isn't happy about something. 


Another who has impressed, rather more quietly than Carapaz is Konrad. He made the top 20 last year but is now seventh, just one spot down on Bilbao, who has also put in an excellent race. 


The riders are not happy about the course it seems. Viviani is back with his team car and talking to Bramati. Are the cobbles that tough? Maybe they'll neutralize the GC with a few laps to go?


No attacks, and no racing as the bunch continue their discussions. 


Viviani continues his tour through the cars. He's with the race officials now and trying to make his point of view. Now he's back on the radio and the discussions continue. 95km to go.


At the front Dumoulin and Dennis share a joke. They've vied for the maglia rosa (at the start) and the TT.....


Viviani is informing senior riders that the stage is going to be neutralized for at least a number of laps. We'll bring you more as we get it.


Rider safety is the important aspect, at all times, but neutralizing mid-stage, and in this manor is a very tricky call. In these instances though you always need to listen to the rider and their wishes. IMO.


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. 

Okay so it seems the riders want to neutralize the GC, and then with two laps to go the sprinters will race. No confirmation yet as to whether that has bee accepted by the race officials. 


Sanchez is still at the front and seems to be asking 'what's going on?' We don't know either, Samuel, as we see rider rep Adam Hansen drift to the back and start talking to the bigwigs in the bunch. 


Mads Pedersen stops and lets some air out of his tyres. It seems that the riders were caught by surprise by this course, the cobbles, and the general state of the roads.


Apologies for earlier. Luis Leon Sanchez... not Samuel.. It's been a long three weeks but genuinely that was a mistake. 


Team Sky have posted a man on the front and he's just keeping the pace in check. It seems that the GC will now be neutralized within the next lap, and then sprints can take over and decide the stage. 


81km remaining from 115km

Just over 80km to go in the stage as Team Sky move more of their number to the front. We're hearing that the race will start (for the stage, not GC) will start at start of the next lap. 


There have certainly be an increase in pace as we see a number of Trek riders sprint towards the front. Katusha are getting organised too, while Team Sky continue to set the pace.


So the GC is stopped. There will be no more changes in time or standings. The race is officially over, with just the small matter of the stage still to be decided. 79km to go.


Luis Leon Sanchez is one of the first riders to attack. He's clear with a Katusha rider but the rest of the bunch are not letting them go.

Lutsenko and Schmidt are now clear from the bunch with the gap at just a few seconds, as we see more and more riders try and jump clear. 76km to go. 


The front group has now swelled dramatically. Juul Jensen is there too. We'll have the full list of riders shortly. 


Quick-Step have come to the front and start to set the pace for the bunch. They're at 49 seconds behind the break.


68km remaining from 115km

We've 68km or 6 laps to go.

Marcato is here in the break that also includes King, Boara, Ballerini and Denz. There are 18 riders in total. Dowsett has crashed!


The Katusha rider appears to have taken a tumble but he's back on his feet. 


EF have a man on the front too now, as they look to try and set up Modolo for the possible sprint finish. 35 seconds to the break with 63km to go.


Although Modolo has had a problem and he's coming back through the team cars, with a little assistance from his DS. 


From the break, Neilands has gone clear. 57km to go and the gap to the break is at just 27 seconds. The 23-year-old is another rider out of contract and he's certainly had a strong start to the season.


The break has reformed and Juul Jensen goes again with the bunch about to make the catch. 18 was too many in the break, and there were too many passengers. 


With the early neutralization we now have groups all over the road, as only the sprinters and the leadouts are keen to contest the sprint. The GC riders have effectively sat up and will just coast home.

A second attack from Juul Jensen, who looks to split the break and just take the willing riders with him. However, Lutsensko hunts him down, and the gap to Viviani and Bennett is down to just 31 seconds.


The Jensen group have just 14 seconds with 45km to go, or four laps if you prefer. 


Just Kuznetsov and Jensen remain from the break, with the Viviani/Bennett bunch at 38 seconds. The maglia rosa group are at 4'30 but the neutralization of GC took place after just three laps of racing.


If you want to look back at stage 20 you can find our report, results, photos, and video highlights, right here.


While over in Norway, Mitchelton Scott have sealed the first Hammer Series of 2018. Once again, you can find the results, report, and photos right here. We'll have video highlights a little later on.


News just in on Pinot: Thibaut Pinot left Aosta hospital where signs of Pneumopathy were diagnosed, which explains his high fever in the course of yesterday’s stage whereas he did not have any in the morning. The treatment was started in the hospital and The rider will now observe a phase of total rest.


Just nine seconds left for the two leaders as Quick-Step continue to lead the chase. 25km to go.


The Quick-Step train can see the leaders up ahead, with the gap at five seconds. Just over two laps to go as the shadows grow across the road and the sun continues to go down on this stage, and another Giro d'Italia.


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. 

20km remaining from 115km

The two leaders have found another couple of seconds, with the lead back up to 10 seconds. Quick-Step though are in complete control, however but Bennett and his Bora team are getting a free ride at the moment. 


The lead is back down to just five seconds and the catch is about to be made with 15km to go.


Chaves, on his own, comes over the line for the second last time. He's off the back and just coasting to the finish line. It's been a very long three week for the climber, who has really suffered in the last two weeks. 


12km remaining from 115km

12km and Quick-Step catch the leading pair. One lap to go for the sprinters teams, with the GC riders at 8'42.


Viviani makes a quick adjustment to this shoes as he nettles behind his leadout train. The bell rings out, as Bora and Trek try and get involved in the finale.


Problem for Viviani? I think he might have dropped his chain on the cobbles. Stybar has to help out, and the Italian comes back but three riders have gone clear, with Mullen one of them. 10.5km to go.


Mullen is joined by a gaggle of riders but the gap is just a few seconds. 


Problems for QuickStep. They have a rider up the road in the Mullen break but the chase has been totally disrupted by that Viviani mechanical. Bora are now forced to chase. 

With Tony Martin in the leading group with Mullen, and two other riders, there's a real chance that the sprinters could miss out. The rider from Quick-Step is just sitting up, as we see an Androni rider try and get across. The gap is at 11 seconds with 7km to go.


The gap is closing now but this is not what the sprinters will have wanted so close to the finish. Just 6km to go.


So five riders have seven seconds but there's still 5.3km to go as Bora put the pressure on once more. They should have this but with Martin and Mullen up the road, this is certainly a risk.


4.3km to go and the gap is down to just 4 seconds. Bora have this but Mullen kicks once more. He looks back though and can see that the bunch are indeed about to make contact. 


3.5km to go and the catch as been made as Bora continue to set the pace.


Quick-Step are leaving this late if they want to get involved. 2km to go and Viviani and his team are well back in this group. 


Modolo is well-placed behind Bennett but here come Quick-Step. Just like that, they're in control with 1km to go. Stybar leads. Vivivani is fourth wheel.


Here come Bora... 


And Bahrain Merida...


Bennett takes it! Huge, huge win.


Quick-Step went from too far out in the end and Viviani had to hit the front with around 175m to go. Bennett was on his wheel and Viviani ran out of gas with around 50m to go. Bennett just powered clear. Impressive ride from the Irishman. 


That was maybe Bennett's best win of the three in this year's Giro, and in Rome too. What a way to close out his Giro d'Itallia. 


1 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe 2:50:49
2 Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
3 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
4 Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
5 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
6 Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
7 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
8 Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF
10 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step Floors


You can find our brief report, images, and results, right here. We'll have more here later.


Bennett was so patient in that sprint. You could almost see him stand up on the pedals and say 'lets go' when with around 120m to go he opened his sprint and came around Viviani's right. 


Further down the road, and the GC group are still making their way through the final lap. 


Coming into this race Bennett was still looking for his first ever Grand Tour stage win. He'll leave Rome with his reputation and confidence greatly enhanced after taking his third win the race. It's still one short of Viviani who has taken four, and the points jersey, but both sprinters deserve much credit for their respective races. 


With the GC neutralized after 3 laps of racing, this is how the overall standings will finish, as they started this morning in fact:


1 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:46
3 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:04:57
4 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 0:05:44
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:08:03
6 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:11:50
7 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:13:01
8 George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:13:17
9 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:14:18
10 Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:15:16


And the GC riders come over the line, to conclude this Giro d'Italia. There are still a few riders out on the road but that effectively ends this year's race.


And you can find our finish quotes, right here.

That's about all we've got time for today, and for this year's Giro d'Italia. We hope that you've enjoyed our coverage throughout and thanks to every reader out there for following us, and supporting Cyclingnews. From everyone on the team, thanks. 


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

Join now for unlimited access

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

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

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

Join now for unlimited access

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

Latest on Cyclingnews