Giro d'Italia: Cima wins stage 18

Damiano Cima took a breathtaking win for Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane on stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia and provided one of the most dramatic moments of this year's race after narrowly holding off the chasing bunch including a hugely frustrated Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates), who led the sprint home behind.

Cima and his breakaway companions, Nico Denz (AG2R la Mondiale) and Mirco Maestri (Bardiani CSF) came into the finishing straight with a slender lead over a rampaging peloton and when Denz and then Maestri were swallowed up it looked as though the sprinters would deny the break a famous win.

"I can't believe what just happened. I've spent so many kilometres in breakaways during this Giro. I thought I'd never make it, but I've won today. It's insane. It's the dream of a lifetime," Cima said in a flash interview following the stage.

Ackermann hit the front and looped around Denz and Maestri but Cima miraculously held on to take the biggest win of his career and his team's first-ever Giro '’Italia stage win. The sight of Ackermann smashing his bars while Cima celebrated said it all and had the line been 10 metres further the outcome would have been different. However, the bunch at times were reluctant to chase and Cima was a deserving winner on a day that only sparked to life in the last hour of racing.

There were no changes in the overall standings with the Richard Carapaz (Movistar) retaining his lead over Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma) ahead of the race's final set of mountain stages and Sunday’s finale in Verona.

How it unfolded

After several days of break and mountains stage 18 was a rare chance for the sprinters still in the race. It took over an hour for the break to final form and the likes of Ackermann would have been content with three riders to control. However, after almost three weeks of brutal racing nothing is ever straightforward. Arnaud Démare – the leader of the points classification - was unwilling to commit to the chase as he feared a straight shoot out between himself and the German. A break suited the Frenchman which left Ackermann relying on Israel Cycling Academy and the Dimension Data to provide support.

The bunch should have still had enough firepower to keep the three leaders in check but when the six minute advantage had dropped by only two minutes with 35km to go alarm bells began to go off in the peloton. Démare was still not moved into collaborating with the chase while token gestures from QuickStep and Lotto Soudal did little to help.

With 16km to go the stage remained in the balance with the break working well and the gap still at a respectable 2:07. A tailwind and a willingness to work ensured that the advantage was still over a minute with 10km. The bunch still had numbers, while the break were obviously tiring and when Denz accelerated from the break with just over 3km to go it looked as though the harmony within the leaders was completely shot.

However, the peloton were intent on fluffing their lines one last time. Rather than finish their race with a flourish and prove that the past were days in the mountains weren’t a waste of time or energy they eased off when the break was within touching distance.

That hesitation was all the leaders needed and even though they began to weave from one side of the road in a bid to make Denz lead out, they still had the line in their sights. FDJ finally hit the front in the final moments and when Denz and Maestri were drowned in the sprinters' waves it looked as though Ackermann would safely surf to his third win of this year’s race. However, Cima last kick for the line was all he needed.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Damiano Cima (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane4:56:04
2Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
3Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
4Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
5Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
6Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
7Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
8Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
9Sean Bennett (USA) EF Education First
10Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSF
11Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale
12Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF
13Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo
14Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane
15Josef Cerny (Cze) CCC Team
16Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-Alpecin
17Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
18Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
19Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
20Francisco Ventoso (Spa) CCC Team
21José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
22Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ
23Jan Bakelants (Bel) Team Sunweb
24Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
25Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
26Jack Bauer (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott
27Jos van Emden (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
28Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
29Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
30Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Pro Team
31Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
32Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team
33Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
34Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team
35Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma
36Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Ineos
37Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Ineos
38Conor Dunne (Irl) Israel Cycling Academy
39Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
40Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
41Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
42Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team
43Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
44Edward Dunbar (Irl) Team Ineos
45Victor De La Parte (Spa) CCC Team
46Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team
47Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
48Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
49Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott
50Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Education First
51Joe Dombrowski (USA) EF Education First
52Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
53Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
54Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
55Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane
56Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team
57Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:00:09
58Larry Warbasse (USA) AG2R La Mondiale
59François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
60Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
61Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott
62Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin
63Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
64Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy
65Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF
66Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
67Dmitrii Strakhov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
68Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
69Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
70Hugh John Carthy (GBr) EF Education First
71Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
72Amaro Antunes (Por) CCC Team
73Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal
74Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
75Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
76Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-Scott
77Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck-QuickStep
78Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
79Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:00:15
80Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb0:00:17
81Sebastian Henao (Col) Team Ineos
82Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
83Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ
84Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale
85Danilo Wyss (Swi) Dimension Data
86Eros Capecchi (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
87Miguel Eduardo Florez Lopez (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
88Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Katusha-Alpecin
89Davide Villella (Ita) Astana Pro Team
90Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team
91Christian Knees (Ger) Team Ineos
92Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
93Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:00:23
94Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Team0:00:48
95Luis Mas Bonet (Spa) Movistar Team
96Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
97Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
98Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
99Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
100Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
101Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
102Paul Martens (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma
103Ivan Sosa (Col) Team Ineos
104Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma
105Tom Bohli (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
106Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb
107Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott
108Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
109Nathan Brown (USA) EF Education First
110Manuel Senni (Ita) Bardiani CSF
111Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team
112Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ0:01:00
113Kamil Gradek (Pol) CCC Team
114Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:01:02
115Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
116Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:01:15
117Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy0:01:18
118Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:01:42
119Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep0:01:48
120Luca Covili (Ita) Bardiani CSF
121Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:03:36
122Jonnathan Narvaez (Ecu) Team Ineos
123Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb0:03:52
124Ruben Plaza (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy
125Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team
126Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team0:04:17
127Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro Team0:04:32
128Jay Mc Carthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe0:04:48
129Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
130Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane0:05:28
131Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eri) Dimension Data0:06:11
132Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data
133Andrea Garosio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
134Sho Hatsuyama (Jpn) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane
135Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team
136Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Education First
137Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Dimension Data
138Will Clarke (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
139Scott Davies (GBr) Dimension Data0:08:20
140Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy
141Guy Niv (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy
142Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
143Awet Andemeskel (Eri) Israel Cycling Academy0:14:09
DNSValerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Damiano Cima (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane58pts
2Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe39
3Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates25
4Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep18
5Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSF18
6Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data14
7Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ13
8Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec12
9Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale11
10Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy10
11Sean Bennett (USA) EF Education First7
12Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF4
13Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo3
14Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ3
15Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane2
16Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama-FDJ2
17Josef Cerny (Cze) CCC Team1
18Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe1
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Mountain 1 (Cat. 4) Pieve di Alpago, km. 118.1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Damiano Cima (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane3pts
2Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale2
3Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSF1
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Sprint 1 - Conegliano, km. 159.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSF10pts
2Damiano Cima (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane6
3Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale3
4Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ2
5Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe1
6Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ
7Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
8Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
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Sprint 2 - Scorze, km. 205.1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Damiano Cima (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane10pts
2Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale6
3Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSF3
4Jay Mc Carthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe2
5Conor Dunne (Irl) Israel Cycling Academy1
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Damiano Cima (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane16pts
2Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSF8
3Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale7
4Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe6
5Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates4
6Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep3
7Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data2
8Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ2
9Jay Mc Carthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe2
10Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec1
11Conor Dunne (Irl) Israel Cycling Academy1
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Breakaway stage
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Damiano Cima (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane172pts
2Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSF172
3Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale172
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
2UAE Team Emirates
3Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane
5CCC Team
7Astana Pro Team
8Movistar Team
10EF Education First
11Team Ineos
12Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:00:09
13Bardiani CSF
14Israel Cycling Academy
16AG2R La Mondiale
19Team Jumbo-Visma
20Lotto Soudal0:00:57
21Team Sunweb0:01:05
22Dimension Data0:06:28
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General classification after stage 18
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team79:44:22
2Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:01:54
3Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma0:02:16
4Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team0:03:03
5Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo0:05:07
6Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:06:17
7Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:06:48
8Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott0:07:13
9Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Ineos0:08:21
10Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe0:08:59
11Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:09:20
12Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:10:32
13Hugh John Carthy (GBr) EF Education First0:14:51
14Joe Dombrowski (USA) EF Education First0:15:44
15Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:19:45
16Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:23:43
17Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:25:26
18Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott0:26:05
19Victor De La Parte (Spa) CCC Team0:26:12
20Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Education First0:28:42
21Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:32:42
22Edward Dunbar (Irl) Team Ineos0:37:20
23Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:44:03
24Sebastian Henao (Col) Team Ineos0:46:45
25Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:47:43
26Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:49:28
27Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck-QuickStep0:50:23
28Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro Team0:50:45
29Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:58:05
30Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team1:01:15
31Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott1:02:59
32Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data1:03:03
33Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team1:06:13
34Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep1:06:17
35François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale1:08:44
36Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb1:09:23
37Eros Capecchi (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep1:09:37
38Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team1:11:58
39Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott1:13:58
40Ivan Sosa (Col) Team Ineos1:14:07
41Jan Bakelants (Bel) Team Sunweb1:14:45
42Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates1:19:14
43Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma1:19:48
44Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec1:19:55
45Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb1:20:56
46José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team1:29:26
47Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale1:30:48
48Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo1:32:22
49Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec1:36:03
50Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eri) Dimension Data1:36:43
51Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec1:37:36
52Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team1:37:38
53Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team1:39:29
54Davide Villella (Ita) Astana Pro Team1:39:34
55Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale1:40:34
56Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal1:42:24
57Amaro Antunes (Por) CCC Team1:44:11
58Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma1:44:29
59Larry Warbasse (USA) AG2R La Mondiale1:44:44
60Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF1:51:46
61Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal1:53:52
62Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma1:55:02
63Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Dimension Data1:56:42
64Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal1:59:28
65Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-Scott2:03:34
66Manuel Senni (Ita) Bardiani CSF2:06:25
67Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Team2:09:20
68Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy2:14:44
69Jay Mc Carthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe2:17:47
70Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Katusha-Alpecin2:18:24
71Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec2:18:29
72Ruben Plaza (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy2:19:22
73Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe2:20:49
74Nathan Brown (USA) EF Education First2:21:08
75Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ2:23:46
76Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo2:25:39
77Danilo Wyss (Swi) Dimension Data2:27:06
78Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida2:29:19
79Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott2:29:38
80Miguel Eduardo Florez Lopez (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec2:29:48
81Paul Martens (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma2:30:29
82Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale2:32:00
83Luca Covili (Ita) Bardiani CSF2:32:43
84Francisco Ventoso (Spa) CCC Team2:37:55
85Jonnathan Narvaez (Ecu) Team Ineos2:38:59
86Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Ineos2:40:17
87Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF2:41:41
88Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe2:43:34
89Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data2:45:42
90Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep2:53:23
91Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team2:53:38
92Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin2:59:12
93Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Pro Team3:01:24
94Andrea Garosio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida3:02:45
95Christian Knees (Ger) Team Ineos3:03:30
96Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo3:04:01
97Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida3:04:57
98Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy3:11:39
99Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSF3:14:41
100Jack Bauer (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott3:16:52
101Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep3:17:32
102Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb3:17:34
103Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep3:17:58
104Sean Bennett (USA) EF Education First3:18:48
105Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec3:21:43
106Jos van Emden (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma3:24:03