Even after the first of the three mountain stages, which was won by the Italian Filippo Zana, the leading Briton Geraint Thomas and the newly second-placed Primož Roglič are separated by 29 seconds before the grand finale of this year’s Giro.
Roglič could not shake off Thomas. That’s why the Slovenian overtook Joao Almeida, who had a worse day this time, in second place overall. In the overall total, Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) is 29 seconds ahead of Roglic. Almeida is 39 seconds behind Thomas.
The 18th stage was won by the Italian champion Zana, who crushed the Frenchman Thibaut Pinot in the finish sprint.
The 18th stage from Oderz to Val di Zolda was 161 kilometers long and contained five categorized climbs. The most tiring was right at the end, when the cyclists first climbed the Forcello Cibano (9.6 km; average gradient 7.8%) and after the descent to the two-headed final climb – the Coi pass (5.8 km; 9.7 %) – this one was particularly demanding – and then to the finish at Val di Zolda (2.7 km/6.4%).
Today is followed by two more challenging mountain tests. The nineteenth, royal stage from Longarone to Tre Cime di Lavaredo (183 km) brings 5,400 meters of altitude and is the highest point of this year’s Giro, while the penultimate stage or the time trial on Saturday is the climb to Svete Visarje (7.3 km/12.1%) right next to the Italian – the Slovenian border.