Damiano Cima (Nippo Vini Fantini) won stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia, surviving from a stage long breakaway to steal the win from the sprinters. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) was 2nd and Simone Consonni (UAE-Emirates) was 3rd.
Stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia was a long 222km haul, mostly downhill, from Valdaora to Santa Maria di Sala. The stage provided one last opportunity for the sprinters teams, and with Ryan Gibbons ready to take his chance, Team Dimension Data were fully committed to today’s stage.
After working hard to control the early dangerous breakaway attempts together with Bora-Hansgrohe and Israel Cycling Academy, we eventually let 3 riders clear and then continued to control their gap throughout the day.
With 50km to go, the race organisation provided a time gap of 3’00”, but the reality was the break had 4’20” over the peloton at this point. Once it was realised the peloton was misinformed, a frantic chase followed, with our team, together with Bora-Hansgrohe, Israel Cycling Academy and even Deceuninck-Quickstep also adding riders to the chase.
However, the 3 riders up the road benefited massively from the organisations timing error, as Cima managed to arrive first at the finish line without a second to spare.
Despite the peloton not being able to truly challenge for the stage win in the end, our South African sprinter delivered on the hard work of his teammates to take a good 5th place on the stage.