Italy’s Damiano Cima (Nippo – Vini Fantini – Faizanè) made the ‘impossible’ happen as he avoided the return of the bunch to cross the finishing line in Santa Maria di Sala ahead of Pascal Ackermann (Bora – Hansgrohe), the fastest sprinter who settled for second but moved back into the Maglia Ciclamino as Arnaud Démare (Groupama – FDJ) was eighth on Stage 18 in the 102nd Giro d’Italia. Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) retained the Maglia Rosa for the fifth day.
1 – Damiano Cima (Nippo – Vini Fantini – Faizané) – 222km in 4h56’04”, average speed 44.989km/h
2 – Pascal Ackermann (Bora – Hansgrohe) s.t.
3 – Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates) s.t.
1 – Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team)
2 – Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain – Merida) at 1’54”
3 – Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo – Visma) at 2’16”
4 – Mikel Landa (Movistar Team) at 3’03”
5 – Bauke Mollema (Trek – Segafredo) at 5’07”
The stage winner Damiano Cima said in the press conference: “To give my team visibility throughout breakaways was one of the roles I was assigned by my team. In addition to the visibility, today I delivered the stage victory. It wasn’t easy to make the breakaway today because many riders were playing according to the Maglia Ciclamino. We were three at the front and I thank my breakaway companions for the good cooperation we had. I remained as calm as I could in the last kilometres. I never looked back. I waited as much as possible to give it all in the last few hundred meters.”
The Maglia Rosa Richard Carapaz said in the press conference: “I’m serene… I’m in my best shape! Joking, but knowing that I was going well, I asked for a pink bike even before I took the Maglia Rosa and it arrived yesterday for my birthday. I’m confident ahead of the last three stages. I feel a lot of emotions because there are a lot of mountains to come. I hope to deal with it the best possible way. I know that my country is paralysed now because of people watching the Giro.”
Stage 19 – Treviso-San Martino di Castrozza 151km – total elevation 2,850m
A short mountain stage with rolling undulations in the first part, as far as the Passo di San Boldo categorised climb. The closing ascent is short, yet punchy in the final kilometres, and the last five hairpins are inside a tunnel. The route then descends and levels out all the way to Feltre. After an uncomplicated cat. climb in Lamon, the stage travels across the Val Cismon (with a series of tunnels) as far as Fiera di Primiero, at the foot of the closing ascent.
After the Passo Rolle-Passo Cereda intersection, and past the town of Siror, two hairpins mark the actual beginning of the climb. The road, wide and well surfaced, climbs to San Martino di Castrozza in a succession of mild curves circling the mountainside, with two pairs of hairpins in-between. Gradients hover steadily around 5%, with just very short stretches sloping at 10%, mid-climb. The final kilometre winds its way through the centre of San Martino di Castrozza, and eventually levels out 100m from the finish. The home stretch is 200m long, on 5m wide tarmac.