104th Giro d’Italia (2.UWT) Stage 18: Rovereto >> Stradella (231km)

Stage 18 in the Giro had another Irish feel-good story…At the end of a quick opening hour, the matter was settled early as 23 riders went “up the road” This included Nico Roche and some hard men with him, the bunch didn’t chase as none of the riders up-front was any danger to the GC riders…it became the biggest break time-wise…more than 23 minutes at the line!! Still, upfront Bettiol was in a tight spot when Rémi Cavagna started his time trial at 26 kilometers from the finish. The French high-speed train took half a minute, but his legs stopped listening to his brain on the last mountain of the day. Roche also attacked, Consonni following who passed Nico in the last km of the race and Bettiol having the last attack and the winning one…Consonni was second with Roche hanging on to 3rd place, he was completely empty…his teammate of DSM Niklas Arndt 4th. The rest of the break coming in drips and drabs in the next minutes. It was 23 minutes before the train of Ineos and the rest of the peloton came in…no sprinting as all the points been taken before they arrived. Dan Martin safely in that bunch and now 10th in the GC and 3rd in the Mountain GC…Nico’s team DSM leading the team GC…2 more hard stages to come and a TT to finish on Sunday, so Bernal Egan and his grenadiers will still have some work to do to keep the top podium spot as Damiano Caruso and Simon Yates only need a few minutes to catch Bernal and still possible…the rest too far away…but hey…anything can happen this weekend!