The final mountain stage, the final summit finish – and once again the GC was shaken. This time, it was Thibaut Pinot who bonked something fierce and lost nearly an hour. A sad farewell to a podium place for a rider who helped animate this year’s Giro. Tom Dumoulin did his best to attack Chris Froome in the final 10km but couldn’t get a gap to take back those 40sec. Froome only needs to get over the finish line safely tomorrow to win his first Giro d’Italia. But the good news story of the day was a birthday solo stage win for Mitchelton Scott’s Mikel Nieve.
It was going to be a day of GC shake-ups but no one expected Chris Froome to attempt an 80km ride for the stage and pink. But he did – dropping anyone who could be of any danger to him. With Simon Yates blowing very early in the stage and losing minutes every second (or so it seemed…), it was only Tom Dumoulin between the Sky rider and pink. In the end, Dumoulin came in 3.23 down from Froome. Pinot was third on the stage. GC: Chris Froome in pink, 40sec ahead of Tom Dumoulin with Thibaut Pinot third, 4.17 down. Domenico Pozzovivo has dropped down to 6th
Max Schachmann of Quick-Step Floors took his maiden Grand Tour victory on a day the breakaway contested the stage win for the first time this Giro. However, the headlines are all about what happened behind him. Stage 18 saw the first of three summit finishes that will decide the destination of the maglia rosa and who gets to share the podium in Rome. Simon Yates had his first bad day finishing with his advantage over Tom Dumoulin slashed to just 28 seconds to set up a nail-biting finale.