We’ve waited for more than two weeks but today, the GC finally caught fire at Stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia. On a monster 207km-long stage packed with four categorised climbs, including the famed Passo dello Stelvio, INEOS and Sunweb brought the race to life. After masterful work by teammates, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Jai Hindley were left to battle it out on the final climb for the stage. In the sprint to the line, Hindley sailed to victory. Behind, Hindley’s teammate Wilco Kelderman clawed his way to the finish with only 12 seconds in hand to claim the maglia rosa.
A fast and furious stage 7 of the Giro d’Italia ended with a first Grand Tour stage win for Astana’s Pello Bilbao. The Basque rider launched a perfectly timed attack in the final kilometre. His rivals hesitated and that was all the advantage he needed to stay ahead of Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale)and Davide Formolo (BORA-hansgrohe). Valerio Conti and his UAE-Team Emirates team survived a stressful day, with a little help from Trek-Segafredo, to retain the maglia rosa, but there were some changes within the top 10 on GC.
This classic Tour de France dress rehearsal was a slow burner, only coming alight in the mountains after two time-trials and two sprint stages. Sky’s Geraint Thomas won his fifth one-week stage race in Indurain-like fashion, off the back of his performances in the time-trials and his consistency in the mountains. He measured his efforts to resist everything that second-placed Adam Yates – winner of the final stage – and third-placed Romain Bardet could throw at him on the ascents and descents. There was to be no repeat of last year’s ultimate stage denouement.