The season is winding down rather quickly now. It was Il Lombardia weekend, the last Monument of the season (and the most scenic). But the tweets were falling like autumn leaves …
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.
With just six seconds separating the top two at the start of the stage and four cat 1 climbs to tackle, it was always going to be a spicy Saturday at the Vuelta. The stage win belonged to Lampre-Merida’s Ruben Plaza for a staggering 112km solo ride of sheer guts and determination. The GC was well and truly shaken up on the penultimate climb with the jubilation going to Astana and Fabio Aru who snatched the red jersey from the Giant shoulders of Tom Dumoulin with a clinical display of tactical verve.