Live Coverage of Giro d'Italia - Stage 18

Race overview:

Distance: 137km

Start Location: Moena

End Location: Ortisei

Full live coverage of stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia, the second queen stage of this year's race as we hit the Dolomites.

Giro d'Italia hub page
Start list
Stage 17 report: Rolland end his five-year drought
Preview: Dumoulin faces toughest challenge in the Dolomites
Giro d'Italia: 'Three one-day races' for Landa
Stage 18 forum chat



Live commentary by Daniel Benson

  1. 16:13:08 CEST

    28km remaining from 137km

    Dombrowski, Hirt, Berhane, van Garderen, and Landa lead by 39 seconds with 28km to go but now Berhane cracks too so we just have for leaders as Landa turns the screw. 


  2. 16:11:39 CEST

    Landa takes over at the front of the break with van Garderen on his wheel as we see the leaders reduced to just five men with Villella the latest to be dropped. 


  3. 16:10:08 CEST

    Dumoulin has a little look over his shoulder and checks on Nibali but the race leader looks so strong as Amador really starts to suffer as we see Rosa completely crack. 


  4. 16:07:28 CEST

    Plaza is back as Quintana marks Dumoulin, who again watches Nibali. Pinot, Mollema and Pozzovivo are all there too as Amador then takes over. We're not yet at the 15 per cent section but it's coming...


  5. 16:05:19 CEST

    I dont see Formolo in the maglia rosa group, actually as Anacona takes over from Plaza.


  6. 16:04:07 CEST

    Rosa has recovered and he recovers as we start to see a lot of tired legs out there, riders are really starting to flag as the road once again rises up towards the sky. Landa, meanwhile, looks good. 


  7. 16:03:11 CEST

    It's Plaza who comes to the front again, as Orica want the stage and they want the white jersey. We're just on the lower slopes of the Passo Pinei.


  8. 16:02:19 CEST

    33km remaining from 137km

    Dumoulin calls for his team car, as does Anacona, with Quintana and Nibali lying in wait. Finally, Dumoulin gets a drink and some food with 33km to go. A reminder that all the GC contenders are here bar Jungels, who was dropped on the previous climb.


  9. 16:01:02 CEST

    The break have 24 seconds and Landa is taking on food as he knows that he either needs to wait for the catch or make a move on the next climb. Yates is being pulled back by the maglia rosa group but there's still no sign from Jungels. 


  10. 15:59:26 CEST

    The next climb, the Passo Pinei, is just over 4km in length but with a stint at 15 per cent it's the perfect launchpad as we see Yates attack after there was a general re-grouping. There's no let up in the valley before the final climb. 


  11. 15:54:56 CEST

    Plaza is leading Yates and Quintana and it's Zakarin who is leading the rest of the maglia rosa group but some work is needed because the Orica/Movistar trio have a gap of around 8 seconds.


  12. 15:53:52 CEST

    Yates is descending well and he has Quintana for company as we see Nibali follow Dumoulin. A few gaps opening up but they should be closed before we start the next climb. It's 'only' a third cat climb but the racing has been flat out today so there's little chance in a truce being called before the final ascent. Nibali and Quintana can't wait that long.


  13. 15:50:56 CEST

    A word on Cannondale. They've not had to do much work and they still have two men in the break. Could they pick up their second stage win in two days? The break's gap is coming down, however, it's just 43 seconds with 43km to go.


  14. 15:49:24 CEST

    Van Garderen leads the break on the way down the climb and Quintana and Nibali must be scratching their heads right now.  How are they going to crack the race leader because so far he's look so strong on the climbs?


  15. 15:47:30 CEST

    47km remaining from 137km

    The riders still in the break:

    Mikel Landa Meana, Diego Rosa, Joe Dombrowski, Davide Villella, Tejay van Garderen, Natnael Berhane, and Jan Hirt. They have 42 seconds on the vastly reduced maglia rosa group. 


  16. 15:45:00 CEST

    On the descent and Movistar lead the charge. That move from Quintana and Nibali was certainly strong but Dumoulin managed it perfectly. He didn't follow the initial attacks, just plugged away at his own pace and brought his two main rivals to heel just before the summit. We've two more climbs to go.


  17. 15:43:25 CEST

    As we crest the climb Dumoulin pulls it all back together but that was a huge scare for the race leader. He's survived and the gap to the break is at 52 seconds. 


  18. 15:42:26 CEST

    51km remaining from 137km

    Rosa looks spent and Landa takes over at the front of the race as Quintana links up with Amador, Anacona and now Nibali and Siutsou. This is a really dangerous play and Dumoulin has to respond. So far he's coping well but he's up against two entire teams. 


  19. 15:40:49 CEST

    Quintana has 24 seconds on Dumoulin with 52km to go  as Amador leads the way as Cataldo links up with Nibali and tows him up the climb. Dumoulin is under a huge amount of pressure right now. 


  20. 15:39:38 CEST

    Nibali has now attacked. He feels this is the moment to jump Dumoulin and go after Quintana. The race leader doesn't respond at the moment.


  21. 15:38:41 CEST

    Amador is with Quintana as they riffle by Deignan and close in on the break. It's Dumoulin who is forced to come to the front and do all the chasing but Quintana already has 25 seconds on the race leader. 


  22. 15:37:43 CEST

    He came from near the back of the group and no one responded. That was a huge surge from the Movistar rider as he looks to bridge up to his teammates, Amador and Anacona.


  23. 15:36:36 CEST

    53km remaining from 137km

    53km to go and Quintana attacks with a huge acceleration. 


  24. 15:36:15 CEST

    Plaza is the latest rider to lose contact from the break. His job will be to recover, if he can, and then help Yates. Up front it's still Sky who lead as Visconti looks to protect Nibali's interests. 


  25. 15:34:38 CEST

    3km to go for the break until they hit the summit so around 4km for Dumoulin and Co.


  26. 15:34:12 CEST

    He's now done and it's Visconti who takes over. Not many GC riders have teammates left but with 54km to go no one really wants to or are able to control the maglia rosa group. 


  27. 15:33:06 CEST

    At the moment all the main top ten contenders are present in the maglia rosa group, apart from Jungels who is losing his grip on the white jersey as Quintana finds a teammate and puts him right on the front - Izagirre. 


  28. 15:32:11 CEST

    The front group is down to around 8 men with Rosa doing all the damage. Back down the climb and Quintana has used all his men. That brings Bahrain to the front but he can't really do much. Visconti comes to the rescue and takes it up. 


  29. 15:30:49 CEST

    For now Quintana marks Dumoulin, who in turn sits on Nibali's wheel. The gap between the break and the maglia rosa group is at 1'50 with 55km to go.

  30. 15:29:59 CEST

    The QuickStep rider is about 30 seconds off the Dumoulin group. Advantage Yates in the battle for the white jersey. 


  31. 15:29:24 CEST

    Onto the climb and already Quintana has burnt off a number of his men as we see the maglia rosa group reduced to around 15 riders. All the main GC men are there apart from ..... Jungels. 


  32. 15:26:40 CEST

    There's a general re-grouping at the front with the break as Rosa, Landa, van Garderen and a few others make contact but several riders are struggling, including yesterday's winner, Pierre Rolland.


  33. 15:25:31 CEST

    57km remaining from 137km

    It looks like Dombrowski has made his move with Plaza, Anacona and Berhane making contact. 


    Back in the bunch and ten Dam is dropped as Movistar set the pace. 


  34. 15:23:51 CEST

    A few attacks from the break and Sky and Landa find themselves chasing as a Cannondale Drapac rider attacks.


  35. 15:20:12 CEST

    Van Garderen starts taking a few turns on the front of the lead group as we see that Rosskopf made contact on that last descent. Rosa then takes over and that lines out the break once more as Sky set themselves up for a potential stage win. The gap is up to 2'14. 


  36. 15:18:10 CEST

    Nibali is glued to Quintana's wheel just a little further down from Dumoulin as we see Landa fiddle with his race radio. The gap holds at 2'04 with 60km to go.


  37. 15:15:46 CEST

    Dumoulin has moved up and is sitting on Yates's wheel. The race leader is on his own as ten Dam drops back to the team car. We'll be climbing again soon enough and the race leader needs to ensure that he's well stocked for food for the final two hours of racing. 


  38. 15:11:48 CEST

    65km remaining from 137km

    It's Rosa who lifts the pace at the front of the break as Deignan, Anacona and Landa sit just off his wheel. The acceleration lines the break out as we cross the intermediate sprint. 

  39. 15:09:12 CEST

    68km remaining from 137km

    It's a long, long descent before the next climb. The break need to keep the pressure up in order to hold off the chasing bunch and so far they're up to the task with the advantage at 1'51.


  40. 14:59:02 CEST

    The bunch crest the top of the climb and Orica will drive this pace on the descent in a bid to protect Yates but also make sure that Dumoulin remains isolated and the break kept in check.


  41. 14:56:23 CEST

    Over the top of the Valparola and Landa hits out with Fraile on his wheel. It's the Dimension Data rider who takes maximum points with the Team Sky rider claiming second. Rosa or Deignan is third. 


  42. 14:54:41 CEST

    500m to the top of the climb for the leaders as the gap holds at 1'59.


  43. 14:53:57 CEST

    Rosskopf has been dropped as Rosa leads Deignan. It will be interesting to see if Landa goes for the points or not. Fraile certainly will.


  44. 14:52:52 CEST

    Orica want to close the gap so that Yates can attack and bridge over. They also want to try and distance Jungels but so far Sky have thwarted that plan by increasing the pace at the front of the break with the gap now at 1'55.


  45. 14:51:42 CEST

    Tremendous work from Orica who continue to set the pace and they've reduced the maglia rosa group to less than 40 men. Up ahead and Rosa and Deignan swap turns as they close in on the summit of the climb. Dumoulin has ten Dam for company - that's it.


  46. 14:49:43 CEST

    We're still on the second climb and have 82km remaining as Sky respond to Orica's pace and move to the front of the break. There are several dynamics in play but so far Quintana and Nibali have held back, using their teams wisely on the opening to ascents. 


  47. 14:49:42 CEST

    We're still on the second climb and have 82km remaining as Sky respond to Orica's pace and move to the front of the break. There are several dynamics in play but so far Quintana and Nibali have held back, using their teams wisely on the opening to ascents. 


  48. 14:47:57 CEST

    The pace from Orica has really made the difference and Polanc is one the main casualties. Yates remains in third wheel with Dumoulin and his one remaining teammates in the wheel. Jungels is there too, in the white jersey that Yates is hunting. The gap to the break is just 1'45. 


  49. 14:42:15 CEST

    Two men for Dumoulin as we continue to make our way up the second climb. Yates is third wheel and really looks primed to do something. 


  50. 14:39:55 CEST

    85km remaining from 137km

    This second climb is really starting to put pressure on and rider after rider are being dropped from the peloton and there's no let up from Orica who now have three men on the front of the maglia rosa group. The gap to the Landa/Rolland group is down to 2'18 with 85km to go.


  51. 14:38:09 CEST

    Orica have launched a counter attack. They have a man up the road but is Yates about to try something from a long way out?


  52. 14:35:47 CEST

    Nibali isn't happy with the gentle pace in the bunch and puts three more men on the front. It immediately lines out the bunch and puts the pressure back on Dumoulin's men. Nibali doesn't want to let this chance slip through his fingers as up front van Garderen takes a turn on the front of the break.


  53. 14:29:00 CEST

    The peloton are taking this climb in a steady and controlled fashion as we see the gap to the break move out to 2'28. 89km to go.


  54. 14:27:12 CEST

    2'04 now for the leaders. Amador is the closest on GC but he's not a real threat as things stand. Sunweb have four men on the front and they're just looking to keep things together on this climb as they look to protect their race leader. A reminder that the magalia rosa only has 31 seconds on Quintana coming into the stage. 


  55. 14:25:37 CEST

    A full breakdown on the leaders as we hit the second climb of the day the Passo Valparola:

    Diego Rosa (Team Sky), Philip Deignan (Team Sky), Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team), Joey Rosskopf (BMC Racing Team), Natnael Berhane (Dimension Data), Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Drapac), Ruben Plaza Molina (Orica-Scott), Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac), Omar Fraile Matarranza (Dimension Data), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Dario Cataldo (Astana Pro Team), Andrey Amador Bikkazakova (Movistar Team), Mikel Landa Meana (Team Sky), Kanstantsin Siutsou (Bahrain-Merida), Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom - Rusvelo).

  56. 14:22:06 CEST

    93km remaining from 137km

    1'54 now for the front group as Sunweb look to take the sting out of the situation. Movistar, Trek and Bahrain Merida are well represented in the leading group as we race into the final 90km of today's stage. 


  57. 14:17:01 CEST

    Stuyven is also about make contact with the front runners. A couple more Sunweb riders have come back on the descent and Dumoulin has put them straight to work as we see the gap go out to 45 seconds as we reach the valley before the second climb. The Landa, Amador, Cataldo, Fraile, Rolland group have just made contact too. That should be our break of the day.


  58. 14:12:56 CEST

    102km remaining from 137km

    We're still descending as we see Deignan make contact with the leaders along with Dombrowski and van Garderen.


  59. 14:10:10 CEST

    A couple of riders from the second group have caught the first group but by the time we hit the slopes of the second climb we should have one lead selection, with both groups coming together. 


  60. 14:06:52 CEST

    Rosskopf takes over on the descent and lead the first group. The chase group with Plaza, Siutsou, Landa and van Garderen are closing with the maglia rosa group at 56 seconds. 


  61. 14:01:41 CEST

    110km remaining from 137km

    Ten riders in the second group with five more a few seconds back and then the bunch. 110km to go as Katusha bring Zakarin to the front and set the pace. They've missed the splits and obviously want to keep their Russian leader out of trouble on the technical descent. 

  62. 13:59:54 CEST

    Rosa is doing the majority of the pace setting at the front of the race but ten Dam is bringing it all back together, slowly. The gap between the three leaders and the maglia rosa group is just 27 seconds as Rosa leads over the top of the first climb.


  63. 13:57:33 CEST

    Fraile is trying to close on the leaders too as he hunts more KOM points and a second stage in the race. The maglia rosa group are at 45 seconds as more and more riders try and bridge across. Who will help Sunweb because right now they're on the ropes and we're only on the first climb as the GC rivals send more and more riders on the attack.


  64. 13:55:18 CEST

    Van Garderen, Dombrowski, Landa are all in the second group as they have the three leaders in their sights already. Siutsou is in the second group so Boaro can ease off and wait for the bunch. 


  65. 13:51:05 CEST

    Ten Dam moves to the front and sets the pace for the maglia rosa group but there's a huge amount of responsibility on his shoulders today. 


  66. 13:50:14 CEST

    And now Pinot sends Morabito up the road as Dumoulin's defences are cut to just one rider - ten Dam.


  67. 13:48:43 CEST

    Boaro is done. He's dropped but there's a strong group forming behind him that includes Deignan, Landa, two from Cannondale, Anacona and a few more riders. They have about 10 seconds on the maglia rosa group. 


  68. 13:46:43 CEST

    Boaro is holding on for dear life in the group up front. If he's dropped then Nibali will just send another rider up the road as we see Sky and Dimension Data attack once more. The four leaders have just 18 seconds as Boaro again loses the wheel.


  69. 13:44:14 CEST

    But the bunch are not going to let this go and they bring it all back - apart from the original four leaders who have 24 seconds on the peloton. 


  70. 13:43:45 CEST

    And now Landa attacks again. The KOM leader goes clear with a lovely little move. He's caught a group that contains Deignan and two Cannondale riders. This is a decent little counter. 


  71. 13:42:53 CEST

    Dumoulin is left with about one or two men already from what we can see from the CN blimp. That's really not a good sign as we Foliforov and Anacona attack from the peloton and chase down the four leaders. 117km to go.


  72. 13:41:16 CEST

    Dumoulin doesn't panic and just sits about halfway down the main field. There are maybe less than 60 riders left in the maglia rosa group. This climb has 28 hairpins and it's absolutely shredding the field. 


  73. 13:39:59 CEST

    Boara is really starting to struggle at the back of the lead group. He's let a small gap open but is then able to close it once the road flattens ever so slightly. 


    Back down the climb and Anacona leads what's left of the peloton. 


  74. 13:38:31 CEST

    119km remaining from 137km

    The four leaders have just 27 seconds now as the bunch react and look to bring the race back together. 


  75. 13:34:07 CEST

    This a really tough start to the stage as we see the four leader plugging away as they take on the climb. Even though Landa is chasing with a group, Rosa will continue to help set the pace in the first group. 


  76. 13:32:41 CEST

    More and more riders are looking to attack as that 30 rider group is brought back. Sky, ORica and Trek all firing men up the road. It's all go. Landa is on the move as well and Rolland. It's such a fluid situation at the moment.


  77. 13:30:53 CEST

    And the four leaders are onto the first climb of the day with Rosa pushing the pace. They have 1'06 on the maglia rosa group. The second group on the road contains riders from Movistar and Bahrain Merida.

  78. 13:25:16 CEST

    The four leaders certainly aren't waiting for reinforcements from the chase group as they tear across the road and towards the first climb of the day. There's no let-up as the second group on the road look to also make in-roads. 

    Here's a look at the climb we're about to face. 


  79. 13:20:17 CEST

    130km remaining from 137km

    Four riders have gone clear after 8km of racing but they're being chased by a group of 30. The four leaders are Berhane, Rosskopf, Rosa and Boaro. So it's a similar scenario to yesterday's stage. 


  80. 13:16:51 CEST

    We're about to head through yesterday's finish, where Pierre Rolland took  a well deserved stage win. A few more attacks from the field but so far nothing has really stuck.

  81. 13:10:50 CEST

    The road gently climbs from here as head away from Moena before we hit the first ascent of the day the Passo Pordoi. It's a first cat climb, 11.9km in length with an average gradient of 6.7 per cent. There are stretches of 9 per cent but they're close to the bottom of the climb. With three climbs over 2,000m this really is one of the toughest stages in recent years at the Giro d'Itlia. A lot will depend on how the riders set off but already we've seen a few attacks.


  82. 13:07:37 CEST

    The flag has dropped and we're off and racing on stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia.


  83. 12:59:36 CEST

    We're already heading through the neutralized zone and the flag to start today's proceedings will drop in just a minute or two. After that, we can expect attack after attack. We had over 40 riders in the main move yesterday and something similar today, isn't out of the question. It all depends on the dynamic of the move but given Sunweb's lack of numbers it's hard to see them chasing unless a real podium contender tries to go away. 

  84. 12:57:31 CEST

    • FDJ jersey 2016

    And what of this man? He had such a good opening week but since then he's been off the boil and following wheels rather than attacking in the mountains. He's admitted that he's not at his best but if he has hopes of the podium then he needs to drop Nibali and perhaps Quintana and Dumoulin today. Easier said than done, but he has the talent. Does he have the form, however?


  85. 12:52:19 CEST

    Stuck to every single one of the stems in today's race will be the following information. 

    Pordoi (cat 1), Valaparola (cat 2) and Grodnerjoch (cat 2) Passo Pinei  (cat 3) and Pontives (cat 1).


    They're the five climbs the riders will need to race over before they reach the finish. The first two ascents are relatively similar in length and gradient but they offer the perfect launchpad for an early attack. The race starts in around 10 minutes and it's almost all uphill as soon as the flag drops. Sunweb are down another rider with Bauhaus out of the race so Dumoulin's men will have to be even more vigilant and careful as to which moves they chase.


  86. 12:43:42 CEST

    • Team Sky 2016

    All of Team Sky were warming up on the rollers earlier today. With no GC hope they're all about the stage wins in this year's and according to Landa they have three 'one-day races' ahead of them. The Spaniard has come close a couple of times but we can expect a full on attack from the British team today as they look to throw several riders up the road in an early move. That will suit Movistar, for sure, who will want to put Sunweb under all kinds of early pressure. 


  87. 12:40:58 CEST

    And the riders are being greeted by near-perfect conditions today. The sun is out, there's little wind at present as the start line becomes a hotbed of activity with more and more riders arriving before we set out on the neutralized zone.


  88. 12:38:04 CEST

    • Pink Jersey

    We are about 25 mins from the official roll out. Several riders have been warming up on the rollers in order to prepare for today's onslaught as Tom Dumoulin makes his way to the stage for his sign on. This is arguably the biggest day of his Grand Tour career. Survive today, keep pink, and he'll move a step closer to sealing the maglia rosa in Milan. 

    For Nibali and Quintana, it's a case of taking this opportunity before the final time trial. There are more mountains to come after this, but this is probably their best chance of putting further time into the Dutchman. You can follow our complete coverage right here, throughout the stage as we bring you minute-by-minute coverage so sit back and enjoy.


  89. 12:33:38 CEST

    Welcome back. It's stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia and we're about to head into the Dolomites for perhaps the most crucial stage of the race so far. Five cols, just under 140km of racing, and all the GC favourites going head-to-head on another summit finish.