Thursday, May 24, 2012

Giro d'Italia, Stage 18 Results

Twenty-two year old Andrea Guardini (Farnese Vini Selle Italia), from Verona, won the stage in a sprint against Mark Mark Cavendish (Sky Procycling); finishing 3rd was Roberto Ferrari (Androni Giocattoli Venezuela). Guardini finished last yesterday on the mountain stage to Cortina. Today was the last possible stage for the sprinters as now two mountain stages and a time trial remain.

Highlights of the last km:

You can see that Cavendish is angry after crossing the finish line. He is said to have said, "Look who can even win at the Giro" which has renewed the complaints about Cavendish hanging on to the team car to make the time limit on mountain stages. Luca Scinto,team manager of Farnese Vini Selle Italia said, "He should know how to lose," referring to Cavendish and adding, "It was a perfect stage for Guardini, short (149 km) and downhill."

Guardini after the race: "First of all, I'm young and I should still grow a lot. The first week of racing I did not believe in myself, I was coming from a period where I could not do a sprint like I wanted to do. I knew that this was the last opportunity, a stage almost written for me. I was really motivated because I knew it would be either today or next year. I knew it within me that I could beat the world champion, I knew I had to anticipate him in the sprint."

The top 10 leaders in GC remain unchanged:
1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 77:47:38
2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:30
3 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:01:22
4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:01:36
5 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:02:56
6 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:04
7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:03:19
8 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:04:13
9 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:04:38
10 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling 0:04:42

Rodriguez, Maglia Rosa, sees tomorrow's mountain stage, Treviso-Alpe di Pampeago Val di Fiemme, 198 km, with a tough uphill finish like this: "I think my advantage over Basso and Scarponi is sufficient (0:01:22 on Basso and 0:01:36 on Scarponi). Obviously, if there is an opportunity I'll try to put a few more seconds between me and them. I hope Hesjedal (2nd) has a bad day with the hard climbs that we are going to tackle. The last climb we will ride at 15 km/h, Hesjedal weighs 70 kg and I weigh 58 kg; on this I should certainly go better then him. Everyone believes that he will be dropped, I'm not so sure, however I hope so. My team mates Losada and Moreno are two climbers that are very strong and will stay with me until the end if the pace isn't too hard; we are not not going to set a hard pace, if it's hard it will be because of Liquigas."

Tomorrow, Friday: very tough uphill finish in which Pantani and Simoni have won in the past. Note that riders will go up Alpe di Pampeago twice. The final climb is 7.7 km with an average gradient of 9.8% and maximums of 16%. Rodriguez, Basso, and Scarponi will all want to drop Hesjedal.

Saturday: another mountain stage with the Mortirolo preceeding the mountain top finish on Passo dello Stelvio. The weather forecast has now improved: sun with a few clouds, afternoon temperature 3C with a windchill of  -2C. Check all the weather instrument readings at Passo dello Stelvio by clicking here. This page also has a webcam button; scroll through the images at the bottom to see the images for the current day.

Sunday: final stage, 30km individual time trial in Milano.

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