Pozzovivo stables the podium position before Bardonecchia
Giro d’Italia – Amore infinito
Prato Nevoso, May 24th– Stage 18; Abbiategrasso – Prato Nevoso– 196km
Today’s flat stage with a sharp closing climb with just one categorised preclimb at Novelo (136km) was a stage with tacticts for the last climb which could give some riders chances for surprises. As the breakaway group of more then 10 riders made a gap over 10 minutes, it was very clear that the top GC riders might have an elimination plan towards each other or at least to make some damage to each other for earning some seconds ahead of the two decisive stagess tommorrow and on Saturday.
Simon Yates (Mitchleton-Scott) who was a dominante owner of Maglia rosa during the first 17 stages, couldn’t follow today when Chris Froome (Team Sky) attacked at the closing climb, and his main opponents, Tom Domoulin (Team Sunweb) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain Merida) reacted promptly, Simon Yates had no response.
At last couple of kilometres Yates lost 28 seconds to Dumoulin and 28 second more is his remaining capital to the defending champion and 2: 15 ahead of Domenico Pozzovivo on the 3rd place in the general classification. Domenico Pozzovivo is keeping the podium position over Chris Froom with 1 minute and 19 seconds ahead. Pozzovivo remains in third but has closed the gap on Yates to 2:43.
While the GC battle was today’s main focus, the stage was won by Maximilian Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors). Schachmann proved his quality over Ruben Plaza (Israel Cycling Academy) and Mattia Cattaneo (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) at Prato Nevoso.
Tomorrow, at Bardonecchia might be the decisive day for many. All TBM riders had one and only mission today, and the same mission of assisting and serving Domenico Pozzoivo so successfuly, keeping an eye on him in every second of the race would most likely be the only one topic at the agenda at the bus meeting before stage 19 of Giro 101.
Domenico Pozzovivo shortly expressed his thoughts after today’s stage: “I was focused on Dumoulin and Froome. They attacked as I expected, because the final climb suit them both and their attacks hurt the Maglia Rosa. In this moment may big aim is the podium, but I will try to take a win if there is the chance”
(All pictures attached can be used for editorial and non-commercial use) – © Team Bahrain-Merida)