Race report: Zana pips Pinot for Giro stage 18 as Roglič bounces back

Italian road champ Filippo Zana denies Thibaut Pinot from the break as Primož Roglič and Geraint Thomas gap their rivals.

Filippo Zana wins stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia. Photo © Cor Vos

Dane Cash
by Dane Cash 25.05.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Italian road champion Filippo Zana (Jayco-AlUla) pipped Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) to win stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia after both riders had spent a long, challenging day in the breakaway. Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) was third.

Behind the last remnants of the break, the GC battle heated up on the steep gradients of the finale, with riders dropping one-by-one as the road ascended in the Dolomites. Eventually, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) would leave their rivals in the rearview mirror, and when all was said and done, they had gained 21 seconds on main rival João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates).

Thomas, on his 37th birthday, maintained his grip on the race lead, with Roglič moving into second overall at 29 seconds back and Almeida now in third, 39 seconds down.

Brief Results:

  1. Filippo Zana (Jayco-AlUla)
  2. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) @ same time
  3. Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) @ :50
  4. Derek Gee (Israel-Premier Tech) @ 1:03
  5. Aurélien Paret-Peintre (AG2R Citroën) @ 1:24

New GC:

  1. Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers)
  2. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) @ :29
  3. João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) @ :39
  4. Eddie Dunbar (Jayco-AlUla) @ 3:39
  5. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) @ 3:51

Teamwork makes the dream work moment

Sepp Kuss leading Primož Roglič and Geraint Thomas in the finale of Giro stage 18. Photo: Luca Bettini/SCA/Cor Vos © 2023


Landscape appreciation moment:

This is not a bad place to ride a bike. Photo: Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2023

Next stage:

As challenging as stage 18 was, stage 19 will be way worse. It’s the final mass start mountain stage of the race, and it will put everyone to the test, with a total of five categorized climbs (all of them Cat. 2 or harder) including the high-altitude finish at Tre Cime di Lavaredo. The last three climbs all feature gradients over 7 percent. It’s the sort of stage that could really punish anyone who falls behind early in the brutal finale. The break may or may not battle for the stage win, and either way, all eyes will be on Thomas, Roglič, and Almeida to battle on the steep gradients.

Stat of the day

Thanks to the Giro organizers, we now know that …

The talk of the day

Niccolò Bonifazio provided an early highlight on stage 18.

HBD Geraint Thomas!

Derek Gee has yet to win a stage, but he’s certainly gaining fans this Giro. There’s still another chance in the mountains to come.


David Lappartient says the UCI didn’t actually give Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov cycling’s “highest honor.”

The Giro peloton enjoyed a breather on Wednesday.

Grace Brown reflects on her season so far and what it’s like battling SD Worx day in and day out.

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