May 26, 2016 – Matteo Trentin took a brilliant victory on the Giro d’Italia 18th stage as race leader Steven Kruijswijk comfortably held onto the pink jersey on Thursday. Italian Trentin was part of a four-man chase group behind Etixx team-mate Gianluca Brambilla and Moreno Moser coming into the finish.

AFP/Yuzuru Sunada

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But as Brambilla played the team game sitting in Moser’s wheel, Trentin made up a 15-second deficit before flying straight past the two leaders with less than 300 metres left to take the victory. It was the first Giro victory in the 26-year-old’s career, although he won stages on the Tour de France in 2013 and 2014.

“Moser is very fast in the sprint and when I realised that Brambilla wouldn’t be overtaking him, I went for it. It’s my first win in Italy,” he said.

Dutchman Kruijswijk comfortably monitored any potential threats to his lead and finished in the group of overall contenders some 13 minutes adrift of the winner. He maintained his three-minute lead over Esteban Chaves in the overall standings, while Spaniard Alejandro Valverde is third ahead of former winner and 2014 Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali of Italy.

Friday’s stage features some challenging climbs, including a 21km ascent of the Col d’Agnel to an altitude of 2,744 metres, followed with a 13km ascent to a summit finish at the French ski station of Risoul.

The overall leader Kruijswijk seemed relaxed about the energy-sapping altitude at the end of a long tour and also about the climbs. “I’ve been training for major climbs,” said the 28-year-old. “And I felt good last Saturday when we were at 2200m.”

 

Final kilometers of Stage 18

Results Stage 18:
1 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step 5:25:34
2 Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
3 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step
4 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre – Merida 0:00:20
5 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:30
6 Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff Team
7 Matteo Busato (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Southeast 0:01:10
8 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky 0:01:16
9 Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:24
10 Davide Malacarne (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:04:28

General Classification:
1. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 73:50:37
2. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge 0:03:00
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:23
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:04:43
5. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 0:04:50
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team 0:05:34
7. Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx – Quick-Step 0:07:57
8. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:08:53
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:10:05
10. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data 0:11:15