Dubai, United Arab Emirates - 01 June 2019: After more than two and a half weeks of supporting his team mates, Simone Consonni was finally able to demonstrate his sprinting prowess when he exploded in the final few hundred meters of stage 18 to take a third place finish behind Pascal Ackermann (Bora Hansgrohe) and the stage winner Damiano Cima (Nippo Vini Fantini Faizane).
Up until today Consonni had served his team mates selflessly, firstly as the lead out man for Fernando Gavira and then as a domestique for Conti and Polanc whilst they wore the pink. However, he was able to get his Giro reward after fighting for position in the final kilometres of the race to come second in the bunch sprint, just behind the Cima, who was the solo breakaway rider left up the road.
Commenting the stage, Consonni said: “Third place is a good result for me and I'm really pleased with it, even if we didn't catch all the break. Even though this is the third week of the Giro I felt good in the sprint. Though it's been a hard race for us- first working for Gaviria, then Conti and Polanc when they were in pink. It's another step in my career as I always hope to be improving as a rider. This result definitely gives me confidence for making the most of the next opportunity I get.'
Unfortunately, Valerio Conti was forced to abandon the race after making history for the team by wearing the pink jersey for six days consecutively during the second week of racing.
Doctor Jarrad Van Zuydam, physician from UAE Team Emirates, explains: 'Over the past week, Valerio has been struggling with pain due to a cyclist's nodule, ischial hygroma. We have been treating his condition with some success but unfortunately, his condition deteriorated significantly after the stage yesterday'.
Tomorrow the Giro heads back to the hills with a 151km route from Treviso to San Martino di Castrozza. The stage features two categorized climbs along the way before a final summit finish which takes the riders up a 13km ramp that averages just under 6%
Stage 18 Results
1. Damiano Cima (Ita) Nippo Vini Fantini Faizane 4:56:04”
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora Hansgrohe st
3. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates st
General Classification Standings
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar 79:44:22”
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain Merida +1:54”
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo Visma +2:16”
11. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates +9:20”