Zana wins Giro stage 18, Thomas extends lead 

FOSSACESIA - Italian Filippo Zana of Jayco-AlUla won a gruelling stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia on Thursday after fending off Thibaut Pinot, while Geraint Thomas celebrated his 37th birthday in style by tightening his grip on the leader’s maglia rosa jersey. The 18th stage was one for the climbers on a 161-kilometre ride from Oderzo to Val di Zoldo, with Zana beating Pinot (Groupama–FDJ) to the finish line for his first Giro victory. 

Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic) crossed the line third, well behind the top two. “I still can’t believe it. I have to thank the team because they gave me this opportunity,” Italian champion Zana said. “In the finale I played my cards right, it was an opportunity that comes around a few times in life and I took it. To win with the tricolour jersey is special.” 


Pinot and Zana were part of a six-man breakaway which built up a lead of four-and-a-half minutes to the peloton with 10km to go, but the duo dropped their companions on the steep Alpine slopes as they surged to the finish line. In the overall standings, Ineos Grenadiers rider Thomas extended his lead at the top to 29 seconds, with Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) leap-frogging Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) into second. 



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