Van Garderen ends long wait for maiden stage win

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Tejay van Garderen pipped Mikel Landa in a thrilling finish to stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia to break his Grand Tour duck.

Known as 'The Zen Warrior', Van Garderen's patience had been tested by a long wait for a stage success on any of the three Grand Tours.

But that drought was ended as the American brought home the win for BMC Racing at the end of a gruelling 137-kilometre route between Moena and Ortisei/St. Ulrich that featured five categorised climbs.

He and Landa broke away at the front to battle it out, and it looked as though it would be the Team Sky man to emerge victorious, only for Van Garderen to produce one final push and just edge out his rival.

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) came in third, eight seconds adrift of the leading duo and the Frenchman's finish saw him gain just under a minute on the top three in the general classification.

That trio - Tom Dumoulin, Nairo Quintana and Vincenzo Nibali - crossed the line together, after each had tried to attack without success.

 

GOOD DAY / BAD DAY

An excellent day for Van Garderen, of course: "It's been a rough couple of years in Grand Tours as far as the general classification goes, but I did my best to keep the morale high. It's my first Grand Tour victory, so it's an incredible feeling, especially in an area like this, that I'm so familiar with - I've done a lot of camps here, so I know every inch of road. It feels incredible to get this victory."

And it was a strong day for Sunweb's Dumoulin, who avoided a repeat of Tuesday's toilet trauma and fought off attacks from both Nibali and Quintana to maintain his GC advantage. Along with Van Garderen, the real winner of the day was Pinot, who gained 58 seconds on the top trio.

However, it was a bad day for Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors), who lost his Maglia Bianca to Orica-Scott's Adam Yates.

STAGE RESULTS

1. Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) 3:54:04
2. Mikel Landa (Team Sky)
3. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +0:08
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) +0:08
5. Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) +0:11

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) 80:00:48
2. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +0:31
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) +1:12
4. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +1:36
5. Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) +1:58

POINTS CLASSIFICATION

1. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) 325
2. Jasper Stuyven (Trek Segafredo) 192
3. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) 117

KING OF THE MOUNTAINS

1. Mikel Landa (Team Sky) 189
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) 108
3. Omar Fraile (Dimension Data) 104

UP NEXT...

Another gruelling stage for the field as they tackle the 191km between Innichen/San Candido and Piancavallo, finished off with an uphill 15km to the finish.