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Nicholas Roche makes podium finish on latest stage of Giro D'Italia

The Irishman finished third, behind Italians Alberto Bettiol and Simone Consonni.

LAST UPDATE | May 27th 2021, 4:40 PM

NICHOLAS ROCHE RETURNED an Irish rider to the Giro podium for the second-straight day, finishing third on today’s 18th stage, the longest of the race at 231 kilometres.

Following Dan Martin’s victory yesterday, Roche staved off competition to finish third behind stage winner Alberto Bettiol and second-placed Simone Consonni. 

Bettiol hunted down Frenchman Remi Cavagna of Deceuninck who had escaped from a big breakaway group with 20 kilometres to go, and finished 18 seconds ahead of Roche.

The main peloton, including the overall leader, Colombian Egan Bernal of Ineos, finished 23 minutes and 30 seconds after Bettiol.

Dan Martin finished among the peloton, crossing in 78th place. 

Martin is tenth in the overall classification, with Roche inside the top 50 at 46th. 

The breakaway of 23 riders took shape in the first hour of the race on a large flat stage from Rovareta to Stradella which gave the main contenders a chance to recover before the Giro heads back into the mountains.

Cavagna, a time trial specialist, burst clear with 26 kilometres to go.

But Bettiol chased the Frenchman down through the vineyards of Oltrepo, and Cavagna cracked on final short climb.

Bettiol rode the last seven kilometres alone for the third victory of his career and his first in Italy. It was also his team’s first in this year’s Giro.

The Tuscan also gave the host nation its fifth victory since the start in Turin.

On Friday, the 166km 19th stage from Abbiategrasso finishes with a tough climb up Alpe Merra but has been rerouted to avoid the climb of the Mount Mottarone, out of respect for the victims of the cable car accident there last Sunday.

 

© – AFP, 2021, with reporting by Gavin Cooney 

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