- Giro d'Italia, Stage 18
Guardini times sprint perfectly for stage win
Andrea Guardini won out in a tight sprint finish as Stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia reached an exciting climax in Vedelago.
The 22-year-old Italian rookie pipped world champion Mark Cavendish across the line by the slimmest of margins thanks to a perfectly timed sprint, as he triumphed in the short and fast 149km trip from San Vito di Cadore to Vedelago which was largely a downhill affair.
Guardini held off the challenge of second-placed Cavendish and Roberto Ferrari who finished third to take a first win in his debut Grand Tour.
Robert Hunter, Sebastian Haedo, Giacomo Nizzolo, Alexander Kristoff, Francesco Chicchi, Geoffrey Soupe and Dennis Vanendert all placed inside a top ten who had all fancied their chances of taking the win right to the wire.
There was no change to the General Classification as Joaquin Rodriguez held onto top position, with Ryder Hesjedal and Ivan Basso still in second and third respectively ahead of two high mountain stages.
Stage 18 result
1 Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia 03:00:52
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky
3 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
4 Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin - Barracuda
5 Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank
6 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan
7 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
8 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
9 Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
10 Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol
1 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 77:47:38
2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda +00:00:30
3 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale +00:01:22
4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD +00:01:36
5 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky +00:02:56
6 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar +00:03:04
7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox +00:03:19
8 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana +00:04:13
9 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro +00:04:38
10 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky +00:04:42