Stage 18: Sprinters' last stand

Some respite before final onslaught

With two more decisive mountain stages and the final day time trial to come, this is the final fling for the sprinters. It's a short stage with no significant difficulties. Breakaway specialists will also have their eyes on this stage that follows the western shore of Lake Garda before heading into Brescia.

The brutal climbing in the previous week is likely to cause a number of top sprinters to drop out by this point. That means fewer teams with a good reason to chase down any escapees. The hills along the way will hinder the peloton from hitting its stride until the final 40km so there could be a frantic finale.

Procycling's favourite to win:

Winner of 26 Giro stages and three times the points champion, Lampre sprinter Alessandro Petacchi has only failed to finish his national tour three times in 10 starts. Those stats add up to a Petacchi win today. But if ‘Ale-jet' is out of the picture, Lampre should still be able to take the race on with Danilo Hondo, Mirco Lorenzetto and Francesco Gavazzi.

Stage Details

Distance: 151km

Vertical climb: 960m

Highest point: 488m

Terrain: Flat

Category: Road Stage

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