The exploit so much desired by Mirco Maestri, attempted and wanted with 750 km ridden in the breakawa from the beginning of Giro d’Italia, has almost been done. In the 18th stage, from Valdaora to Santa Maria di Sala (222 km), the Italian rider was the protagonist along with Cima and Denz of an amazing escape, started after 50 km, which presented a heart-pounding finale. While the peloton has been engaged in the run-up, the three on the front was pushing at the limit. An effort that, for once, was rewarded, but that also brought joy only to Nippo-Fantini. Despite the sprinters’ final comeback, Cima managed to sprint for the victory while Mirco had to settle for tenth place.

“There is so much regret, because I’ve never been so close to achieve such an important goal,” said Maestri. “I had two paths: risk losing or trying to win. I chose the second. Denz was the strongest on paper, Cima the fastest. When the German attacked I didn’t hesitate to start as well. The group behind came strong and a hesitation would have been fatal. I knew Cima could pass me, but I acted instinctively. Finding myself in the lead 300 meters from the finish was a beautiful emotion. I hope to try it again soon “.

Simion finished 12th in the final sprint. With the massive arrival, nothing changed in the general classification, with Carapaz still in the pink jersey.