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Now where were we? OK, so I was guessing every day what might happen and getting it wrong, largely because how the senior pros do it does not apply at this level.

OK, so we had a pretty short flat stage in the morning before the key ITT that would decide the GC. That was a bunch sprint won by sprinter Dainese but even here there were unexpected surprises. Maglia rosa Osorio crashed and lost 1:26 and that all but completely extinguished the hopes of a *co victory after such a strong week.

Come the afternoon, a final 22km all-out effort against the clock was all that stood between 135 riders and a well-deserved rest. There was just the small matter of the overall race to decide and it would be decided on a parcours that was far from easy, with three ramps including the final 1km maxing out at 18%. Added to that, the top six on GC was all within two minutes.

Vlasov of #gazprom had slipped into pink after the Colombian disaster. He had not been a stage winner but his performance throughout the week was marked by shrewdness and consistency rather than opportunism. Following that template of reliability for the last time, he put in a respectable performance that would seal him the overall title, while the superb rides of stage winner Stannard #mitchelton and TT specialist Almeida #axeon secured for them the other steps of the podium. U23 World TT champion Bjerg was third.

So there we are, folks. 22-year old Aleksandr Vlasov is your 2018 Baby Giro winner. Runners up Almeida and Stannard, who are both 19, also look like becoming stage racers in the future. Stannard is an obvious all-rounder but Almeida, who won the U23 LBL earlier this year, seems to be one of those talents who effectively hangs on in the mountains and then grabs time in the TTs.

A nice edition that kept us guessing every day and a surprisingly downbeat ending for the *co contingent because much of the unpredictability of the race was thanks to the escarabajos.
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  • Cycling is a Europe thing only and I only watch from Omloop on cause I am cool and sh*t
    RIP Craig1985 / Craig Walsh
    RIP KeithJamesMc / Keith McMahon / Larry Sarni


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