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Italy's Cima sprints to Giro 18th stage win, Carapaz in pink

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Santa Maria di Sala (Italy) (AFP)

Italy's Damiano Cima of the Nippo team snatched victory with a sprint finish, holding off a late charging peloton in Thursday's 18th stage of the Giro d'Italia.

Ecuador's Richard Carapaz, riding for Movistar, holds the overall leader's pink jersey three days before the race finishes in Verona.

Cima gave his team their first ever stage victory in the Giro in a dash for the line ahead of Germany's Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) after nearly five hours in the saddle, with Italy's Simone Consonni, riding for UAE-Emirates, third.

There was no change in the top three with Carapaz holding his 1min 54sec lead over Italy's former two-time winner Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merdia).

The 222km stage gave the remaining sprinters a final chance as the route dropped to sea level, through the Venetian hinterlands from Valdaora to Santa Maria di Sala, concluding with a 2km sprint for the line.

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