Close but no cigar. Milan finishes second in Padova

A chaotic sprint in Stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia and Jonny has to settle with the podium, behind Merlier

Milan’s expression on the finish line in Padova is a mixture of amazement and disappointment. Jonny, who started his sprint from the back of the sprinters’ group, had just undertaken an incredible comeback that, unfortunately, was only 99% complete. The winner, narrowly, was Merlier (Soudal-QuickStep).


The regret is palpable, because once again Lidl-Trek undertook the bulk of the work to keep the daily breakaway under control. Furthermore, the set-up of the sprint was another impressive effort, though there was a snag in the plan – Jonny became separated from his leadout in the final kilometer. Despite the second place, however, Jonny Milan’s strength was evident. The comeback to fight for the win was impressive and deserved a better reward than the second place.

But, in the words of Jonny, “that’s cycling”.

In the end, facts speak: in six sprints, Jonny has finished three in first place and three in second. With one final sprint expected in Rome, Lidl-Trek is looking for one more roll of the dice!

With three stages to go, Jonny keeps a strong leadership for the ciclamino jersey with 327 points vs Groves 200 and Merlier 142 (©ZacWilliams)

Jonny’s reaction

To finish second, like this, after the splendid work of my teammates, is not nice. I can’t hide my disappointment. I was fine, the feeling was right, but in the chaos of the last kilometer I lost the wheels of my teammates. In short, it was my fault for not finalizing a great opportunity…

Today was without doubt the most chaotic sprint of this Giro. The finish was very tricky, at times dangerous with narrow passages for a bunch sprint. We knew there were risks, we were prepared, but then the situation was more complicated than I expected. The big regret remains that we didn’t finish off the work the team did to keep the race under control and launch the leadout and sprint.

That’s cycling. The goal is to turn today’s regret into motivation for the next chance. There is still a goal to chase, which is the Rome stage. Let’s move on.