De Bondt outsprinted his 3 breakaway companions in Treviso to win stage 18.
he former Belgian champion attacked early in the race and formed the breakaway of the day with Magnus Cort, Eduardo Affini and Davide Gabburo. The stage was dubbed as one for the sprinter, but the peloton failed to catch up the leaders in the end. The peloton didn’t succeed – despite huge efforts of the sprinter’s teams - in closing the gap as the four leaders proved too strong. Ultimately, it was Dries De Bondt who claimed victory, crossing the line with half a wheel before Affini. For the Alpecin-Fenix rider it meant his first Grand Tour stage win.
DRIES DE BONDT:
“The collaboration from the four of us was magnificent. Nobody skipped a turn. It was full, full, full. Everyone thought it would be a sprint, that it was written in the stars, but we made a plan, the four of us, and we stuck to it.”
“I can’t believe I won. It’s a dream come true. When I started racing, I started dreaming. Afterwards, those dreams became goals. When I achieved those goals, I started dreaming bigger. As soon as I succeeded in these dreams as well, I focused on becoming national champion. Once I became national champion, I wanted to show off my tricolore jersey in a Grand Tour … I’ve succeeded in that as well. … And then I started dreaming of a stage victory in the Giro. Succeeded! Unbelievable!”