• In the day's break, Team Nippo Vini Fantini's Damiano Cima refused to surrender to the peloton and Pascal Ackerman on Stage 18 of the 2019 Giro d'Italia (Getty)Source: Getty
A charging peloton all but swept up the remains of the break just metres from the line but Nippo Vini Fantini's Damiano Cima refused to surrender to the Stage 18 Giro d'Italia script, upsetting Pascal Ackermann.
Cycling Central

Giro d'Italia
31 May 2019 - 9:00 AM  UPDATED 31 May 2019 - 9:07 AM

With one last surge, the Italian clung to victory, the team's first ever at the Giro d'Italia.

“To give my team visibility throughout breakaways was one of the roles I was assigned by my team in addition to the visibility, today I delivered the stage victory," Cima said of the biggest win of his career. 

"It wasn’t easy to make the breakaway today because many riders were playing according to the maglia ciclamino. We were three at the front and I thank my breakaway companions for the good cooperation we had.

"I remained as calm as I could in the last kilometres. I never looked back. I waited as much as possible to give it all in the last few hundred metres.”

Initially frustrated at his team's miscalculation, Bora-hansgrohe's Pascal Ackermann soon found solace in the maglia ciclamino now resting back on his shoulders, the German earning enough points in second to leapfrog FDJ's Arnaud Demare in the points classification. 

"I think the team showed we are still fighting for the jersey and we were working 100 per cent for this," Ackermann said. "We didn't get the breakaway back but in the end we got the jersey back and it was the goal for us and think we are happy now."

Asked about the emotion he expressed after regaining the points jersey, the sprinter said with a smile "we didn't expect it, because I was thinking Demare was fourth and I was thinking 'shit I lost today everything' because the team did an amazing job and in the end we are really happy."

He also acknowledged it's still a long way to Verona. 

"It's still a hard fight. Two really really hard stages and we keep fighting to get the jersey to Verona and if we are there and we still have (it) then we are happy." 

Despite the drama, the GC remained the same with Movistar's Richard Carapaz still in the maglia rosa.