The 2012 Giro d'Italia has just four stages left and on Thursday the cyclists return to flat ground with a 149 km ride from San Vito di Cadore to Vedelago. There are no classified climbs on this stage, but there are two moderate uphill rides at the 17th km and the 84th km (map). After that second hill, the descent continues for nearly the remainder of the course. The last four kilometers will be a straight run to the finish.
This stage will favor the sprinters, but don't expect any changes to occur in the general classification standings. Joaquim Rodriguez and Garmin-Barracuda's Ryder Hesjedal should still be in the top two spots, barring some sort of accident.
Look for Mark Cavendish to be in the running for the Stage 18 victory. He has already won several stages this Giro and could wrap up the points/sprint competition with a stage victory.
Start time: 5:50 a.m. MT
Expected finish: 9:13 a.m. MT
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