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Giro d'Italia 2012 Results: Andrea Guardini Edges Mark Cavendish For Stage 18 Victory

It was a sprinter's course on Thursday in the 2012 Giro d'Italia, but favored cyclist Mark Cavendish lost to Andrea Guardini in a head-to-head sprint to the finish line on Stage 18. As Podium Cafe writes about Guardini:

The Farnese Vini fastman started his sprint two places behind Cav, with Roberto Ferrari in between, and simply cranked up more speed than anyone else, even the world champion. There were no flying bodies, no closed doors, no tactical excuses. Guardini had the speed and Cav did not.

Garmin-Barracuda's Robbie Hunter finished in fourth place, best among his teammates.

This didn't change the overall standings, as Joaquim Rodriguez maintains a 30-second lead over Garmin's Ryder Hesjedal. On Friday, the cyclists head back into the high mountains.

Here is how the top 10 for the stage finished (full Stage 18 standings here):

Pos. Name Country Team Time d Time bonus
1 Andrea Guardini ITA FAR 3:00:52 0:00 20"
2 Mark Cavendish GBR SKY 3:00:52 0:00 18"
3 Roberto Ferrari ITA AND 3:00:52 0:00 8"
4 Robert Hunter RSA GRM 3:00:52 0:00
5 Lucas Sebastian Haedo ARG SAX 3:00:52 0:00
6 Giacomo Nizzolo ITA RNT 3:00:52 0:00
7 Alexander Kristoff NOR KAT 3:00:52 0:00
8 Francesco Chicchi ITA OPQ 3:00:52 0:00
9 Geoffrey Soupe FRA FDJ 3:00:52 0:00
10 Dennis Vanendert BEL LTB 3:00:52 0:00

For more on the 2012 Giro d'Italia, stick with SB Nation Denver and visit cycling blog Podium Cafe.