Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team, in a "hard rest day" stage according to race commentators, worked at the front to chase down multiple breaks in the 139km Stage 18, from San Vito di Cadore to Vedelago, on Thursday. As the last break attempt was caught with 3.5km to go, the team brought Francesco Chicchi to the front to try and get the sprint specialist a stage victory.
Chicchi's leadout train was right there with Sky Procycling, setting up World Champion Mark Cavendish. Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team tried to establish position on the right side in the final kilometer. However, it was Andrea Guardini (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) who got the jump on everyone in the final meters. His acceleration was enough to beat Cavendish in a straight sprint to the finish, with Roberto Ferrari (Androni Giocattoli) taking 3rd. Chicchi was 8th.
Dario Cataldo is 14th in the general classification after the stage, 4'59" behind Maglia Rosa wearer Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha Team).
Martin Velits did not start, as he has battled with a fever for a couple days.