Geraint Thomas said he had a “decent day” on his 37th birthday on Thursday as he kept the Giro d’Italia’s leader’s pink jersey and withstood an attack by Primoz Roglic that shook off all the other leading contenders. 

On the first of three brutal days in the Dolomites, local boy Filippo Zana edged French veteran Thibaut Pinot in an exhausted dash to the line to win the 18th stage of the race.

Down the mountain, Roglic, paced by team-mate Sepp Kuss, went on the attack from the group of leading riders.

The Jumbo-Visma pair quickly dropped all their main rivals except Ineos’ Welshman Thomas who stuck to Slovenian Roglic’s rear wheel and celebrated his birthday by keeping the leader’s pink jersey.

Thomas, the 2018 Tour de France champion, is bidding to become the oldest Giro champion.

Italian Fiorenzo Magni was 34 years and 180 days old when he won in 1955.

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