Steve Cummings (Barloworld) finished the stage to Monte Pora absolutely dead but extremely happy.
He was part of the seven-rider break that formed after 50km and finished fourth on the uphill finish after 238km of tough racing in pouring rain.
Vasil Kiryienka (Tinkoff) won the stage but Cummings crossed the line with smile on his face after again having the courage to go on the attack after almost three weeks of racing.
?I decided to go for it. You?ve got to have a go, haven?t you?? Cummings told Cycling Weekly.
?I could have sat in the bunch but I decided to give it a go. I felt bad for two days after the rest day, I always do. But I usually come round on the third day. I felt the power was up at the start and so I decided to have a go and try and get in the break.?
?I was disappointed not to get in a move on the two flat stages and so went with Kiryienka when he jumped across. I was fine on the flat and could have gone all day. Luckily they didn?t go too fast on the big climb and I looked after myself.?
?We did the stage in training before the Giro and so I knew the descent and that helped. I almost lost it a few times but caught them. After that they didn?t go very hard because they were all tired.?
?When Kiryienka went I didn?t even go after him and rode at my own pace. Efimkin and Sorensen tried to stay with him but blew later on and I caught and passed both of them. Di Luca came past me at warp speed ten but I was worried a bunch of 50 would scream past as well.?
?At the finish I was smiling and suffering. I was happy because I?d done a ride and got a result but I was absolutely dead. It was a crazy break but I?m glad I did it. That?s what cycling is about.?
Cummings’ aching legs were eased by an extra long massage and an extra plate of pasta after the stage. Hopefully it will help him make it through Saturday?s 224km 20th stage over the Gavia and the Mortirolo. After his hard work in the breakaway he deserves to make it to Milan more than most.
GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: STAGE REPORTS
Stage 19: Contador hangs on to race lead
Stage 18: Voigt wins Giro d’Italia ‘Worlds’ stage in Varese
Stage 17: Cav gifts Greipel the stage
Stage 16: Pellizotti wins mountain time trial
Stage 15: Sella strikes again in the mountains
Stage 14: Sella wins first Giro mountains stage
Stage 13: Easy victory for super-fast Cavendish
Stage 12: Bennati gets photo finish verdict over Cavendish
Stage 11: Bertolini wins hilly stage
Stage 10: Bruseghin wins Giro d’Italia time trial
Stage nine: Cavendish misses out in sprint
Stage eight: Ricco wins again
Stage seven: Di Luca, Ricco and Contador gain time on rivals
Stage six: Italians clean up
Stage five: Millar denied by snapped chain
Stage four: Cavendish wins
Stage three: Bennati romps home
Stage two: Ricco wins Giro d’Italia second stage
Stage one TTT: Slipstream wins Giro team time trial
GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: NEWS
Contador, Ricco and Simoni to face off in final Giro d’Italia mountains
Six Brits finish mountain time trial [stage 16]
Cavendish disappointed after missing out in Giro sprint
Can Cavendish win the Giro today? [stage 12]
Aggressive Cummings comes away empty handed [stage six]
Millar speaks out after missing out in Giro [stage five]
Reaction to Cavendish’s Giro stage win
Cav hits back at Pozzato’s snipe
Cavendish: This is my biggest win [stage four]
Millar celebrates Slipstream Giro d’Italia success
Bettini looking for final Giro glory
Astana’s troubled build-up to the Giro
Petacchi banned for Salbutamol positive
Yates and Astana make last minute rush to Giro
GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: PHOTOS
Giro d’Italia 2008: Photo gallery, week three – new photos added daily
Giro d’Italia 2008: Photo gallery, week two – new photos added daily
Giro d’Italia 2008: Photo gallery, week one.
GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: FEATURES
Five days to go, what’s in store?
Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 27)
Cycling Weekly’s all-time list of British pro winners
Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 19)
Rest day 1: How the favourites are doing
Giro Britannia part two: From rule Britannia to cruel Britannia
Tuesday Comment (May 13): Why Cavendish is a bona fide world-class star
Giro Britannia: how the Brits are doing in Italy
Giro d’Italia 2008 preview
Giro d’Italia 2008: who will win?
Giro d’Italia 2008: The British are coming
Giro d’Italia on Eurosport: TV schedule