LUK BENIES/Getty Images

Quick-Step Floors’ Fernando Gaviria executed another brilliant sprint finish to win Stage 12 of the Giro D’Italia on Thursday.  

At the end of the 229-kilometre ride from Forli to Reggio Emilia, a three-man breakaway was reeled in, setting up a dash to the line for the victory. Eventually, Gaviria held off a challenge from Jakub Mareczko of Wilier Triestina and BORA’s Sam Bennett to win his third stage of this Giro.

Here’s a look at the gripping finish, per Eurosport UK:

In the general classification, Team Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin preserved his advantage, as the competitors for the pink jersey took a back seat. The Dutchman remains two minutes and 23 seconds clear of Movistar man Nairo Quintana, with Trek-Segafredo’s Bauke Mollema 15 seconds down.

Here are the stage results, updated times in the overall standings and a recap of another engrossing chapter of this Giro.

Cycling Hub provided the Stage 12 and general classification standings:

Stage 12 Recap

The event’s Twitter feed provided details of the mammoth stage ahead of the start:

Although Stage 12 is the longest of this year’s Giro, the relatively flat finish was tailor-made for sprinters. It’s why there was no great surprise when an early, three-man breakaway detached itself from the peloton.

The brave men who went early were Sergey Firsanov and Marco Marcato, and they were eventually joined by Mirco Maestri.

As noted by the CCC SprandiPolkowice Twitter account, given there were more than five hours of riding to come, it was going to be a grueling day for the trio:

At one stage, the threesome were able to build up a gap of almost seven minutes on the peloton. But with so many kilometres to cover, there was patience in the main group, one that contained pink-jersey wearer Dumoulin.

Indeed, as the riders moved in to the final fifth of the day’s racing, they were closing the gap at a brisk rate, with the illustrious teams driving the peloton closer and closer to the leading group. 

Dumoulin stayed out of trouble on Thursday.

Dumoulin stayed out of trouble on Thursday.LUK BENIES/Getty Images

Maestri made a big effort to stay clear of the Maglia Rosa group, but he was eventually swallowed up by the pursuers fewer than seven kilometres from the finish line. The Inner Ring noted why the long-time leader was keen to stay ahead:

With five kilometres left, it was Movistar who moved to the head of the road initially, as they sought to see Quintana safely over the line. But the big men were looming large, with a sprint finish now inevitable.

And once again, it was Gaviria who proved to be too quick for the rest of the field. Having fallen off the back of the main group earlier in the stage, Max Richeze fought his way back to the front of the race to lead out his team-mate. From there, the 22-year-old did the rest, edging Mareczko and Bennett, who finished in second and third, respectively.

Gaviria was the class of the field once again.

Gaviria was the class of the field once again.LUK BENIES/Getty Images

As noted by CafeRoubaix, the Colombian, on his Grand Tour debut, made history with this remarkable victory:

Afterwards, as reported by Cycling News, Gaviria was asked if he was the standout sprinter in the field.

“I’m not sure about the best,” said the modest youngster. “The best sprinter in this Giro is Andre Greipel. He’s won more stages in his career than me and won more stages of the Giro. I’ve got maybe better form than him, but he’s the better sprinter.”

Friday will be another day for the sprinters, as the 167-kilometre run from Reggio Emilia to Tortona is flat throughout. The competitors for the Maglia Rosa will most likely feature prominently on Saturday, though, when Stage 14 finishes with a steep climb to Santuario di Oropa.

Source link