Fraile moves into KOM lead
A day after his debut Grand Tour stage win, Dimension Data's Omar Fraile returned to the podium to collect the blue King of the Mountains jersey. Fraile, a two-time KOM winner at the Vuelta a Espana, disposed Jan Polanc atop the standings by three points, and became the second Dimension Data rider of the 2017 Giro to lead the KOM classification after Daniel Teklehaimanot on stage 2.
Tied on points at the start of the day, Fraile got the better of Polanc on the category 2 Colla Di Casaglia climb, and then picked up another point at the second catergorised climb, Valico Appenninico, to secure the blue jersey.
"The team was really great today. In the last kilometer of the climb, Daniel [Teklehaimanot] pulled so hard it created a gap," Fraile explained. "Only me and Polanc stayed with him. Polanc then attacked but I had good legs and managed to get around him and take the points. From now on, I’ll take it day by day and see how long I can keep this jersey. The Giro is still long and we have to wait and see what happens."
The Dimension Data team got their wires crossed in the sprint finish, with Ryan Gibbons and Kristian Sbaragli losing each other, but Gibbons still managed to come away with sixth place.
"Coming into the sprint, the team was good in positioning me and Kristian [Sbaragli]. With about two kilometers to go, I moved in front of Kristian to try to move him up. It was quite hard and unfortunately, we lost each other with about 600 meters to go," Gibbons said. "I was a bit in no-man's-land, thinking should I go or not. I looked back and saw that Kristian was not there, so I decided to try. I felt really good but I was never really sprinting to win, only to salvage something. Now, we are looking forward to tomorrow, which seems to be the last chance for the sprinters."
Second runner-up result for Mareczko
The Wilier Triestina rider is making his second appearance at the Giro after 2015 when he was forced to abandon on stage 5. With two wins at the Tour de Langkawi to his name in 2017, the 23-year-old has been a standout rider for his team and thanked his teammates for believing in his chances for the sprint finish.
"Fernando Gaviria was the strongest today, I couldn't beat him but I want to thank my team mates that from yesterday were trusting in me. Tomorrow we have a new chance and we will try to get a result that could make this Giro unforgettable," he said.
Stage 13 provides Mareczko with the opportunity to again sprint for stage success as he looks to break his Giro duck and also claim the first win of the 100th Giro for an Italian.
Will Dumoulin keep the climbers at bay? - Podcast
The Giro's 'fight for pink' is likely to go down to the wire, with chrono man Tom Dumoulin holding the advantage over the likes of Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali, Thibaut Pinot and Bauke Mollema. With 12 stages raced, Dane Cash and Daniel Benson turn their attention to the overall battle and how stage 14's summit finish at Oropa is likely to shake things up.
In the podcast, we also hear from Bauke Mollema and Sky's Geraint Thomas [ed. before he pulled out of the race].
Subscribe to the Cyclingnews podcast.