Giro d'Italia 2019: Stage 12 finish line quotes

Jan Polanc in the breakaway during stage 12 at the Giro

Jan Polanc in the breakaway during stage 12 at the Giro (Image credit: Getty Images)

Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) - new race leader

"It's always a dream to wear the pink jersey. For me after two stage wins at the Giro I think this was a dream for us.

"Today the team boss says you need to go in the break, I said 'Fucker!'. I was focused to get in the breakaway and at one point I was thinking of the stage victory for sure but when we got the gap everyone started saying you need to pull now so I think I did what I needed to do today.

"For the stage tomorrow it will be big for the team. We didn't come here with GC ambitions but we've had Valerio [Conti] in pink for quite a few days and now for me it's also really nice."

Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe) - stage 12 winner

"I've been working so hard for the others during this Giro and today I had the opportunity to get in the break. We said in the meeting if it was a big break I should sneak in and it wasn't my first time in the break but stayed in it until the end, riding 100 percent.

"I'm not a talent, I'm not a winner. I would've been happy with a high placing and I wasn't with the guys in the climb but I made it back on and I did the same on the final hill. I knew the three guys on the front would look at each other and hesitate a bit. I used everything I had to get back on and sat on the wheel and got the win."

Eddie Dunbar (Team Ineos) - third on stage 12

"I'm a bit disappointed really, I wasn't the quickest but I was certainly one of the strongest. At the finish I had [Gianluca] Brambilla and Eros [Capecchi] there and I knew them being Italian they'd be a bit more keen to get to the finish than me so I gambled a bit and then got caught by the two guys behind but that's bike racing I guess. You live and learn.

"I didn't feel super and I was worried about what gear to pick. I thought if I started at the back I could see who is strong and normally guys can feel it on the climb so I waited and if I can get to the top two I thought I might have a chance.

"At the end it was literally who can push the biggest gear, the other guys had the experience on me and that extra bit of endurance but it's a start for sure for me."

Hugh Carthy (EF Education First) - best young rider

"I knew maybe under the right circumstances it might happen, so it was possible, it wasn't just a dream. It was a tough climb today and [Miguel Angel] Lopez attacked quite early on the climb. I knew it might happen and we put a couple of riders on the front on the descent to keep him within distance and I was dropped a little bit on the final kick with a couple of kilometres to go. I don't know, it's hard today. It was hard today, a hard climb, it was hot and the first real test for the legs. I wasn't 100 percent today but now I think I'll be a bit better.

"It was in the back of my mind [to get the white jersey] but the two guys are both pretty good riders and I didn't know how easy it was going to be to drop them on the climb. It was on my mind but it wasn't my main objective. My main objective was to get over the climb with the leaders and stay in the select group which I did so I'm happy, very happy.

"500 metres to go at the top of the climb I just got a little bit unstuck and somebody else attacked, opened a gap. the descent was pretty tricky and I didn't know it or have anyone to follow so the descent was pretty tricky but I managed to get back on the flat. I wouldn't read too much into today, the first climb is always strange some good riders got dropped and others powered away and the same thing happened in the TT the other day.

"Tomorrow will be another hard one, I think I'll just have to switch off and relax."


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