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As it happened: Sprinters take the day after racing splits in crosswinds on stage 13


Buongiorno and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 13 of the 2024 Giro d'Italia!

Following yesterday's action-packed breakaway day, when the attacks barely relented all day as scores of riders eyed-up a chance to get up the road and grab a stage win, stage thirteen is expected to be much more serene. It’s one of the flattest stages of the race, and therefore one that should be nailed-on for the sprinters.

Yesterday was all about Julian Alaphilippe, who at last put years of problems behind him to take a spectacular victory. It was a special day, and one we’ve reflected on here.

As for today, it's a chance for the sprinters to come back to the fore - and for the last time in a while, before we reach the Alps. Read our preview of what to expect. 

Jonathan Milan was successful the last time the Giro had a sprint two days ago, a result that gave him the status as the race’s best sprinter - and the first rider to win multiple bunch sprints at a Giro since the 2022 edition. Though the bunch finishes have been open, Milan has been the most consistent, reflected in his big lead in the Points Classification, and today has the chance to complete a major haul of victories.

To put that into perspective: today Milan has the chance to become the first rider other than Arnaud Demare to win three sprints at a Giro d’Italia since the 2018 edition. Winning such a haul of sprints in a Grand Tour as testing as the Giro is rare, and would underline just what a serious talent the 23-year-old is.

Now that Olav Kooij has gone home, the one man remaining in the race who has managed to defeat Milan in a sprint this Giro is Tim Merlier. The Belgian may not be so much of a threat in the Points Classification after he lost his runner-up finish from stage 11 for dangerous sprinting, but can still better Milan in a sprint - and unlike in Naples last weekend, there aren’t any climbs for him to worry about being dropped on.

The riders are in the neutralised zone now. We'll be racing soon!

The parcours might suggest this will be a straightforward flat day, but things rarely play out in a simple way at the Giro d’Italia, and there is one factor that could throw a spanner in the works - crosswinds. Conditions are quite windy, too, so if it blows in the right direction and some teams fancy taking the race on, things could get very interesting.


There's an attack from Andrea Pietrobon immediatley, and two Bardiani riders have gone clear too.

Manuele Tarozzi and Manuele Tarozzi are the two Bardiani riders.

And that appears to be that! The peloton has already sat up, and the three out front already have a minute's advantage. 

Everybody seems happy with this situation - the Italian wildcard teams have their time on the TV, and the rest of the sprinters' teams have a breakaway that should be manageable.


The peloton at the start (Image credit: Getty Images)


The TV motor is currently focussing on Mirco Maestri in the peloton, who’s waving cheerily back. His role in yesterday’s stage should not be underestimated - were it not for his powerful engine, Alaphilippe would surely not have won the stage. Far from disappointed, he looks happy today, and ought to be given how impressive he was. Today it’s the turn of his Polti-Kometa teammate Andrea Pietrobon to do a shift in the breakaway.

It's still very realxed out there, but the gap has steadied at about 3 minutes. It seems the break are also not pulling too hard yet either, knowing they have potentially a long day ahead of them. 


Here’s the peloton being serenaded at the start of the day by a guitarist playing the Italian national anthem.

Alpecin–Deceuninck have joined Milan’s Lidl-Trek and Merlier’s Soudal-QuickStep in contributing to the pace-setting. They must still fancy the chances of their man Kaden Groves, despite his struggle to get involved in the sprints so far this year, and the lack of any climbs today to put pressure on his rival sprinters.


Pieter Serry

The peloton, being led by Soudal-QuickStep's Pieter Serry (Image credit: Getty Images)


Not much happening on the road at the Giro right now, but there is good news from the wider world of cycling. Wout van Aert has announced that he will return to racing later this month, at the Tour of Norway. That will be his first race since crashing out of Dwars door Vlaanderen, and suggests he’s on track for a Tour de France appearance later in the year. 


Julian Alaphilippe

(Image credit: Getty Images)


The teams at the front are working for Milan, Merlier and Groves, but what about the other sprinters still here? Those three sprinters’ teams might have been the most prominent throughout the Giro, but there are a host of other big names who we shouldn’t forget about.

Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Victorious) was hyped a sprinter to look out for before the race, given his strong start to the season, and though he hasn’t quite been at the level of the quickest finishers here, he’s still been up there, with a 3rd, 7th and 8th finish to his name. If things go his way, it’s not impossible he could land a long-awaited first ever Grand Tour victory.

The race has woken up as the riders approach the intermediate sprint. Milan and Groves are being led out for it.

Milan defeats him to extend his lead. Both riders had three teammates to lead them out, but Milan's was the better and he actually finished two places higher than Groves, with Filippo Fiorelli in between them.

No other sprinter was involved, however, suggesting that Merlier has thrown in the towel  in that competition. Groves in second and Fiorelli in fourth are the only riders left even trying to challenge Milan. 


So, going back to the outside candidates for the win today: what of Juan Sebastián Molano’s chances? The Colombian had the luxury of a lead-out from no less than the pink jersey of UAE Team Emirates teammate Tadej Pogačar in Naples on Sunday, and capitalised to finish third that day. Pogačar hinted at the start that, should circumstances allow, he might do the same today, so look out for Molano to be up there.

It had been hoped that Caleb Ewan would return to being competitive in the sprints again this Giro, but he’s so far struggled to feature, with only one top ten finish to his name so far (sixth in Lucca on stage 5). He’s still here, though, and could be building his strength the deeper he gets into the Grand Tour. A man with his record can't be written off. 


Another experienced sprinter still looking for his best form is Fernando Gaviria. He hasn’t been as prominent as he was at the Giro last year, when he’d frequently threaten to win in the sprints by launching early only to fade before the line, but has still been up there, with two placings of seventh. A first win at Grand Tour level in five years appears unlikely, but after Alaphilippe rolled back the years yesterday, maybe there’s something in the air for the stars of their generation?


The peloton is approaching the next intermediate sprint.

This time Milan didn't even bother going for them. Only Groves and Fiorelli showed any interest, with the former gaining the maximum five points available after being led out by a teammate. 

One sprinter who has been quiet so far but could pose a threat is Alberto Dainese. He has form when it comes to starting Grand Tours quietly to win a bunch sprint from nowhere later into a race: in 2022 he won stage 11, and last year he won stage 17 having not previously made the top 30 of any stage.


There are several young sprinters we should keep an eye on come the sprint finish, too. 20-year-old Madis Mihkels has been increasingly impressive lately, finishing ninth in Anodra on stage 4 and sixth in Naples on stage 9. With Biniam Girmay out of the race, the young Estonian will be the man at the end of Intermarché - Wanty’s lead out train.

This has been a very relaxed day for Tadej Pogačar in the pink jersey. Knowing him, he's probbaly finding a day like this more boring than anything else, but should appreciate the rest, as the GC stages come thick and fast after this, starting with tomorrow's time trial.


Team dsm-firmenich PostNL was one of the teams to move to the front in anticipation of the turn onto the exposed roads, indicating that they’re still interested in going for a high placing despite their senior sprinter Fabio Jakobsen leaving the race prior to yesterday’s stage. In his absence, 21-year-old Tobias Lund Andersen will take over as sprinter, hoping to find the legs that brought him fifth-place in Fossano on stage three.

The break has just gone over the third and final intermediate sprint of the day, with Pietrobon taking the maximum points ahead of Tonelli and Tarozzi. The Maglia Ciclamino candidates in the peloton won’t be competing this time, though - for this one there are only points available for the first three over the line.

The race has woken up! Inoes Grenadiers have suddenly upped the pace.

They're trying to split the race up.

It's an exposed road, but this move has come from nowere, and some might have been caught out.

There is indeed a small split in the peloton.

Ganna is the man now laying the hammer down. Pogačar is safe, and it's unlear yet if any GC riders are the wrong side of the split.

Milan is one of the riders caught out, in the group behind.


Milan is in a very tricky spot - he's even having to chase himself at the front of the distanced group. 

There appears to be something like 50 riedrs in the Ineos-led group, the group behind larger. There must be some more high-profile names caught out in the latter, you'd expect. 

Plenty of the outsider sprinters we mentioned are among those caught out - Lund and Dainese have been spotted there. 

It's not just Ineos who are working now, but also other teams, including Soudal-QuickStep and Alpecin-Deceuninck. They must smell blood, and a chance to take Milan out of contention for the stage.

All this will spell a premature end to the break. They're only 11 seconds ahead now. 

Movistar and Astana are helping Lidl chase in the second group - perhaps implying that their respective GC contenders Rubio and Fortunato have been caught out?

Day over for Pietrobon, Tarozzi and Tonelli - they've been caught by the first peloton. 

The chase group can still see the lead group up the road, so the gap is certainly bridgeable, but the pace is so high that it's a real struggle.

Even if it does come back together, Milan is surely going to be badly affected in the event of a sprint - he's having to expend much energy in contributing to the chase. 

The advantage is swinging back to the chase group - they've very nearly made the juncture now.

The leaders aren't giving up yet, though. They're determined to mae this as hard as possible for the chasers to rejoin them. 


Now the chase group has split into two, meaning we have three groups on the road. Milan was not caught out this time, and is in the second group. 

12 seconds now between the first and second group. This might not come back together after all.

Ten seconds now between the first two groups. This is agonising for the chasers - they can see them, but they can't catch them.

They're back together! Group two has rejoined group one, after a long, hard effort. That means Milan is back in contention. 

Ineos are still at the front, but have slackened the pace.

Fortunanto was indeed one of the riders caught out, but he's making his way back to the front of the peloton now. His seventh place on GC is safe again.

There's still one group that's adrift and chasing. There doesn't seem to be any really big names there, but veteran - and, crucially given the circumstances, lightweight - climber Domenico Pozzovivo is among them.


The Pozzovivo and Lopez group has rejoined. With 38km to go, the race is all back together again.

There really has been no such thing as a straightfoward, boring stage at this year's Giro.

Here's a glimpse of Ineos causing chaos in the crosswinds.

While all that was happening, stage two of the Vuelta a Burgos Féminas came to a conclusion You can read about what happened here.

It's all much calmer now. The pace has slowed, and the riders are spread across the road, rather than in single file. The action will surely kick off again soon, though, as the finishing sprint approaches. 

Geraint Thomas

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Attacks from the peloton! Two riders have gone clear.


That duo has been granted a lead of 22 seconds. The peloton is happy to allow someone up the road for now, so long as it's a small group, and not featuring any especially dangerous riders.

30 seconds now for the De Pooter and Marcellusi. Soudal-QuickStep have taken responsibility in the peloton and are leading the chase.

Dries De Pooter

(Image credit: Getty Images)


There's been a crashin the peloton, which has also caught a split.

A fair few riders held up, but no stage candidates nor GC men appear to be involved. Neither does anyone look too badly hurt. 

The incident occured about halfway down the bunch, and the road was narrow enough for some caught the wrong side of it to come to a standstill despite not falling themselves. 

Soudal-QuickStep and Alpecin-Deceuninck are leading the peloton. 

 Marcellusi and Dries De Pooter's lead has come down to 20 seconds, meanwhile. They have very little hope of surviving. 


 Marcellusi is back in the peloton.

The battle for positionning ahead of the sprint is on. There are various twists and turns, and Alpecin lead them around the latest.

GC teams are also throwing their weight around. UAE Team Emirates and Bora-Hansgrohe are both right at the front, staying careful in case of more splits - it's not impossible that the wind could again cause more damage.


That's it, De Poorter is caught. All set now for a sprint finish, barring something dramatic happening these final nine kilometres. 

No team is taking control yet, with riders bunched all across the road.

Still relatively calm in the peloton. There's no major jostling for positioning just yet. 


And the pace seriously increases the moment they come under the 5m to go banner. They're worried about these late turns.

Inoes are leading again, and the peloton is strung out.

Still Ineos lead as they approach the 3km to go banner.

Now Soudal-QuickStep take over as the sprinter teams come to the fore.

Lidl-Trek are on the charge, and have a long train that's now ahead of Soudal-QuickStep.

2km to go.

Still Lidl-Trek are in control.

They have 3 or 4 teammates, with Milan at the back of the train.


This is looing good for Lidl, theyre stil leading.

Does Milan have the legs to finish it off though?

Gaviria starts his sprint early.

Milan's on his wheel...

...Milan passess him and takes the win!

Victory number three for Milan. What a Giro the Italian is having!

Milan's Lidl-Trek teammates led him out for the final kilometres right up until the finishing straight, when Milan was perfectly positionned to jump onto Gaviria's wheel when he launched his sprint. 

Gaviria eventually faded away into sixth-place, while Cofidis' Stanisław Aniołkowski was a surprise name to charge past him for second-place.

Behind Stanisław Aniołkowski in third was Phil Bauhaus, followed by Tim van Dijke in fourth and Hugo Hofstetter in fifth. 

Despite all of Soudal-QuickStep's work, there was no sign of Tim Merlier in the finale. He finished way down, outside of the top ten.

Neither was Kaden Groves, who once again doesn't deliver the kind of result to justify the amount of work done by his Alpecin-Deceuninck team.

CENTO, ITALY - MAY 17: Jonathan Milan of Italy and Team Lidl - Trek - Purple Points Jersey celebrates at finish line as stage winner during the 107th Giro d'Italia 2024, Stage 13 a 179km stage from Riccione to Cento / #UCIWT / on May 17, 2024 in Cento, Italy. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Where did that sprint from Stanisław Aniołkowski come from? Second-place is his highest finish of the season so far, and quite probably the best result of his career, given how much bigger a race the Giro is compared with the five wins he's had in his career. 

Here's today's top ten in full:

Tadej Pogačar might not have provided another lead out for Juan Sebastián Molano this time, but still finished safely in the bunch with no time lost.

Best sprinter's cyclamen jersey Team Lidl-Trek's Italian rider Jonathan Milan (L) sprints to win the 13th stage of the 107th Giro d'Italia cycling race, 179km between Riccione and Cento, on May 17, 2024. (Photo by Luca Bettini / AFP)

(Image credit: Luca Bettini / AFP / Getty Images)

It should be remembered that Milan's victory came after he not only was caught the wrong side of the split, but also did a considerable amount of work in the chase to rejoin. He really is on fire at the moment, and looks unstoppable is positioned well enough in the finale. 

And positionning in the final was certainly not a problem for Milan today. Lidl-Trek provided him with an exceptional lead-out, keeping him right at the front for the final kilomeres, and giving him a clear run to the line to launch his formidable sprint at the end. 

Merlier and Groves final placings have been confirmed as 15th and 16th respectively - a disappointing way for both to finish this phase of sprint stages.

They will be back hunting for stage deeper into the third week, provided they survive the mountains in store before then.

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