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Giro d'Italia 2015: Stage 12

Welcome to live coverage of the Giro d'Italia stage 12 from Imola to Vicenza (Monte Berico).

It's a cloudy day in Imola this morning but thankfully it's dry for now. The riders are signing on and they'll be underway in 30 minutes.

It's a stage of two halves today with barely a bump in the road in the first part of the day, while the riders will face three classified climbs in the final 60 kilometres.

The show of the signature check! / Lo spettacolo del foglio firma! #giro http://t.co/xTafYxwo4u

@giroditalia Thu, 21st May 2015 11:09:59

After missing out on victory yesterday, today should be another chance for the classics riders to take home a stage win as Stephen Farrand explains in his detailed preview of today's parcours

Alberto Contador has been up to the stage sign on already and he's making his way to the start line. He was in an aggressive mood yesterday, attacking on the final climb. Read the full reaction here.

Great idea from a bar-owner in Imola: Stopping the riders on their way to inscription for a pre-inscription. #Giro http://t.co/ev2OL4qjtn

@felixmattis Thu, 21st May 2015 11:19:00

Despite Contador's attack, there were no movements at the top of the GC standings. Here is how things look on the overall classification this morning.

 

1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 46:54:19
2 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:03
3 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:46
4 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:16
5 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:46
6 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:02:10
7 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 0:02:12
8 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:02:20
9 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:02:24
10 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky 0:02:30

This year's Giro d'Italia has been a fruitful one for the breakaways, with Ilnur Zakarin's stage success yesterday another in a line of breakaway victories. Missed any of yesterday's action, watch it here and don't forget you can subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel here so you don't miss any of the Giro action.

And the peloton has set off for stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia

Will the classics men finally get their chance today or can the breakaway do it again? Let us know your predictions for today's stage on twitter at @Cyclingnewsfeed or @SadhbhOS

#giro The stage has started, let the battle begin!

@Lotto_Soudal Thu, 21st May 2015 11:39:15

It's tight at the top of the mountains classification so we could see the likes of Intxausti or Geschke going on the attack today to mop up some of the points towards the end of the stage. Here's how that classification looks at the moment.

 

1 Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar Team 52 pts
2 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin 50
3 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 43
4 Carlos Betancur (Col) AG2R La Mondiale 41
5 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 23
6 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team 19
7 Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Team Katusha 15
8 Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida 15
9 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 15
10 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 15

187 riders took the start this morning, with all that finished yesterday signing on in Imola.

I have @enricobattaglin for the win today. @Cyclingnewsfeed

@KrStokdahl Thu, 21st May 2015 11:47:39

The debate about the Richie Porte/Simon Clarke wheel change and subsequent time penalty has continued to rumble on. Cyclingnews' Patrick Fletcher wrote this excellent opinion piece on the situation, saying that while the gesture was admirable the penalty was justified.

We've had a number attacks in the first 20 kilometres, including one from Fabio Sabatini. Currently we have a CCC rider up the road with a small gap.

More on that now infamous wheel change and former rider Robert Millar has lent his opinion on the matter in his latest blog for Cyclingnews. Millar famously helped Stephen Roche during the 1987 Giro d'Italia. Read what he had to say here.

158km remaining from 190km

After 32km of racing, none of the early attacks have stuck and it's still gruppo compatto for the moment.

After losing out in the two stages following the rest day, the peloton seem reluctant to let anything go and after 37km we still don't have a serious breakaway.

As we wait for a breakaway to form, let's take a look back at yesterday and Zakarin confirmed himself as an emerging talent with his stage win in Imola. Zakarin made a name for himself with overall success at the Tour de Romandie, however, he's also been in trouble with the cycling authorities in the past. Just who is Ilnur Zakarin? Read Stephen Farrand's profile of the young Russian.

Brian Cookson paid a visit to the Giro d'Italia this morning. We've got more from the UCI president later but hear what he had to say about the race so far in this video.

#giro After 51 km there is still a compact peloton!

@Lotto_Soudal Thu, 21st May 2015 12:39:44

130km remaining from 190km

The riders had a dry stat but the weather has turned on them and with 60km under their belt it is now raining. It's been a very fast start thought and the peloton remains all together.

How long before the peloton allow a break to get away? Let us know your predictions on twitter at @Cyclingnewsfeed or @SadhbhOS.

 

You can also follow us on Facebook, Youtube and Instagram for race highlights, photos and more.

Outside of the Giro d'Italia and Giant-Alpecin have named their long-list for the Tour de France. Kittel, Degenkolb and Barguil have all been named in the list. Read the full story here.

We're now 70 kilometres into the stage and still no breakaway. The peloton seem to be worried after the previews few stages. The lack of breakaway is reflected in the 52.2kph average speed over the first hour.

At last, the peloton have finally relented and five men have gone clear. They are Patrick Gretsch (AG2R-La Mondiale), Davide Appollonio (Androni-Giocattoli), Enrico Barbin (Bariani-CSF),  Kenny Elissonde (FDJ) Nick Van der Lijke (LottoNL-Jumbo)

The quiet before the @giroditalia storm on the Colle delle Finestre. Only 9 days to go! #giro http://t.co/dGtOm3Gdoi

@jeredgruber Thu, 21st May 2015 13:07:09

116km remaining from 190km

The peloton have immediately stepped off the gas and are now going at a more manageable 40kph. That's allowed the escapees to build a gap of 1:50.

Orica-GreenEdge are leading the bunch, they've said that they are working for Simon Gerrans today. The leaders now have 2:12 on the peloton.

Alberto Contador's late attack yesterday looked like it had Fabio Aru in a bit of trouble, however his teammate Tiralongo says that the Italian was expecting the move. He's still just three seconds behind Contaodr in the overall classification. Read what Tiralongo had to say after yesterday's stage.

The break! / La Fuga! #giro http://t.co/aYebTfwpkL

@giroditalia Thu, 21st May 2015 13:24:33

Today's stage finishes in Vicenzo for the ninth time in the history of the Giro d'Italia. Visconti won on the last appearance in 2013. Mario Cipollini is another victor in Vicenzo, the Italian won back in 1996.

99km remaining from 190km

As the riders pass the 100km to go mark, the Orica-GreenEdge led peloton have brought the gap to the escapees down to 1:31. they're keeping a close eye on these five.

The riders are through the first intermediate sprint. The escapees mopped up most of the points, with Viviani leading the bunch through the sprint followed by Nizzolo and Boem.

Brian Cookson did the media rounds this morning on the start line in Imola. The hot topic of conversation was still the two-minute penalty meted out to Richie Porte and Simon Clarke following an illegal wheel change. Cookson spoke to television ahead of the stage.

“This is not a new rule it’s been in the books for many decade I don’t think that it’s unreasonable to expect the riders to know the rules. The commissaires took the decision and the right decision in my opinion and in any case I don't think it would be correct for me to intervene,” said Cookson.

“I think it could be said that maybe the pen was on the high side. It’s not a new rule and I don’t’ think it’s unreasonable to expect the teams to understand those rules.”
 

You can also watch a video interview with Cookson here.

Riders are just dropping back from the peloton for quick discussions with the car and picking up food. Heinrich Haussler takes two or three musettes for some teammates.

79km remaining from 190km

The rain is no longer over the riders now but they're still in a small headwind. It's still Orica-GreenEdge on the front of the peloton and they're maintaining the gap at around 1:31

As the gap stays stable, we'll take a look at the guys in the breakaway. First up is the young Kenny Elissonde. The 23-year-old Frenchman turned professional in 2012 and made his Grand Tour debut the following season. It was at the Vuelta in 2013 where he won a mist-draped up the Angrilu. This is his first Giro d'Italia and he is best placed in the GC at 49:24 down.

Next up is Davide Appollonio, who is riding his fourth Giro d'Italia. Appollonio is with Androni this season but he has been with AG2R and Team sky in recent years. His biggest victory to date is the overall classification at the Tour de Luxembourg, which he did in 2011.

The Colombians Darwin Atapuma and Carlos Betancur have crashed. Atapuma is quickly back on his way but Betancur has to wait for a new bike. The AG2R rider fell yesterday and is bandaged up on his right side.

71km remaining from 190km

A replay shows that Betancur went down on his own, unsure how Atapuma became involved in that.

72.2km to go. 1 minute gap. We are on the front of the peloton. #Giro

@Etixx_QuickStep Thu, 21st May 2015 14:09:31

Back to our breakaway and Patrick Gretsch is next. The German is Appollonio's former lead-out man after joining AG2R in 2014. Gretsch is a strong time triallist and will be looking to do something at this weekend's TT. His one stage victory came in 2011 in the team time trial with HTC Colombia.

68km remaining from 190km

Etixx-QuickStep have put some men to the front now and the gap continues to tick down. It's now at 49 seconds as the rain falls again.

The second of two Italians in the breakaway is Enrico Barbin, who is riding his second Giro d'Italia. Barbin turned professional in 2013 and is a former stage winner of the Baby Giro.

Last up, as the gap to the break comes down to 28 seconds, is second-year porfessional Nick van der Lijke. He is riding his first Grand Tour.

63km remaining from 190km

Van der Lijke gives a little dig off the front to take the points and bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint, followed by Barbin.

60km remaining from 190km

Only three riders are left in the reak and they're about to get caught by the peloton.

Problems for Francesco Gavazzi and he waits for a new front wheel from the car.

The break has been reduced to just one rider, Patrick Gretsch but he's only a few metres ahead of the peloton.

At the Giro d'Italia, Cyclingnews has been behind the scenes with several teams. In this video, the mechanics of the pro peloton run us through their last minute checks ahead of a stage.

Zilioli attacks and catches Gretsch with ease. He's now alone ahead of the bunch as Gretsch drops back.

55km remaining from 190km

The peloton are onto the first classified climb of the day Castelnuovo and Zilioli still holds a gap of around 10 seconds.

Louis Vervaeke is the next rider to attack from the bunch and he's closing in on Zilioli. No reaction from the peloton.

Geschke attacks. He wants the mountains jersey again.

Geschke takes the points, followed by Intxausti and the Spaniard keeps the blue jersey for now.

Mechanical problem for Zakarin. Looks like a puncture as he gets a new front wheel.

Vervaeke now leads solo on the descent of this climb but he's having problems in the rain on this twisting road.

51km remaining from 190km

Tinkoff-Saxo are leading the peloton at the moment with Alberto Contador sitting third wheel.

The riders are climbing again briefly. It's not a classified climb, but there are still two more of those remaining in the final 50km.

Contador has got fed up of his rain jacket. He finally takes it off to reveal the maglia rosa. Is he preparing for a move soon?

Vervaeke has 16 seconds on the chaser Zilioli while he has 47 on the peloton as he begins descending again.

The Dolomites that await #Giro from Sunday, seen from today's stage finish in Vicenza http://t.co/GOZGU6OHGr

@tweetingashley Thu, 21st May 2015 14:45:56

As the riders make their way through the final quarter of this stage, a quick recap of what's happened today. The peloton had a fast start, averaging 52.2kph over the first hour of racing. After 70km of racing we had a five-man break go free. They were: Patrick Gretsch (AG2R-La Mondiale), Davide Appollonio (Androni-Giocattoli), Enrico Barbin (Bariani-CSF), Kenny Elissonde (FDJ) Nick Van der Lijke (LottoNL-Jumbo).

 

Those five men were only allowed just over 2 minutes on the peloton before they were brought back with more than 60km to go. We've had a series of attacks since then with Vervaeke now leading the peloton by over a minute. He is being chased by Zilioli.

Vervaeke is in his first full season as a professional, he joined the senior Lotto-Soudal team late last year. The Belgian won a stage of the Tour de l'Avenir in 2014 and finished fifth overall.

42km remaining from 190km

Zilioli is making no ground on Vervaeke and appears to be drifting back to the peloton. His deficit to Vervaeke is now 20 seconds.

40km remaining from 190km

No time checks back to the peloton but Vervaeke now has 30 seconds over Zilioli.

Zilioli is brought back by the peloton, leaving Vervaeke out alone with 39km remaining.

Six Tinkoff-Saxo riders on the front of the peloton as they string out the bunch. Contador sitting second to last wheel in the Tinkoff train.

37km remaining from 190km

Vervaeke has his arms down on the handlebars as he maintains the gap around 30 seconds.

33km remaining from 190km

The gap continues to come down and Vervaeke only has 10 seconds on the peloton.

The Crosara is coming up next for the riders, and is the penultimate ascent of the day. The short climb has a maximum gradient of 17%.

Sign at the start of the next climb. #giro http://t.co/ANgwqVd4DL

@daniellloyd1 Thu, 21st May 2015 15:06:37

30km remaining from 190km

Vervaeke has been caught by the peloton and it's gruppo compatto once again.

As the peloton hit the Crosara, Green-Edge and AG2R join Tinkoff-Saxo at the front of the peloton.

Despite spending time in the breakaway, Gretsch is sitting on the front of the peloton and working for his teammate Betancur.

29km remaining from 190km

Kiryienka has a small gap on the front of the peloton. He doesn't appear to be attacking, just happy riding right at the front.

What's the point of riding 10m ahead of the bunch?

@ComounaFlecha Thu, 21st May 2015 15:14:48

Michael Rogers is on the front of the bunch now, he's one of two teammates remaining for Contador. This peloton is getting whittled down very quickly.

Intxausti attacks, he wants the points at the top of this climb.

28km remaining from 190km

These points will give him a bit more of a buffer at the top of the mountains classification.

Intxausti takes the points at the top and has a 15-second advantage on the peloton as Contador has a little dig.

Does Contador think Aru is a poor descender? Does that explain attacks just before the GPMs? Or is he just jessing?

@friebos Thu, 21st May 2015 15:24:00

Diego Ulissi doesn't look too happy with the descending in the wet and he's just off the back of the peloton. He's a contender for the win today if he can hold on.

Simon Gerrans has crashed.

Chaves is with Gerrans. He looks like he's in pain.

Out front we've got one of the FDJ riders giving it beans down the descent. He's really going for it and is hanging his leg out as he tries not to overbalance on the corners.

Gerrans is back on the bike but the peloton is well gone. Orica-GreenEdge had him as their contender for today but they'll be looking to Michael Matthews now.

20km remaining from 190km

The FDJ rider overcooks it on a corner and goes across the grass, nearly taking out a family and a dog in the process. That has done his break for the day and he's caught by the peloton.

Another crash and Stef Clement has gone down with a Sky rider. Clement getting some attention from the doctors and it looks like his race could be over.

Rigoberto Uran has a dig off the front but Landa has him pegged. He crashed in the rain yesterday and is looking to make some time.

#Giro: @simongerrans has gone down in a crash, not going to be his day today. A shame but he is back on his bike as always.

@ORICA_GreenEDGE Thu, 21st May 2015 15:29:52

18km remaining from 190km

Another climb coming up in around 4km. This one is not classified but it's still a challenging one.

17km remaining from 190km

Landa leading the group of favourites, which contains around 10 riders. There is another slightly larger group chasing on.

17km remaining from 190km

Kangert leading the group of favourites, which contains around 10 riders. There is another slightly larger group chasing on.

15km remaining from 190km

Pellizotti attacks

No reaction from the peloton, they're not worried about Pellizotti.

14km remaining from 190km

The two groups behind Pellizotti have come together and we have a bunch of around 30 chasing down the Italian as they hit this unclassified climb.

More riders are coming back to the main group, including several Orica-GreenEdge riders. Tinkoff-Saxo lsetting the pace.

13km remaining from 190km

Pellizotti still hanging out front with 21 seconds on the peloton.

Fellini was getting dropped earlier in this small climb but the Trek Factory Racing rider digs deep to get back on.

Movistar attack, provoking a response from Contador.

11km remaining from 190km

It's all brought back together now with two Astana riders on the front along with Contador.

Pellizzotti still has a small gap as the riders descend off this unclassified climb.

Those attacks have really reduced the size of this bunch but Astana still have six riders here while Contador only has one teammate for company.

9km remaining from 190km

Astana have put all their remaining riders on the front of this small peloton as the hunt down Pellizotti.

Contador is sitting at the back of the Astana train with Kreuziger behind him. Team Sky are just behind them with three riders in this group.

Kangert has gone off the front on this descent and BMC take over the front of the peloton.

IAM Cycling confirm that Stef Clement is back on the bike and riding again after his crash earlier

6km remaining from 190km

Izagirre attacks, he's chasing Gilbert

Izagirre and Gilbert have around 10 metres on the bunch with Pellizotti about to get caught.

4km remaining from 190km

Kangert is with Pellizotti now and he has a dig, forcing the Italian to chase hard to stay in his wheel. Izagirre and Gilbert are back with the peloton.

3km remaining from 190km

Gilbert still heads up the group of favourites and Michael Matthews makes his first appearance too.

2km remaining from 190km

Kangert doing all the work in this leading group with Pellizotti just sitting in his wheel at the moment. They've got 24 seconds on the chasers now.

The chasing group are strung out as BMC put more men at the front. It's going to be tough with 30 seconds to make up in just 2 kilometers.

On the straight road, the group of favourites can see the escapees but there's still 20 seconds to make up.

Under the flamme rouge and the leaders have 20 seconds.

Kangert gets a gap

The peloton can see Kangert though with 450metres to go

Gilbert attacks

Gilbert catches Kangert with Tralongo in his wheel

Gilbert wins

Gilbert wins

Contador takes second and should earn himself some bonus seconds with Ulissi finishing third.

Aru finished at the back of that group and it looks like he has lost a few more seconds to Contador on top of the bonus seconds.

That's Gilbert's second Giro stage win in his career. He won a stage of the 2009 race.

Aru is now 17 seconds behind Contador, he's lost 14 seconds today.

Here's confirmation of the top 10 for today's stage

1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 4:22:50
2 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:03
3 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
5 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF
6 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team
7 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:06
8 Carlos Betancur (Col) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team

And here is the all important GC as ti stands after stage 12

 

1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 51:17:06
2 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:17
3 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:55
4 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:30
5 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:55
6 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:02:19
7 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 0:02:21
8 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:02:29
9 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:02:38
10 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky 0:02:44

Anyone placing bets on Leo Koenig jumping to top6 after the time trial? #giro

@8aldwin Thu, 21st May 2015 16:09:51

Giro d'Italia 2015: Gilbert wins Stage 12 in Vicenza | http://t.co/U3YFUhcXU6 http://t.co/8GTpDy1AiL http://t.co/CNgVtXET1g

@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 21st May 2015 16:13:13

That's it from us today, don't forget to join us tomorrow for the next stage of the Giro d'Italia.

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