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Giro d'Italia 2018: Stage 12


Buongiorno to you all and welcome to live coverage of stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia. The riders are signing on and the racing will be underway in just under 30 minutes.

There were no big mountains but yesterday saw another shake-up in the general classification. Simon Yates won the stage to extend his lead but Chris Froome and Michael Woods both dropped out of the top 10. This is how the general classification looks this morning. 


1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 47:08:21
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:47
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:04
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:18
5 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 0:01:56
6 George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:09
7 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:02:36
8 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:02:54
9 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:02:55
10 Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:03:10


Today, however, should be one for the sprinters. This is the Giro d'Italia, so we can't be too sure of these things and that last little fourth category climb could cause some upset. 


Today's stage will finish in the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, one of the fastest circuits on the Formula 1 calendar. The riders won't be quite getting up to those speeds but it should be a very fast finish. The Giro d'Italia has utilised the circuit before in 2015 with Ilnur Zakarin attacking to take a solo victory. 


Time trial tech at the Tour of California - Gallery Glamour meets necessity for European pros in California…

@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 17th May 2018 09:55:13

Astana came very close to starting one rider down this morning but will start with a full compliment. They had announced that Tanel Kangert wouldn't be on the start line this morning due to gastric issues but the Estonian is made of stern stuff and decided he would give it a go. He's not out of the woods yet, but I wish him good luck. He'll be hoping the break goes quickly this morning. 


Elia Viviani signs on in Osimo earlier this morning. He is the major favourite for today and, on top of a victory, he will want to add a few points to his fight for the ciclamino jersey. 


The riders are on their way out of town for the start proper, which should be in a few moments. Meanwhile, I have some really exciting news for you. The second offering from Cyclingnews Films is in production. Get a sneak peak of what to expect from our new film, here.


Of course, you can still get our first film The Holy Week here. You can rent or buy it, either way it is a bargain. 


A beautiful photo of the riders rolling out of Osimo a little while ago. The crowds have been fantastic every day at the Giro d'Italia.


The attacks are coming off the front of the peloton but we don't yet have a proper breakaway. The sprinters teams are going to keep a tight control on today. There are not too many chances for the fast men and they won't want to let it slip through their fingers. It is an opportunity to get some points for the points classification before the race hits the mountains again. Viviani has a clear lead in that competition at the moment. 

1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors 178 pts
2 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe 112
3 Davide Ballerini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 87
4 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 86
5 Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 73
6 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL-Jumbo 53
7 Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy 52
8 Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 49
9 Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 46
10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 43


And it looks like we might have our break now. Five riders have a gap of a minute seconds on the bunch. They are Marco Frapporti, Mirco Maestri, Manuel Senni, Jacopo Mosca and Eugert Zhupa.


That's each of the Italian Pro Continental teams represented in the move, which is no surprise. Both Bardiani CSF and Wilier Triestina have two riders up there. Israel Cycling Academy is the only one of the Pro Continental teams who haven't managed to get a rider up the road. 


194km remaining from 214km

The peloton is happy to let that move go and rest their legs after a couple of brutal days. The gap has grown out to three minutes. 


All of these riders have been ever present in the breakaways throughout this Giro d'Italia. Androni rider Marco Frapporti is currently duking it out with this teammate Davide Ballerini for the intermediate sprints competition.  


The gap continues to push out to 4:14. It's a long day out there today so the peloton will be happy to give them plenty of room. 


This is the moment that the breakaway went. You can see that the peloton is already flat across the front and the pace has turned down. Today's move came a lot easier than it has done in previous days with the chances of something sticking minimal to say the least. 



Cyclingnews Films presents: CRESCENDO – the finale of the Giro d'Italia Pre-order now open ahead of June 1 release…

@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 17th May 2018 10:58:50

One rider that will be happier for a slightly easier day out is Chris Froome. The Team Sky rider lost 40 seconds yesterday and dropped out of the top 10, but told reporters that he was not considering abandoning. Read his full comments after yesterday's stage, here.


Having a much better day was Simon Yates, who took the stage win and extended his lead in the overall classification. With the time trial at the start of next week, Yates knows that he needs more time on second place Tom Dumoulin if he wants to keep hold of the maglia rosa. See what he had to say, here.


Having a much better day was Simon Yates, who took the stage win and extended his lead in the overall classification. With the time trial at the start of next week, Yates knows that he needs more time on second place Tom Dumoulin if he wants to keep hold of the maglia rosa. See what he had to say, here.


Mitchelton-Scott are getting a lot of help on the front of the peloton with EF Education First, Bora-Hansgrohe and Quick-Step Floors all putting riders up near the front. They have dragged the gap back to 3:35.


All three teams have a potential contender in the mix today with double stage winner Elia Viviani for Quick-Step, stage 7 winner Sam Bennett for Bora-Hansgrohe and Sacha Modolo for EF Education First. 


Elia Viviani had this to say at the start of the day: "I'm fine, after some stages of fatigue yesterday the sensations have come back great. I have passed well Filottrano, we see today, there is a fast finish on the Imola racetrack, we expect a sprint, perhaps rain in the final, we hope it will hold off."


The bunch are now in Fano, in the Marche region, a town which in ancient times was located on the famous Via Flamin…

@quickstepteam Thu, 17th May 2018 11:43:26

148km remaining from 214km

The peloton is not giving this breakaway much room to breath out there. The gap sits at just 3:19 as we close in on the first intermediate sprint of the day. Let me know your predictions for the stage victory and I'll post a few of them here. You can find me on Twitter on @SadhbhOS


Eurosport reports that Marco Frapporti will pass the 500k mark in the breakaway today. He will be looking to get something to celebrate that with and take some points at the intermediate sprint.


Geoghegan Hart impresses with third place in California time trial

@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 17th May 2018 12:00:21

Frapporti sitting in penultimate wheel as the leaders approach the intermediate sprint. He has Mosca in his wheel. Frapporti makes the jump and Mosca is quick to react but the former is too quick and he takes the sprint to move into the lead of the intermediate sprints competition. 


The peloton passes through the same point 3:05 behind the leaders. Elia Viviani moves towards the front and easily snaffles the best points remaining to extend his lead in the points classification. 


Marco Frapporti is the oldest member of the breakaway today at 33 years old. He has been part of the Androni team since 2013 but also rode for Bardiani from 2008-2011, with a one-year spell at Team Idea in the middle. This is his fifth Giro d'Italia and despite all the breakaway kilometres he's clocked up over the years he's never won a stage. It's unlikely to happen today. 


Here is the breakaway getting in a few refreshments, though they have not quite hit the feed zone proper. 


Bora-Hansgrohe continue to push the pace with members of the EF Education First and Quick-Step teams close at hand. Mitchelton-Scott are getting a very easy ride at the moment, which they'll be thankful for ahead of a very tough weekend to come. 


122 kilometres until the finish line in Imola. The track was inaugurated in 1953 and first hosted a Formula 1 race 10 years later in 1963. The layout has changed a little over the years with the most recent iteration coming in 2007. The full circuit is just under five kilometres long with a the lap record set at 1 minute 23. 


Many of the changes made over the years have been due to concerns over safety. In 1994, three-time Formula 1 world champion Ayrton Senna was killed in crash at the Tamburello corner early in the race. The incident came just a day after Roland Ratzenberger was killed in qualifying. 


Today's stage will not use the whole track. It enters it with 18 kilometres to go before exiting again to take on the one classified climbs of the day. They will come back in on the Rivazza less than a kilometre before the finish on the pit straight. In total, the riders will race on around 3.5 kilometres of the track. 


Who is your pick for today? Let me know on Twitter @SadhbhOS


If you missed the news earlier on we are working on our second Cyclingnews Films production. This one is called the Crescendo and it will follow the final week of the Giro d'Italia. You can watch the trailer here.


This is the fabulous poster for our new film. You can pro-order it now so that it will be available for you as soon as it is released. You can do that here.

@SadhbhOS Winner will be Sam Bennett after coming over the top of Viviani in the last 50 metres again

@Cycling_Crazy Thu, 17th May 2018 12:50:42

@SadhbhOS Gotta be @Sammmy_Be for today Come on

Some rain jackets going on in the peloton as the dark clouds come into view. There is rain predicted at the finish line and that could change things up quite a bit. It was pretty wet the last time the race visited Imola. 


Some rain jackets going on in the peloton as the dark clouds come into view. There is rain predicted at the finish line and that could change things up quite a bit. It was pretty wet the last time the race visited Imola. 


87km remaining from 214km

It is not just the rain falling at the moment. The gap to the escapees has fallen too. With just under 90 kilometres to go the gap is 2:23. 


It's not just the Giro d'Italia that is on at the moment, the Tour of California is also underway. Yesterday saw the time trial and we have a massive tech gallery from the stage. Take a look at it here


The rain is really coming down hard now. This is something that the GC contenders could have done without. They will have to be extra careful on corners and while lines because the roads are very slick at the moment. 


The gap has gone up a little bit as the peloton take it a little easier. We can see more of the GC teams moving up the bunch. The best place is at the front because they don't want to get stuck behind any of the crashes. 


These roads don't get that much rain and find it harder to deal with it compared to places such as the UK where it rains a lot more. Fortunately, it isn't as bad out there as it has been in the past. Remember stage 4 to Bari in the 2014 Giro d'Italia? I did live coverage for that stage and it was neutralised for most of the day. 


Earlier I mentioned Sam Bennett, Sacha Modolo and Elia Viviani as possible winners today. There are a few others, particularly with the conditions now, that could be up there mixing it for the win. Top of that tree is Danny van Poppel, who hasn't had a win since January and will want to get off the mark during this race. 


Someone like Jurgen Roelandts could be up in the mix as could Jens Debusschere. Ryan Gibbons and Jempy Drucker are also outside bets.


Craddock: I truly believe I'm almost back at the top level

@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 17th May 2018 13:40:06

The rain has eased off now and the roads are getting a short chance to dry out. The gap has gone up now as Quick-Step Floors continue to set the pace. With just under 60 kilometres remaining, the gap stands at three minutes. 


@SadhbhOS Has to be Sam Bennett AGAIN today! This stage is made for him, has broken his Grand Tour duck now, makes…

@patrickomahony Thu, 17th May 2018 13:38:06

Sam Bennett certainly seems like the overwhelming favourite for people at the moment. He claimed his first ever Grand Tour stage win last week. Can he get his second? If you think it might be someone else who takes the win or you agree with everyone else, then get in contact on Twitter. 


Marco Frapporti isn't given an easy run at the intermediate sprint. Mirco Maestri tries to go for it, as does Eugert Zhupa, and Frapporti really has to battle but he takes the points by a good margin in the end. 


Elia Viviani once again easily takes the sprint from the bunch. Nobody giving him any trouble as he racks up more points for the ciclamino jersey. 


It has been dry for a bit but the sky is getting very dark and ominous. More rain predicted before the finish and we've still got well over 40 kilometres to go.


Simon Yates has been well protected by his Mitchelton-Scott teammates so far today. 


36km remaining from 214km

And we have rain again! The Bora-Hansgrohe have put a lot more riders to the front but it remains Quick-Step Floors doing a large part of the work. The gap to the peloton has dropped down to two minutes. 


We might be in week two of the Giro d'Italia but the racing calendar waits for nobody and the Tour de France guide is available to order already. Check it out here.


29km remaining from 214km

Amidst all of this rain, the gap to the escapees has plummeted to 48 seconds. The peloton has also broken in to pieces with Lotto Fix All helping to push on. 


It looks like Richard Carapaz is one of the riders who has lost out. No time gaps, however, so we don't know how far back he is. The pink jersey is in the front group. 


Bora-Hansgrohe putting in a shift on the front, indicating that Bennett is in this group. Quick-Step Floors moved back but they are also present near the front. Viviani is near the back of a group, but no indication as which group. 


Live timing seems to indicate that Viviani is in the second peloton, so he has missed the split. 


23km remaining from 214km

Carapaz is in the same group as Viviani and there is about 30 seconds between them and the first peloton. Meanwhile, the escape group has capitulated in the conditions and we have just two riders remaining. They have 17 seconds. 


Live timing would indicate that Sam Bennett has also been caught behind the split. I have not seen him yet and it's Team Sunweb now leading the charge. 


20km remaining from 214km

Danny van Poppel does appear to be in this front peloton, so this could be a very good chance for him to take a win. Roelandts is up there too, but the chasing group is closing down.


Tim Wellens attacks. Unusually, he decides to go on a corner and with everyone taking it a bit easy he has a small gap. 


The Viviani/Carapaz group has made contact with the front group so we have one bit peloton now with Wellens out front by about 10 seconds. 


17km remaining from 214km

There is a lot of standing water out there, making it very tricky. Wellens has 13 seconds on the bunch. 


Wellens is on the circuit but he only has 10 seconds as Quick-Step Floors lead the chase. 


After all that effort from Quick-Step, Viviani has been dropped and he's in the cars. This race has exploded once again thanks to that attack from Wellens - and the rain. 

Viviani is on his own and he doesn't have any teammates to help him while Katusha pushes on out front. 


12km remaining from 214km

With Quick-Step no longer doing work on the front, Wellens has been able to extend his lead to 23 seconds. 


Wellens was on the attack yesterday and he already has a victory from this year's Giro d'Italia. 


EF Education First have now taken up the workload for Sacha Modolo and they're reeling in Wellens as he leaves the circuit. He has just 12 seconds now. 


The riders won't see the circuit again until the final kilometre now. They are heading on a short loop that includes one category four climb. 


As they climb Tre Monti, Wellens is brought back into the peloton and Alex Dowsett attacks.


10km remaining from 214km

This is not the usual place you would expect Dowsett to attack and he doesn't get much space. We have more attacks and Henao goes off the front. 


Henao has one of the Katusha riders with him, but they don't have much space. 


EF Education First continue to drag the bunch along and they bring this pair back.


An attack from Rohan Dennis.


As they crest the top of the climb, it is brought back together. Dennis' attack woke up Mitchelton-Scott and Simon Yates brought it back himself. 


Dennis is over two minutes down in the overall standings, but Yates is giving him nothing, even on a finish like this. 


Sam Bennett rolls off the front of the peloton. He's been brought back by Mohoric. 


A strange move from Bennett. 


Ulissi now attacks


Ulissi has a small gap but the peloton is chasing hard behind. This is a much more frenetic finish than many would have expected, helped by the fact that Viviani is missing from this group. 


Ulissi has Betancur with him now. He was in the break with Zakarin when he won in Imola in 2015. 


5km remaining from 214km

We have a rider from Bahrain-Merida and one from Bora-Hansgrohe trying to chase the pair, who have just four seconds.


4km remaining from 214km

Betancur distances Ulissi briefly. They're on a short descent now and the Colombian is taking no prisoners. 


Matej Mohoric is trying to bridge the gap. A challenge for anyone to drop him on a descent. Even a Betancur on a mission. 


This is breathless stuff. The leaders look over their shoulder and they can see the peloton chasing behind. 


Ulissi has been distanced by Mohoric and Betancur and he's brought back by the peloton. Just two men out front now. 


2km remaining from 214km

The gap is only four seconds and these two are going to struggle to keep this lead. 


EF Education First and Bora-Hansgrohe are leading the charge. This is tense. 


They'll enter the circuit again in just a few hundred metres. 


They're onto the circuit again now and it is still four seconds for the leading pair. 


Bennett goes for a long sprint


Bennett storms past and takes the win by a country mile


Wow, that was powerful. He sat up briefly and it looked like Van Poppel was going to catch him but he has plenty of space in the end. 


Mohoric and Betancur still had a lead with a few hundred metres to go but they didn't stand a chance when Bennett began his sprint. 


Sam Bennett is the first Irish rider ever to have won two road stages of the Giro d’Italia #Giro101

@irishpeloton Thu, 17th May 2018 15:10:22

Bennett was obviously concerned that if he left his sprint too late then they two out front might just hold on. He took a huge risk going as early as he did and the other sprinters weren't expecting it, which allowed him to get a huge gap initially. The rest began closing on him in the final metres but he'd done more than enough to join Elia Viviani and Simon Yates as a double winner in this year's Giro d'Italia.


Here is the top 10 from today's stage. 


1 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe 4:49:34
2 Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
3 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
4 Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
5 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) BMC Racing Team
6 Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step Floors
7 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
8 Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
10 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL-Jumbo


Despite some panic late on in the stage for Carapaz, there has been no changes to the top 10 in the overall classification. 


1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 51:57:55
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:47
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:04
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:18
5 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 0:01:56
6 George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:09
7 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:02:36
8 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:02:54
9 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:02:55
10 Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:03:10


With no Viviani in that group, Bennett has massively closed the gap to the Italian in the maglia ciclamino competition. There are just 22 points between the pair. Let's hope they make it all the way to Rome and we can have a proper battle between the two sprinters for this competition. 


This is what Bennett had to say following his second win of this Giro d'Italia.


"I think it was a bunch sprint but it was a tough final We still had two guys in front - I didn’t know how much energy they had left but I didn’t want another stage getting away from me. So I decided to go early, I didn’t know if I could hold it or not. I think I caught some guys by surprise, so it worked to my advantage.


"We knew in the crosswinds but then we heard [Viviani] was back. Then when it was lined out we heard he was gone again, so then it didn’t really matter if he was there or not. We wanted to do the race to win. We were just trying to keep good position and race tactically well.


"I think the way it happened, that I had to go so early and I pulled it off - it’s a nice way to win. It gives me confidence2


This was the moment that Bennett claimed his victory.


Richard Carapaz still has the young rider jersey after today's stage, this is what he had to say about the scare that he had when the race split up. 


"It was a bit of a scare because the bunch was split with 25km to go, but with the help of the team I managed to get back on. It was no problem in the end.


"(Betancur?) We thought Betancur could win the stage - he was feeling that he had very good legs, so he attacked. He was very close to winning. Our team is going very well these days, so we are very happy."


Ballsed that one up

Ballsed that one up Once this big rig gets caught behind something and slows down on a climb, it doesn’t speed up…

@alexdowsett Thu, 17th May 2018 15:45:10

Simon Yates on the stage from his perspective. 


"It was good conditions for an Irishman! It was a very difficult final. I think a few guys underestimated that, me included. I think we’ve come through without any time loss, so it’s OK.


"I saw a few guys going, but in those conditions it’s really hard to see who’s going, which is why I reacted, actually. I wasn’t sure who was there. Better to close it than to be behind."


Catch up on all that happened today with our report, photos and full results.


Giro d'Italia: Stage 12 finish line quotes #Giro101

@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 17th May 2018 16:12:54

That is all from our live coverage of stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia. See you again tomorrow for stage 13 and remember, as always, to keep tuned to the website for reactions from today's stage. We will also have more live coverage from the Tour of California a little later today. 


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