Cycling Sports

First semi-mountain stage in the Giro immediately provides a spectacle: new leader, Italian stage win and favorites to harass each other

6d570c3ba7b2a683bb13fc3f667d271d - First semi-mountain stage in the Giro immediately provides a spectacle: new leader, Italian stage win and favorites to harass each other

Finally some action in the Tour of Italy. Stage twelve from Cuneo to Pinerolo, included a first ascent of the first category, and was therefore a first test for the gc riders. The Italian Benedetti won the ride, the Slovenian Polanc is the new leader and the favourites were Miguel Angel Lopez, and Mikel Landa is a half-minute of their backlog on Primoz Roglic substitute.

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The prospect of clambering promised a pleasant start of the match. Who first came on the first climb of the first category, the Montoso, amassed forty points and would have immediately leader in the mountains competition. At the same time were the ‘attackers’ a first chance to pursue a stage win. Logical: the finish line was not at the top of a slope and the gc riders didn’t stand a chance together, a lot of seconds to eat sweets.

So was the case in the successful flight to the west. And then the crosshair is aligned on Thomas De Gendt. The Semmerzakenaar of Lotto-Soudal decides now where and when an early flight is concluded. And that was very early this time. There were less than ten kilometres on the clock when De Gendt for the first time, his legs stretched out in the company of the Irishman Eddie Dunbar (Team Ineos). A lot of riders went straight through the alarm off and in slides was a breakaway group of 26 riders with three compatriots: Thomas De Gendt, Jan Bakelants and Jenthe Biermans.

The cooperation at the front was good, the gap rose in no time to more than a quarter of an hour. Even the team of pink jersey Conti did not feel called to respond. With the Slovenian Jan Polanc was the best placed rider in the front, after all, is also a member of UAE Emirates.

De Gendt attacks and lost

It was waiting at the foot of the Montoso to see how the stage would evolve. The breakaway started with a clue of twelve minutes on the climb, Thomas De Gendt, of course, was the first rider to attack. But it was more of a swan song. De Gendt was immediately bijgebeend and left, just like Bakelants and Biermans. The mountains and or the win were suddenly very far away for the rider from team Lotto-Soudal.

READ ALSO. Thomas De Gendt in the Giro immediately on the appointment in a good flight: “But I knew quickly that it was too difficult”

It was especially Eddie Dunbar that his colleagues pressured so that in the end, only six riders in front of us. The peloton was now agitated. Miguel Angel Lopez, and Mikkel Landa realized that they each pitched metres would need to catch up Roglic seconds to nibble. And so it was attacked. First Lopez, then Landa, finally together. Roglic? That became quickly isolated. What will he the failure of Laurens De Plus often complain about!

Front picked Brambilla the bergpunten road, at the back tried to Landa and Lopez driving away from the peloton Roglic. War on two fronts, as we have the like. The leidersgroep front grew again to eight, but with a steep slope in the streets of Pinerolo, it was not yet clear who would win.

First profzege Benedetti

Two previous front-runners, Sutterlin and Boaro were sagging to their murderous Lopez and Angie on arrival. Smart but Mitchelton-Scott kept in the group Roglic up the pace for Simon Yates wanted to make the difference with the duo is not too high, rise. Two questions had to be answered: who would be the stage win and would be the duo Lopez – Landa succeed from the grip of the other favorites?

Answer one: the final climb in the streets of Pinerolo, made sure that Dunbar, Brambilla and Capecchi first fell. Two Italians and an Irishman, that’s never good. From the background turned therefore even two riders back, and it was the 31-year-old Cesare Benedetti in Pinerolo his first profzege ever recorded. Mamma Mia!

Answer two: Landa and Miguel Angel Lopez were at the front booth and sat in the arrival for twenty-eight seconds left on the group Roglic. A lot of energy lost for a little bonus, but it proves, however, that Astana and Movistar have not yet been filed with the dominance of Primoz Roglic it without the support of team mates had to dig.

That stage:

1. Cesare Benedetti (Ita)

2. Damiano Caruso (Ita)

3. Eddie Dunbar (Ipr)

4. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita)

5. Eros Capecchi (Ita)

General classification:

1. Jan Polanc (Slo)