Giro d'Italia (st. 12)
Antonio climbs up to 13th overall after demanding Appennines route, with Albert and Héctor joining the early break Narváez (IGD) used as launchpad to the day’s win.
/ Today’s route
Another beautiful stage in the Giro, one of those mid-mountain courses which make any race entertaining. Cesenatico, the birthplace of the late Marco Pantani, was the start and finish of stage 12, a 204km endless series of ups and downs. Five rated climbs -the last one, San Giovanni in Galilea (Cat-3), was crested with 31km to go- and lots of little slopes and climbs were a perfect scenery for a winning breakaway – or maybe an attack from the GC contenders, too?!
/ Weather report
Quite worse conditions than in the eve, with temperatures around 10ºC at the top of the climbs and 18ºC at the finish; southwesterly winds, in the coast’s direction (around 20kph); and some showers, with a stronger chance of thunderstorms near the coast at the end of the race.
/ Keys to the race
- The breakaway formed quite earlier than the peloton itself expected. 20km after the start, a 13-man group, with several rouleurs -as well as allrounders like Narváez (IGD), Padun (TBM) or Clarke (EF1)-, went away with Albert Torres inside the move. However, and after a long, solo pursuit, Héctor Carretero bridged back to make it two for the Movistar Team at the front. Their maximum gap over the Deceuninck-led peloton was almost 13 minutes.
- NTT was the most interested team in keeping a high pace in the peloton and notably reduced the gaps to a ‘minimum’ of five minutes (it never came down from there). Their pacing meant more wear and tear at a race which, as thunderstorms hit the peloton and attacks were launched at the breakaway, became harder and harder. The moves took its toll on Torres and Carretero, dropping back from a seven-man selection, which Narváez used to win ahead of Padun (2nd) and Clarke (3rd).
- Behind at the bunch, Antonio Pedrero kept the pace after the climbs into a peloton reduced to 15 riders, which, however, did not see attacks other than an acceleration from Pozzovivo (NTT) and didn’t catch the breakaway, either -they finished more than 8′ after the winner-. Pedrero now sits in 13th overall, 38″ short for the top-ten, with Samitier, who was staying with Pedrero until the last climb together with a strong Torres, remaining in 16th.
/ Upcoming goals
It should be a sprint on Friday’s stage 13 of the Giro, yet it is not guaranteed by any means. It’s true that most of the 192km from Cervia to Monselice goes through the so-called ‘pianura padana’, with no ascents in sight, but the last 35km contain two Cat-4 ascents: Roccolo (4.3km at 8%) and Calaone, the latter with its summit just 16km before the end.
Cover picture (c): Albert Valero / Movistar Team