Stage twelve of the Giro was a treacherous one. After Wednesday’s hectic pace, the peloton braced itself for a tricky hill race today. It was quite sloppy in the opening phase and after a flat intermediate phase there was a difficult final climb on the program, the last four kilometers of that thing were up at 8.4%. After the climb there was a descent and a flat final phase.
The hilly course in the opening phase resulted in a fierce battle to get into the breakaway of the day. This stage seemed destined for the attackers. After about 30 kilometers a sizeable leadership group of no fewer than 25 men was formed. The most famous names: Bauke Mollema, Mads Pedersen, Sepp Kuss, Michael Mathews, Davide Formolo, Patrick Konrad and Ilan van Wilder. This refugee collective also fought for the stage victory.
Attackers get safe conduct
The race ignited early in the leading group. Nico Denz attacked on the flat, with ninety kilometers to go. The German ensured that a front guard of four men was created, besides Denz, Tonelli, Berwick and Skujins were also involved. The previously mentioned, more famous names, therefore missed the beat and were soon more than a minute behind. They didn’t come back.
Before the final really started, a number of incidents took place. Two riders from DSM and Jack Haig from Bahrain-Victorious fell during a supply. Shortly before, Kaden Groves announced that he had to give up due to stomach problems, the Australian sprinter previously won a stage in this Giro.
The battle for the day victory was therefore between four men. On the final climb, the Colle Braida, Alessandro Tonelli was released. The remaining three sprinted for victory. Nico Denz came out fastest, ahead of Toms Skujins and Sebastian Berwick. It is the first victory in a major round for the German. The classification riders kept calm, they saved themselves for Friday’s very tough mountain stage.