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  7. 2017 Giro d’Italia, stage 12

2017 Giro d'Italia

STAGE 12: Forli to Reggio Emilia

A stage for sprinters. The first testing part clears the Colla di Casaglia, enters the A1 Appennine stretch in Barberino del Mugello, reaches the Valico Appenninico and leaves it in Rioveggio. The course then runs for over 100km downhill and on a flat section heading to Reggio Emilia along its boulevards where a field sprint is expected.

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Giro, stage 12: Thrice is nice for Gaviria

Fernando Gaviria won his third stage of the 2017 Giro d'Italia in stage 12.
Fernando Gaviria won his third stage of the 2017 Giro d’Italia in stage 12. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

On the Giro d’Italia’s longest day, Fernando Gaviria sprinted to his third victory of the 2017 race in Reggio Emilia on Thursday. The Colombian’s Quick-Step team set him up perfectly to win the 237-kilometer race ahead of Jakob Mareczko (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia). Bora-Hansgrohe’s Sam Bennett earned his third third-place result of the race.

Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) finished comfortably in the peloton, keeping his overall lead in the Giro.

“I’m not the best sprinter of this Giro: that’s André Greipel because he’s got many more wins in his career than me but right now, I’m the sprinter with the best form and the best legs thanks to the preparation,” said Gaviria. “And that’s how I’m here with my third victory.”

Stage 12, top 10

  • 1. Fernando GAVIRIA RENDON, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, in 5:18:55
  • 2. Jakub MARECZKO, WILIER TRIESTINA – SELLE ITALIA, at :00
  • 3. Sam BENNETT, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :00
  • 4. Phil BAUHAUS, TEAM SUNWEB, at :00
  • 5. Maximiliano Ariel RICHEZE, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :00
  • 6. Ryan GIBBONS, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :00
  • 7. Sacha MODOLO, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, at :00
  • 8. André GREIPEL, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 9. Jasper STUYVEN, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :00
  • 10. Roberto FERRARI, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, at :00

Top-10 overall

  • 1. Tom DUMOULIN, TEAM SUNWEB, in 52:41:08
  • 2. Nairo QUINTANA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 2:23
  • 3. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 2:38
  • 4. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ, at 2:40
  • 5. Vincenzo NIBALI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 2:47
  • 6. Andrey AMADOR BIKKAZAKOVA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 3:05
  • 7. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 3:56
  • 8. Domenico POZZOVIVO, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 3:59
  • 9. Tanel KANGERT, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 3:59
  • 10. Ilnur ZAKARIN, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 4:17

As expected, the day’s early breakaway was caught with plenty of time for the sprinters to prepare for the finish. First, they brought back UAE Team Emirates’s Marco Marcato. Then, Sergey Firsanov (Rusvelo) returned to the peloton.

Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF) was the final escapee. The bunch snuffed out his solo attack with seven kilometers to go.

Eugert Zhupa (Willier Triestina-Selle Italia) attacked at 2km to go as the road narrowed considerably. The Albanian champion’s escape didn’t work, however. He was caught just before the final kilometer with Bora-Hansgrohe driving the sprint.

Quick-Step’s Max Richeze led out the final few hundred meters perfectly for Gaviria to win his third stage of the Giro. With the victory, Gaviria extended his lead in the points classification.

“We’re motivated to finish the Giro. We have to take some points on the way because I want to win this jersey in Milan,” Gaviria added. “I came here for experience, and to win, and I’m gaining both.”

Remarkably, the Argentinian lead-out man had to chase back to the peloton in the stage’s closing kilometers after a flat tire. He still had the “I was worried when Richeze had a flat because the bunch was going very fast at that time,” said Gaviria.

The 22-year-old has an opportunity to claim a fourth Giro stage win Friday in stage 13. The last man to win more than three days at the Giro was his former teammate Mark Cavendish. In 2013, the Brit won five Giro stages. The last true sprint stage of the Giro runs 162 completely flat kilometers from Reggio Emilia to Tortona.

“It was a sprinters stage and nothing special, actually,” said Dumoulin. “It was tailwind in the final so it was really fast, but the rest of the day was quite relaxed, no stress, so it was good.

“Tomorrow will be another sprint day. I hope to just survive that without any troubles and we’ll look forward to the weekend.”