Benedetti triumphs on stage 12 of Giro d’Italia as Polanc takes pink

Cesare Benedetti (Bora-hansgrohe) won Thursday’s 12th stage of the Giro d’Italia at Pinerolo in the Italian Alps ahead of compatriot Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida) as Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) took the overall lead.

It was the first win for 31-year-old rider who led a long breakaway group in the first mountain stage after the 158km run from Cuneo.

Polanc, also among the leading group, took the leader’s pink jersey from teammate Valerio Conti.

“I’ve worked a lot for the others in the past but today I got my opportunity,” said Benedetti. “I’m not a talent, I’m not (usually) a winner, but the way I finished it off is exactly what I wanted to do.”

The first 15 finishers had all been part of a large early breakaway that built up a sizeable advantage. Polanc finished 25 seconds behind Benedetti but more than nine minutes ahead of Conti and more than seven minutes ahead of fellow Slovene Primoz Roglic, who climbed to second.

Behind the breakaway, the opening skirmishes between the favourites occurred in the main climb of the day, Montoso, the first big climb of this Giro.

Miguel Angel Lope and Mikel Landa went on the attack, 37km from the finish, taking about 30 seconds on their direct rivals in the standings.

“It was a team tactic that I’d go in the breakaway so we could have a better control over the race,” said Polanc. “It was also a way to keep the Maglia Rosa (pink jersey) in the team.

“We were lucky to be able to play these cards and I’m very happy to have the jersey. I was thinking about the stage win as well but being the virtual leader I had to pull a lot more than others.”

Friday’s 13th high-mountain stage covers 196km and features three difficult summits — Colle del Lys, Pian del Lupo and the final Colle del Nivolet climb, leading to Lago Serru, on a route that includes gradients of up to 15 precent.

Giro d’Italia 2019 – stage 12 results (Cuneo – Pinerolo):

1 Cesare Benedetti (Bora-hansgrohe)


2 Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida)


3 Edward Dunbar (Team Ineos)


4 Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo)


5 Eros Capecchi (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)


6 Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates)


7 Matteo Montaguti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec)


8 Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)


9 Francesco Gavazzi (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec)


10 Manuel Senni (Bardiani-CSF)


11 Josef Cerny (CCC)


12 Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama-FDJ)


13 Roger Kluge (Lotto Soudal)


14 Luca Covili (Bardiani-CSF)


15 Enrico Gasparotto (Dimension Data)


16 Jan Bakelants (Team Sunweb)


17 Danilo Wyss (Dimension Data)


18 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)


19 Mikel Landa (Movistar)


20 Conor Dunne (Israel Cycling Academy)



Giro d’Italia 2019 – general classification after stage 12:

1 Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates)


2 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)


3 Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates)


4 Eros Capecchi (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)


5 Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida)


6 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)


7 Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)


8 Richard Carapaz (Movistar)


9 Andrey Amador (Movistar)


10 Hugh Carthy (EF Education First)


11 Enrico Gasparotto (Dimension Data)


12 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin)


13 Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)


14 Amaro Antunes (CCC)


15 Francesco Gavazzi (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec)


16 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)


17 Tanel Kangert (EF Education First)


18 Matteo Montaguti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec)


19 Pavel Sivakov (Team Ineos)


20 Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF)



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