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Giro d'Italia
Giro’15 St.12: Gilbert The Great!
Race Report: Philippe Gilbert gave the BMC team the Giro stage they had been trying for the last few days. The finish was made for the ex-World champion with a short steep rise to the line - A mini Cauberg. Contador was 2nd and now has 17 seconds over Aru in the fight for overall.


The break of the day on stage 12 didn’t stay out front as long as expected and after they were recaptured the wet roads finished a few riders hopes, including Simon Gerrans. Into the final and Franco Pellizzoti and Tanel Kangert had a lead of 30 seconds as they hit the final climb of Monte Berico, but that wasn’t enough time and the bunch shot past them and launched Philippe Gilbert up the rise towards the line and a perfect win in the great Gilbert style.

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Going by the last few stages, It would take a brave man to predict the outcome of today’s stage or any stage to be honest. Stage 12 is from Imola to Vincenza and has an uphill finish on Monte Berico which is classed as a Cat 4. During the 190 kilometers there are two other short climbs; first the Cat 4 Castelnuovo, which comes after 135.5 kilometers and the Cat 3 Crosara with 26.9 kilometers to go. Up to the first climb the road is flat

Attack from the gun!
The first attacks came as soon as the flag dropped, but the speed was kept high (over 50kph) and it took 70 kilometers before the break of the day formed: Patrick Gretsch (AG2R-La Mondiale), Davide Appollonio (Androni-Giocattoli), Enrico Barbin (Bardiani-CSF), Kenny Elissonde (FDJ.fr) and Nick van der Lijke (LottoNL-Jumbo). As soon as they managed to get 1 minute advantage, the peloton eased off and with in 15 minutes of hard work they had over 2 minutes on a Orica-GreenEDGE led peloton.

giro15st12-start-imola-620The streets of Imola for the start of stage 12

100km to Vincenza
Orica-GreenEDGE were still the workhorses for the peloton and had pegged back the lead to 1:30. The race was facing a head wind and Etixx – Quick-Step had started to help Orica so the lead was dropping by the kilometer and with 70 kilometers remaining the lead was only 49 seconds. Rain had been forecast for the stage and although it had been threatening for a while, it now started to fall quite heavily.

A couple of other things fell at the same time: Carlos Betancur (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Davide Appollonio (Androni-Giocattoli), both hit the deck, but why we have no idea.

60 kilometers out and the break collapsed leaving only Gretsch out front. Zilioli (Androni-Giocattoli) jumps away from the peloton and passes Gretsch as the race reaches the climb to Castelnuovo. Next to attack was Lotto Soudal’s Louis Vervaeke, he passes Zilioli and goes for a long solo ride.

50 to go
Into the final 50 kilometers and Vervaeke had 18 seconds on Zilioli and 1:06 on the peloton with all top men still in attendance, although it was hard to tell as everyone was wearing rain jackets. The wet conditions were taking their toll as there were many punctures and a moto crashed on one of the bends.

Tinkoff-Saxo moved to the front of the peloton to keep Alberto Contador safe, Astana were doing the same for Aru as were Sky for Porte, lets hope he doesn’t need a wheel from another team as the time penalty would be a lot more for a second offense.

Zilioli was caught as they passed under the 40 to go banner, Vervaeke had 40 seconds, but Tinkoff-Saxo had put the hammer down and riders were being distanced at the back.

With 35 kilometers to go; Vervaeke had 17 seconds and it was not looking good for the Belgian. 5 kilometers later, at the base of the Crosara, The bunch could see Vervaeke and his bid for glory was over.

Tinkoff-Saxo led what was left of the peloton up the 4th Cat climb, until Sky sent Kiryienka off the front, but no one took any notice and he was left there a handful of meters in front of the others. More riders were going out the back.

Kiryienka gives up and the lead work is up to the men in the bright yellow again. As expected Movistar’s Beñat Intxausti puts in a big effort to get away before the summit and succeeds to take the point towards his blue KOM jersey, he also has a 15 second lead. Betancur and Visconti come over at the head of the chasers.

Giro d'Italia 2015 stage - 12Not a good day at the office for Fabio Aru. The look says it all

The slippery descent
On the descent Simon Gerrans crashed and at first it looks bad, he got up, but needs a new bike. Chaves was with him, although there is little chance he will get back to the bunch unless the speed drops. The twisty roads on the descent was very slippery and riders were going off the road in all directions. The worst crash was IAM Cycling’s Stef Clements who needed the doctor. Rigoberto Uran (Etixx – Quick-Step) gives a little dig, but it comes to nothing.

The front group gets together with Astana’s Kangert on the front. 15 to go and Franco Pellizotti (Androni-Giocattoli) attacks.

On the unclassified climb of the Perarolo; Pellizotti had nearly 30 seconds and Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) jumped after him. Kruijswijk’s move was shut down by Movistar’s Visconti and then Astana put five riders on the front to lift the speed. Contador was just behind and he still had two riders with him and there were still two Sky riders with Porte. The peloton was growing as riders managed to get back in contention on the drop.

Tanel Kangert (Astana) rode away on the descent to try and catch Pellizotti, he was followed by Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Ion Izagirre (Movistar).

5 to Vincenza
Kangert gets to Pellizotti, but the Gilbert/Izagirre move is swallowed up by the pink jersey group. Kangert looks to be the stronger and Pellizotti lets him do the work, which is a polite way of saying he sat on.

The finalé
2 K’s out and the lead was 28 seconds and BMC was in charge of the chase. Under the 1 to go and Kangert knows Pellizotti was not going to help as they hit the steep climb to the finish. Kangert had had enough and jumps away to leave the Italian to be eaten by the bunch.

Gilbert goes at 500 meters and gives it 100% and has time to look back to see his gap widen in the last 300 meters. The riders behind spread across the road, but no body can get near the specialist at this kind of finish.

giro15st12-gilbert-win-620Just like when he won the Worlds or Amstel

Gilbert comfortably takes the win, the pink jersey is second and Lampre-Merida’s Diego Ulissi third. Fabio Aru was at the back of the group, so more seconds in the bank for Contador in the overall standing. The Spaniard now has 17 seconds on the Italian.

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) said that the finish was perfect for him: “It was like a mini Cauberg.”

giro15st12-contador-podiumThe Contador arm is strong enough to hold the bottle of Prosecco

Keep it PEZ for all the news form Italy.

Giro d’Italia Stage 12 Result:
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC in 4:22:50
2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:03
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4. Simon Geschke (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
5. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
6. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana
7. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar at 0:06
8. Carlos Betancur (Col) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana.
11. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step
12. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky
13. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin
14. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC
15. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar
16. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo
17. Leopold Konig (Cze) Sky at 0:11
18. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling
19. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC
20. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar
21. Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal
22. Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha
23. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini
24. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
25. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 12:
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo in 51:17:06
2. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:17
3. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana at 0:55
4. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana at 1:30
5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo at 1:55
6. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step at 2:19
7. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar at 2:21
8. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 2:29
9. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 2:38
10. Leopold Konig (Cze) Sky at 2:44
11. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin at 3:10
12. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 3:18
13. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini at 3:24
14. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC
15. Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha at 3:32
16. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 3:42
17. Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 4:14
18. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ.fr at 5:03
19. Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC at 5:05
20. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar at 5:56
21. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin at 6:21
22. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Sky at 8:03
23. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 10:44
24. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana at 13:42
25. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana at 13:52.

 


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