Brilliant stuff from Gaviria, who is just on fire in this Giro.
Reggio Emilia - Tortona
Giro d'Italia - 19 May 2017
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The most impressive thing about that win was the way Gaviria came from so far back. His lead-out man Max Richeze, after clashing with Ewan, left him just enough space to come through by the barriers and then power past the Irishman for the win - a fourth on the race.
So Gaviria makes it four, Bennett shakes his head for second, and Jasper Stuyven is third.
Victory for Fernando Gaviria! Bennett looked so be there but the Colombian found something extra.
A Bora rider has gone early... Bennett has three others... Ewan gets a nudge... Gaviria comes around him...
Now here comes Greipel... Gaviria, Bennett and Ewan too. It's party time.
Greipel is really boxed in and has competely lost his Lotto team-mates. Orica-Scott have a man on the front, but then he peels off.
It's Bora vs Quick-Step now, with Lotto Soudal a bit disrupted and yet to come together.
Pozzato's odd attack comes to an end, but he's now leading the pack for his team-mate Mareczko. Well, he was for a few metres.
Here come Sam Bennett's Bora-Hansgrohe's train - and he's looking to build on his three third-place finishes. And then there's an attack by Pippo Pozzato!
Cannondale-Drapac and Astana - oddly and inexplicably - are on the front of the pack, which is all strung out after yet another huge roundabout.
The peloton is using the whole width of the road with Thibaut Pinot's FDJ team on the right and Tom Dumoulin's Sunweb team on the left - and everyone else in between. The pace starts to rise again.
The calm before the storm... the peloton is still rolling along at a slightly reduced pace, fully packed and not strung out. There must be a strong headwind, concludes Sean Kelly. Either that or the go-slow protest continues...
Omar Fraile, the maglia azzurra, is fighting back on after a mechanical. It's Sunweb, Movistar and Trek-Segafredo who are still controlling the tempo on the front as the pack approaches Tortona...
Remember, Italy are still without a win on this Giro - and the man most likely to change that is Jakub Mareczko, of Wilier-Selle Italia, who has twice finished runner-up to Fernando Gaviria, today's favourite to win a fourth stage.
There's a bit of argy bargy between Wilier-Selle Italia and CCC Sprandi Polkowice but it's just handbags at dawn. It's still quite windy but the pace is slowing a little.
The streamlined pack, which is being driven by the Trek team-mates of Jasper Stuyven, zip through the narrow cobbled streets of Voghera. Bahrain Merida and Movistar are near the front with both Quintana and Nibali prominent. Team Sunweb looked to have been caught out, but the maglia rosa of Tom Dumoulin finally appears.
A series of roundabouts has caused a number of riders to be tailed off. The pace is much higher now and that gruppetto is about 20 seconds back.
It's over for the three escapees; cue the frantic finale we've all been expecting. There's so much at stake for the teams of the sprinters so expect the pace to be very high and tensions to rise.
Wilier-Selle Italia are still leading the chase but the likes of Trek-Segafredo, FDJ, Movistar, Katusha and Lotto Soudal are all near the front. It's almost curtains for the three escapees, who only have 25 seconds to play with now.
Some news coming in: the B samples for Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni have come back positive and so the two Italian riders - who tested positive for growth hormone-releasing peptides in April - have been fired by their Bardiani-CSF team. "Bardiani-CSF reserves the right to proceed with a legal action against Pirazzi and Ruffoni to protect the image of the team and its sponsor," a statement reads, citing team health rules and the riders’ contracts as reasons for sacking them.
Keeping to the script, Gaviria takes the points for fourth place - so I think that's another 6pts for the Colombian, who moves onto 259pts in the battle for the maglia ciclamino. His biggest rival is Belgian Jasper Stuyven of Trek-Segafredo, who only has 167pts, so as long as Gaviria gets through the mountains, he'll top a podium in Milan in his debut Grand Tour.
The leaders are approaching the second intermediate sprint at Broni where bonus seconds are up for grabs, but are largely immaterial for these three riders who are well down on GC. It feels like this stage has been going on for about seven hours. Brutt goes over ahead of Mohoric and Albanese. They have 1:32 over the pack, which is being led by a QuickStep rider, a Wilier-Selle Italia rider, an Orica-Scott rider, and practically the entire Lotto Soudal team. Ah, here comes Gaviria...
We've seen less of Orica-Scott today after they put in a lot of work yesterday only for Caleb Ewan to struggle in the final sprint. The Australian apparently clashed with another ride in the final and knocked his brake caliper so that it impeded his wheel. As such, he could only trickle home in 82nd place on the other side of a split in the peloton. He won stage 7 in Alberobello and clearly has the speed to make it two today before he hangs up his shoes... but does he have the form or morale?
The break has just passed through the cobbled streets of Castel San Giovanni with an advantage of 1:30 over the pack. Both Greipel and Gaviria have been off the back of the peloton answering calls of nature or chatting to their directeurs sportifs. The wind's got up but it's not quite echelon-inducing.
A reminder of the big news today - and that is the withdrawal of Geraint Thomas following the Welshman's crash on the stage to Blockhaus on Tuesday. We spoke to Team Sky's David Brailsford about this setback for both Sky and Thomas.
It's been a great race for Quick-Step Floors with those three wins for Gaviria, plus the maglia ciclamino and Bob Jungels' maglia bianca. The Belgian team is one of great heritage and longevity - and our reporters put together this nice tribute featuring quite a few familiar faces...
The gap is still 1:40 for the three leaders as the peloton rides piano, piano. The break has just rolled through the feed zone.
The riders are now ploughing through Piacenza, which is located where the river Trebia meets the river Po. Back in 218 BC, the Carthaginian general Hannibal, having crossed the Alps with his army of elephants, defeated the Romans at the nearby Battle of the Trebia. I wrote about this episode in my book, Climbs and Punishment: Riding to Rome in the Footsteps of Hannibal. On the day we rode through the area we stayed in a castle overlooking the river - and visited the below statue dedicated to Hannibal's army the next morning...
One rider who has been impressed by Fernando Gaviria's performances in the Giro is his former Quick-Step team-mate Mark Cavendish, himself currently out with glandular fever. Cav doesn't yet know if he'll be able to ride the Tour de France for Dimension Data, but he's glad a certain Colombian isn't in line to make his debut in July...
We've had British rider Steve Cummings working with the Eurosport team out in Italy for the past few days and the injured veteran breakaway specialist produced this intresting insight to the goings-on in his team-mates' Dimension Data team bus. With sprint duo Ryan Gibbons and Kristian Sbaragli among the outsiders who could cause an upset today, now's a good time to watch Stevo in action - and beware, there are shades of Steve McClaren about him and his dodgy pronunciation...
Pink jersey Tom Dumoulin is off the back and picking up a fresh water bottle from his Team Sunweb car. With the last day of the race being a 30km time trial, many are saying that Dumoulin will win this Giro should he be within two minutes of the summit come stage 21. As it is, he's the best part of two-and-a-half minutes ahead - so the other favourites will need to pull off a five-minute swing in the mountains if they want to deny the Dutchman a maiden Grand Tour win. In theory.
The break doesn't contest the intermediate sprint in Fiorenzuolo d'Ardia with Albanese leading Brutt and Mohoric through. Further behind, Quick-Step control things as Gaviria edges clear to pick up - embarrassingly easily - a few more points in the battle for the maglia ciclamino. Seeing that the Colombian is one of the few sprinters who intends to make it to the end of his maiden Grand Tour, that comes as no huge surprise.
You'd think today would be a shoot out between Andre Greipel, Fernando Gaviria and Caleb Ewan, but don't discount the likes of Sam Bennett, Jakub Mareczko, Phil Bauhaus and Roberto Ferrari... Who do think will win? Join the conversation in the caption box below, or Tweet me @saddleblaze.
Brutt, Mohoric and Albanese see their advantage stretch back towards the two-minute mark. Most of Andre Greipel's Lotto Soudal team are now on the front.
Having dropped to 45 seconds, the gap is up to 1:15 again. It's a strange state of affairs: the break has no reason to ride, it will not stay out; but the peloton has no desire to catch them too fast. So we might see some kind of stand-off in this, the most undramatic and, to be fair, pointless stage of the race.
Interestingly, the Giro have made a public statement of thanks and appreciation to Geraint Thomas and Team Sky following the Welshman's withdrawal today. Perhaps they're feeling slightly guilty about the circumstances of Thomas's crash - which came when that police motorcycle caused a crash after parking on the side of the road in stage 9.
The riders have crossed the River Taro as they continue their way towards Piacenza. The gap, contrary to earlier thoughts, is plummeting. It's just dropped to under the minute mark.
Around a third of the pack peels off for a call of nature on the side of the road as the gap comes down to 1:35. Expect the three leaders to extend their advantage as a result. We're still 30-odd kilometres away from the first intermediate sprint, which should spark some action behind in the battle for the maglia ciclamino.
Wilier-Selle Italia have sent two men onto the front to help lead the chase - yet again, they've missed the break, but that doesn't matter so much: their sprinter Jakub Mareczko finished runner-up to Fernando Gaviria yesterday, as he did in stage 5 in Messina. Perhaps it's going to be third time lucky for the Polish-born Italian sprinter?
The riders are making their way through the centre of Parma, home of the eponymous cured ham and cheese and football club. The gap, which hit a maximum of 2:22 shortly after the start, is down to 1:45. There's still some dampness and the odd puddle on the road, but the rain has stopped.
CORRECTION: The Gazprom-Rusvelo rider in this break is not Ivan Rovny, it's Pavel Brutt - who we last saw colliding into metal building rods during a nasty crash in the Sagrantino time trial a few days ago...
Today's stage finishes in Tortona, the birth town of Il Campionissimo, Fausto Coppi, the five-time Giro winner and double Tour de France champion. It continues this Giro's run of visiting towns with strong associations with former Italian greats: two days ago we had Gino Bartali at Ponte a Ema, yesterday we had Gastone Nencini at Barberino del Mugello, and tomorrow we will have Coppi's home village of Castellania - a stone's throw away from Novi Ligure, the home town of that other champion of champions, Costante Girardengo.
The gap comes down to 2:05 with Lotto Soudal, Quick-Step Floors and Team Sunweb all riding on the front.
Four become three: Dimension Data's Johann van Zyl sits up and lets the other escapees ride on. Odd that the South African got involved in the first place - perhaps he's decided that it's futile to waste energy for nothing and that he's better served to help lead out his compatriot Ryan Gibbons in the final sprint. Gibbons has five top tens so far in this race, but he's yet to crack the top five in bunch sprints.
The advantage of the four leaders quickly stretches out to over two minutes as the Lotto Soudal team-mates of Andre Greipel - who misfired in yesterday's sprint - come to the front to help regulate the pace. There's no way they're going to let any break gain too much leeway - especially seeing that Greipel has confirmed that he will leave the race this evening. The German national champion won stage 2 but has been left frustrated since.
There were a flurry of attacks from the outset before four riders managed to open up a gap: Ivan Rovny (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Johann van Zyl (Dimension Data), Matej Mohoric (UEA Team Emirates) and Vincenzo Albanese (Bardiani-CSF).
They're off! The remaining 185 riders get this flat stage under way...
The riders have rolled out of Albanian-born Eugert Zhupa's home town of Reggio Emilia and the metaphorical gun is about to signal the start of today's stage...
And the umbrellas are out as Tom Dumoulin (pink), Omar Fraile (blue), Fernando Gaviria (cyclamen) and Bob Jungels (white) line up ahead of the start in Reggio Emilia.
Here's what the riders have in store today... and, yes, it's going to be one of those tough days for commentators and breakaway riders alike. Surely it's a bunch sprint on the cards - although the prospect of rain may make things a little more difficult.
It's cloudy and quite blustery at the start in Reggio Emilia as the remaining riders ready themselves at the start. Loads of Colombian fans cheering on their men Nairo Quintana and Fernando Gaviria today - between them, the duo have four wins in this year's Giro, which equals a record for Colombia. And we still have another week of racing to go...
The big news this morning is the withdrawal of Welshman Geraint Thomas, who called it a day after succumbing to the injuries he picked up at the foot of the climb to Blockhaus after he and many of his Sky team-mates were involved in that accident caused by a police motorcycle.
It's fair to say, today's stage may not be the most dramatic of the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia...
Race leader Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) finished safely in the pack to retain his maglia rosa after a routine day in the saddle. The Dutchman leads Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar) by 2:23 in the general classification and compatriot Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) by 2:38. A split in the peloton saw all the big name riders concede six seconds to the first part of the peloton, with Britain's Adam Yates edging a little closer towards the top ten as a result.
Yesterday's, Colombia’s Fernando Gaviria continued his dream Grand Tour debut with a third win in the Giro d'Italia after dominating the bunch sprint at the conclusion of stage 12 in Reggio Emilia. Once again benefiting from a textbook lead-out by his Quick-Step Floors team-mate Max Richeze, Gaviria powered clear to win the 229km stage from Forli – the longest of the race – ahead of Italy’s Jakub Mareczko (Wilier-Selle Italia) and Ireland’s Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage 13 of the Giro d'Italia - a pan-flat (or should that be pizza-flat?) 167km ride from Reggio Emilia to Tortona, and a final day for the sprinters do battle before most of them pack their bags and head for the airport.