23/05/19 - 9:15 PM
Cuneo - Pinerolo
Giro d'Italia • Stage12

Cuneo - Pinerolo
Giro d'Italia - 23 May 2019

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And the new top 10 on GC with Polanc leading Roglic by over four minutes.


Today's top 10 in the stage.


It's going to take a while for the dust to settle on this stage - the Formolo and Jungels group is only just coming home some 10'36" down. Valerio Conti, the outgoing maglia rosa, is in this group.


The Yates-Nibali-Roglic group come home about 20 seconds down so the losses to Landa and Lopez will not be huge.


Here come Landa and Lopez, who will catch and pass the escapee Conor Dunne on the home straight.


Confirmation of the podium today: Benedetti took the win ahead of Caruso and Dunbar, with Brambilla and Capecchi completing the top five. Jan Polanc crossed the line 25 seconds down in sixth place and will be the new leader of the Giro d'Italia.


Over the top go Landa and Lopez. How much time will they take back today? Not enough to put them into the picture, but enough to get a bit of momentum.


Behind it's Mollema who leds the main favourites up the cobbled climb. Carapaz, Zakarin, Sivakov, Roglic, Nibali, Yates... they're all there except Jungels and Formolo, who are missing out today.


The Lopez group is now onto the wall. He rides clear with Landa while Boaro and Cataldo drop back.


De Gendt leads the chasing group home - Polanc must have already come over the finish. The escapees are arriving in dribs and drabs.


Cataldo is now helping out Boaro in pulling Lopez - three Astana riders and a former Astana man in Landa.


We haven't seen Jan Polanc but he will surely take over the maglia rosa today.


It was Brambilla who launched out of Capecchi's back wheel but Benedetti powered past and held off Eddie Dunbar to take the win - his first as a professional!


Victory for Cesare Benedetti of Bora-Hansgohe!




Caruso and Benedetti back!


They can't dwell on it because the others are closing in...


Tense finale here in Pinerolo as one Irish upstart looks to deny two experienced Italians. Under the flamme rouge they go...


Over the top they go and Dunbar has joined the leaders.


Brambilla and Capecchi have opened up a good gap on this 20% gradient but they have Dunbar in pursuit. The Irishman was caught in traffic earlier but is showing his class now.


It's Benedetti who leads the break onto the cobbles of Pinerolo and they hits the climb in pole position. Brambilla instantly attacks with Capecchi on his wheel. They open up a gap.


Landa has lost Sutterlin, who pulls up after his big shift.


The group of main favourites has got bigger after picking up some of the remnants of the break plus been joined by Ciccone and a few others. Still no Jungels or Formolo, though.


So, our winner will be one of Dunbar, Capecchi, Brambilla, Montaguti, Benedetti, Caruso and Polanc. My money is on Brambilla or Dunbar.


It looks like we're down to seven riders in this lead group: Cataldo has been dropped, or perhaps he's dropped back to help out his Astana team-mate Lopez behind?


A reminder of the ramp coming up in Pinerolo...


Conti and Jungels are riding in a quartet with Formolo and Amador. They're 11'40" down on the leaders and around 1'30" down on the Yates-Nibali-Roglic group.


Landa and Lopez have picked up their respective teammates Sutterlin and Boaro, who were in that initial break, and so are not having to do any work. We don't have a time check for them back to the Roglic-Nibali-Yates group at the moment.


Into the last 10km and it's the calm before the storm in the eight-man lead group. Polanc looks certain to take the maglia rosa but who will win the stage?


Yates, Chaves, Nibali, Sivakov, Carapaz, Kangert, Carthy and Roglic are all in this select group with Majka. Roglic is making no friends because he's doing no pulling and trying to get everyone else to do the work.


There's a bit of words being shared between Roglic and Majka on the back of the group of main favourites. They're clearly angry about something.


Not that anyone cares but Polanc just beat Capecchi to the second intermediate sprint spoils in Cavour.


There's a six-man chasing group being driven by Thomas De Gendt around 2'25" down on the eight leaders.


Polanc is back with a lead group of six that also includes Caruso, Capecchi, Benedetti, Dunbar and Brambilla. It looks like Cataldo has been dropped.


Landa and Lopez have a small gap of 50 seconds over the other favourites, whose pace is being driven by Majka.


Back with the leaders, who are on the descent, and they're riding as a five with Polanc yet to get back in touch. Their advantage over the group of race favourites is 11 minutes with the Conti/Jungels group about 45 second back.


Ciccone is pacing his Trek teammate Bauke Mollema on the front of this group of favourites. Yates is there with Chaves, while Nibali has Pozzovivo. It doesn't look like Tao Geoghegan Hart is here for Ineos.


There's a big group now of main favourites with all the big guns there as well as Ciccone and Pavel Sivakov of Ineos. Landa and Lopez are still a little bit further up the road.


Back with the main pack and Bob Jungels is one of trhe riders to be dropped. He's having a shocker as he rides back with the outgoing maglia rosa.


Brambilla takes the maximum 40pts over the summit ahead of Caruso and Capecchi and Dunbar. So, Brambilla will take over teammate Giulio Ciccone’s blue jersey.


Another attack from Brambilla sees Polanc dropped from this group.


The leaders are 1km from the summit now and the same six riders are there. Brambilla puts in an attack – he wants to keep the maglia azzura within the Trek team.


Conti, the pink jersey, is one of the many riders to drop back. With that move by Lopez and Hirt reeled in, Mikel Landa dances clear. The Spaniard also lost loads of time in the first 10 days and needs a performance to get back into contention.


ATTACK: Superman Lopez dances clear of the pack and joins forces with Astana team-mate Hirt. Now that was predictable... There's no initial reaction from the pack - probably because the Colombian lost so much time in that last TT. But soon there's a response from the likes of Majka, Nibali, Carapaz, Roglic and Yates... and pretty much all the domestiques are gone!


Remember, the prize for going over the top in pole position is the maglia azzurra - extra motivation for the six leaders. Who will it be: Polanc, Cataldo, Capecchi, Brambilla, Caruso or Dunbar? Of course, if it's the Slovenian then he could take both the blue and pink...


The first attack on the climb from the peloton comes from Jan Hirt of Astana - but he doesn't get much headway from the Jumbo and Bora-led main pack.


The peloton is now onto the climb and the white jersey Nans Peters is already pedalling squares: he will not be topping the youth standings in an hour or so.


Now Brambilla steps on the pedals. Capecchi follows but Dunbar, Cataldo, Caruso and Polanc don't respond while Montaguti is dropped and joins Benedetti behind.


Dunbar has been joined by Capecchi but they will soon be joined by the others: Montaguti, Cataldo, Caruso, Brambilla and Polanc. Another few seconds back Benedetti is doing his best to join this select group.


Bora, Jumbo, Movistar and Mitchelton are all near the front of the main pack, as is the maglia rosa of Valerio Conti. Will he hold on to the pink jersey today? It's unlikely. Meanwhile, there's an attack from Eddie Dunbar! The Irishman rides clear of the leaders and has Capecchi in pursuit.


Gavazzi was with the leaders but he's been dropped. Benedetti is doing his best to join the eight riders up front. Back with the peloton and Movistar have finally come to the fore.


Dunbar and Capecchi are with this leading group, as is Senni. Brambilla comes to the front now - he was my tip for the stage before the start.


Now Damiano Caruso, his jersey unzipped, takes up the chase. They're about to reel in the two chancers. Yes, they're done. Caruso has Polanc with him as well as Montaguti, Cataldo and Brambilla. The break has blown apart into various sub-groups.


The first two kilometres of this climb are a fairly gentle 6.2% before a mid section which averages over 10%. Thomas De Gendt has come to the front to set the tempo for the chasing escapees.


Bennett and Haller hit the start of the Cat.1 Montoso (8.8km at 9.6%) with a lead of 30 seconds over the rest of the break and 12'40" over the peloton.


The key climb is coming right up...


It's Jumbo-Visma who are leading the chase back in the peloton with a little help from Bahrain Merida. They're a whole 9.2km behind the leaders as things stand!


Just 8km to go until the first major climb of the race. The two leaders have 35 seconds with the pack closing the deficit to 12'50".


Not only is he wearing shorts matching his maglia ciclamino, Arnaud Demare has a purple bike too. If that's not an incentive to get all the way to Verona then what is...?


Our leading duo have 25 seconds on the other escapees and 13'16" on the peloton.


The pack, meanwhile, are now tackling the cobbled climb in Pinerolo. Trek and Mitchelton-Scott are on the front before one of the Bahrain Merida riders comes through on the narrow ramp through the centre of town.


Bennett has been joined by the Austrian Marco Haller of Katusha-Alpecin. They have a small gap on the break, which leads the peloton by 13'35".


Well, this is odd... The American Grand Tour debutant Sean Bennett has just attacked his fellow escapees. With 60km remaining and 19km until the start of the climb, the 23-year-old EF Education First rider decides its time to make hay.


As the pack comes through the feed zone the gap is down to 14'35" and so that change in tempo is having an effect. Either that or the break just slowed up - understandably - on that wall in Pinerolo, which the peloton still have to tackle.


During the ad break just now the leaders entered Pinerolo for the first time and tackled the Muro San Maurizio for the first time - the same cobbled ramp that the riders will have to negotiate before the finish today. It peaks at 13.2% and should decide the outcome of the stage finish. More info in this tweet...


Finally, with the gap above 15 minutes, Jumbo-Visma and Bahrain Merida have send a rider each to the front of the peloton to help with the chase.


Talking of Roglic, Polanc and Slovenian cycling, the former maglia rosa was quizzed about his nation's connections to the latest doping scandal this morning...

Video - Roglic ‘not at all worried’ by UCI investigation into Slovenian cycling


Over 15 minutes now and this is a serious gap but for now, all the teams of the favourites are just playing poker in the peloton and waiting for someone else to crack. Astana won't, that's for sure, because they have Cataldo in the break, and nor will UAE for obvious reasons. Given that Polanc is a compatriot of Primoz Roglic, perhaps Jumbo-Visma won't do anything also... time will tell. My guess is that Mitchelton-Scott and Bahrain Merida will combine soon, perhaps Movistar as well - for Yates, Nibali and Landa stand to miss out today...


UAE Team Emirates have played a blinder putting Jan Polanc in this break, which takes the pressure off them doing anything behind. The gap has gone above 14 minutes now and the Slovenian is in a good position to take over from teammate Valerio Conti as the race leader tonight. The 27-year-old Polanc is no slouch: he won stage 5 of the Giro in a summit finish at Abetone in 2015 and stage 4 on Mount Etna in 2017 en route to finishing 11th on GC.


At the intermediate sprint a bit earlier at Paesana - apologies, I'd nipped out to pick up my lunch - it was the Belgian Bakelants who took the points ahead of compatriot De Gendt.


Stil the gap grows: it's 12'30" now for the 25 leaders. That puts Dario Cataldo and Enrico Gasparotto both into the reckoning for the maglia rosa should Jan Polanc falter.


It's rare that we see Ineos (formerly known as Sky) riders in the break of a Grand Tour. Having no bona fide GC contender here in Italy has opened the door to the British team's roster and Irishman Eddie Dunbar, making his debut in a three-week race, has grabbed the opportunity by the horns today. He's a good climber and has an experienced teammate in Christian Knees in the break alongside him - an ideal scenario for Ineos and the 22-year-old.


The strange thing is that the blue jersey Giulio Ciccone is not in this break - you'd think he'd have been motivated by those 40 points up for grabs on the summit of the Montoso. He's currently on 32 points (10pts clear of Primoz Roglic) so whoever goes over the summit in pole position will take his maglia azzura.


And still the gap grows... it's now over nine minutes for the 25-man break so it's safe to say that our winner today will come from this breakaway. With that in mind, the smart money is on one of: Polanc, Dunbar, Brambilla, De Gendt, Caruso, Bakelants or Cataldo. Although what do I know?


With the gap pushing seven minutes UAE Team Emirates have both the actual (Conti) and virtual (Polanc) maglia rosa on their hands.


Thankfully, the race's official website have published a list of riders in the break so I won't have to manually type them all into the system. So here, courtesy of giroditalia.com, are the 25 riders: Jan Polanc (UAD), Dario Cataldo (AST), Enrico Gasparotto (TDD), Eros Capecchi (DQT), Francesco Gavazzi (ANS), Jan Bakelants (SUN), Matteo Montaguti (ANS), Eddie Dunbar (INS), Gianluca Brambilla (TFS), Damiano Caruso (TBM), Manuel Senni (BRD), Manuele Boaro (AST), Danilo Wyss (TDD), Thomas De Gendt (LTS), Tobias Ludvigsson (GFC), Marco Haller (TKA), Luca Covili (BRD), Christian Knees (INS), Jenthe Biermans (TKA), Cesare Benedetti (BOH), Sean Bennett (EF1), Josef Cerny (CCC), Jasha Sütterlin (MOV), Roger Kluge (LTA) and Conor Dunne (ICA).


Alexis Vuillermoz's attempt to join the leaders comes to nothing: the Frenchman has been reabsorbed by the peloton. The gap is now 5'20".


Today's stage celebrates the 70th anniversary of one of the most memorable wins in Giro d'Italia history... I wrote a special historic piece on Coppi's breakaway over the weekend.


The UAE Emirates team of race leader Valerio Conti are on the front of the pack now to control things as the gap stretches out to four minutes. They have Slovenian Jan Polanc in the break and he's the best placed rider there on GC some 5'24" down on his teammate. Not a bad position to be in!


The 25-odd riders in this break are: Gavazzi, Boaro, Cataldo, Covili, Senni, Benedetti, Cerny, Ludvigsson, Dunne, De Gendt, Kluge, Gasparotto, Dunbar, Knees, Biermans, Vervaeke, Brambilla, Polanc, Sutterlin, Montaguti, Capecchi, Bennett, Wyss, Caruso, Haller, Bakelants.


We're onto an uncategorised climb which precedes a long downhill drag to the foot of the next uphill rise. Alexis Vuillermoz had darted clear of the peloton to try and bridge over to the break, which now enjoys a two-minute gap over the pack. Names coming up.


There's a break of around 20 riders with a minute over the pack. Names coming up but I can already see Conor Dunne (he's hard to miss), Dario Cataldo and Gianluca Brambilla as well as those men Dunbar and De Gendt. Behind, the peloton is all strung out and feeling the strain...


There's a real fight going on to get in the break. It's going to be quite a battle out there today. For now it's Eddie Dunbar (Team Ineos) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) who are up the road and being chased by around 18 riders.


They're off!


A quick reminder of the jersey wearers - from left to right: Giulio Ciccone in blue, Valerio Conti in pink, Arnaud Demare in total ciclamino and Nans Peters in all-white. Trust the Frenchman, eh?


With Ewan and Viviani out of the picture, the peloton is down to 160 riders this morning. They're in the neutral zone and this sunny stage 12 is about to get under way.


Here's the official profile of today's stage, which sees that Cat.1 climb of Montoso coming around 35km from the finish. Expect some fireworks...

Giro d'Italia 2019 stage 12 profile

Messrs Ewan and Viviani, we should add, have now withdrawn from the race ahead of the mountains because of the change in terrain. But the two men battling for the maglia ciclamino - Arnaud Demare and Pascal Ackermann - continue in their bid to pick up as many points as possible between here and Verona.


Ciao ragazzi! Welcome to live coverage of stage 1 - sorry, stage 12 - of the Giro d'Italia. After 11 days of nothing much except a few messy sprints and a couple of TT masterclasses from Primoz Roglic, we're finally into the mountains as the race goes over 1,000m for the first time with the belated first Cat.1 climb of the 102nd edition.