Gilbert Storms To Giro d’Italia Stage Win


Philippe Gilbert of  BMC roared up the finishing straight in the midst of a raging downpour to win Stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia Thursday.

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Gilbert Storms To Giro d’Italia Stage Win

Out of the saddle and furiously rocking his BMC teammachine SLR01 side-to-side on the uphill sprint to the line, the former world road champion overtook solo leader Tanel Kangert (Astana Pro Team) in the last 200 meters and had time to sit up and celebrate his first victory of the season.

Race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) was runner-up, three seconds later, and Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) finished third. The victory was Gilbert’s second at the Giro in four appearances and the BMC Racing Team’s ninth on the year.

“This is amazing and it is a great feeling,” Gilbert said. “Before the stage this morning, we had a talk and the entire team was really focused because we knew this would be a good stage for me. All of the guys did a great job for me, especially the tremendous effort to bring two guys back late.”

Kangert was riding with Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), who had attacked with less than 20 kilometers to go in the 190-km race. The pair led by nearly 30 seconds heading into the final five kilometers, but the BMC Racing Team went to the front to chase them down.


“I decided to wait for the group because I heard that Silvan Dillier and Amaël Moinard had rejoined from behind,” Gilbert said. “We got organized and worked well as a team for the final few kilometers. This win is very important for the team and for me. We have tried many times, and finally we have won.”

BMC Racing Team’s Damiano Caruso finished 14th, six seconds back, to hold onto his eighth place overall. Two other BMC Racing Team riders are also in the top 20: Darwin Atapuma, who finished 19th on the day, is 14th at 3:24, and Moinard is 19th, 5:05 behind.

BMC Racing Team Sport Director Fabio Baldato said two things were pivotal to the win: the return of Dillier and Moinard to help with the chase and course reconnaissance on the final kilometers Gilbert performed prior to Milan-San Remo in March.

“Having Amaël and Silvan do that work late was the last little piece that we needed to close the gap,” Baldato said. “But we cannot forget the great work done at the beginning of the stage by Brent Bookwalter, Marcus Burghardt, Stefan Küng and Rick Zabel. All of them were working in the wind to cover Philippe, Damiano and Darwin. They were really motivated to have this win.”

Küng Fractures Vertebrae In Crash

Stefan Küng of the BMC Racing Team suffered a compression fracture of his T9 vertebrae Thursday when he crashed with two others in the last 25 kilometers of the Giro d’Italia stage won by his teammate, Philippe Gilbert.

Küng said he could not avoid going down after two riders from the CCC Sprandi Polkowice team crashed in front of him on the rain-slickened descent of the Crosara, the second-to-last climb of the 190-km race.

“I did not want to take risks and my sport director, Valerio Piva, said not to take risks,” Küng said. “I had a little bit of space from these two guys, but then they crashed in a left-hand corner. I tried to avoid them, but they were everywhere on the road. I hit the bike of one of them, went over it and hit my head on the ground. I think that is how my vertebrae was compressed.”

BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said Küng was taken to a hospital in Vicenza, where he will remain for several days. “He has no neurological problems and the fracture appears to be stable,” Dr. Testa said.

“I was in the ambulance and the tears were running down,” Küng said. “As a sportsman, you always want to keep going. I was looking forward to the time trial every day. So it is a shame to finish like this. When they told me what I have, it is even worse because I know I will not be able to ride my bike for a while. It is going to take time for me to come back. But for sure, I will come back.”

1. Philippe Gilbert, BMC Racing Team 4:22:50
2. Alberto Contador, Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:03
3. Diego Ulissi, Lampre-Merida
4. Simon Geschke, Team Giant-Alpecin
5. Enrico Battaglin, Bardiani CSF
6. Paolo Tiralongo, Astana Pro Team
7. Ion Izagirre, Movistar Team 0:00:06
8. Carlos Betancur, AG2R La Mondiale
9. Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Lotto Soudal
10. Mikel Landa Meana, Astana Pro Team

11. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step
12. Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky
26. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team

1. Alberto Contador, Tinkoff-Saxo 51:17:06
2. Fabio Aru, Astana Pro Team 0:00:17
3. Mikel Landa Meana, Astana Pro Team 0:00:55
4. Dario Cataldo, Astana Pro Team 0:01:30
5. Roman Kreuziger, Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:55
6. Rigoberto Uran, Etixx – Quick-Step 0:02:19
7. Giovanni Visconti, Movistar Team 0:02:21
8. Damiano Caruso, BMC Racing Team 0:02:29
9. Andrey Amador, Movistar Team 0:02:38
10. Leopold Konig, Team Sky 0:02:44
12. Richie Porte, Team Sky 0:03:18

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