Giro d’Italia: Stage 12

Italy’s Cesare Benedetti claimed his first pro victory on stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia, Irishman Eddie Dunbar was third and Hugh Carthy did enough to take the Young rider’s jersey – we have a roundup of what the riders are saying post race

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Giro d’Italia: Stage 12

Italy’s Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe) claimed his first pro victory at the age of 31 on stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia as he pipped the last three breakaway riders before the line and bettered his compatriot Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida) and Irishman Eddie Dunbar (Team Ineos).

Photo: @giroditalia

A member of the move from far out, Slovenia’s Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) took over the Maglia Rosa from his team-mate Valerio Conti while Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo), fourth in Pinerolo, became the new King of the Mountains, taking over from his room-mate Giulio Ciccone. Hugh Carthy (EF Education First) is now the best young rider.

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As an appetiser for some of the brutal stages to follow, stage 12 started with an initial fight for the breakaway before a big group of 25 were allowed off the front and the actioned settled in. Seemingly unconcerned with a stage result or any general classification threat in the move, the peloton allowed the group to ride out to a generous 15-minute advantage.

With the race leaders UAE Team Emirates placing the highest general classification rider in the breakaway, they freed themselves of any real need to control the move. That left a stand-off between other overall contenders, before eventually Jumbo-Visma and Bahrain-Merida put riders on the front of the peloton.

As the break splintered on the day’s major climb, a slight re-grouping on the descent and run in to the line saw Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe) claim the stage victory. Behind, the GC riders also played their first cards with Landa and Lopez attacking their rivals and, after joining up with teammates on the descent, riding to the line together.

Hamilton peeled off after some big turns on the front, leaving Simon Yates and Chaves to finish alongside the likes of Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) less than 30-seconds adrift.


Cesare Benedetti said in the press conference: “I’m very happy. It’s a lot of emotion for a rider like me. It’s something I’ve waited for since the day I visited a start village of the Giro d’Italia in 1999. From that day, I dreamt of being a pro cyclist.”

“When I got dropped on the final climb, I thought it’d be normal if the three ahead would watch each other. I came across. After the last bend, it was a bit early to go to the front because of the wind but my legs were still responding. I didn’t celebrate before the line as I’ve learned from the u17 category to not believe in the win too early and not to be too exuberant.”

The Maglia Rosa Jan Polanc said in the press conference: “Every rider who takes part in a Grand Tour dreams of a day like this. It will be hard to still have the Maglia Rosa in Verona but at least I’ll try to retain it tomorrow. It’ll depend on how much energy I have left. Today’s goal with the team was to keep the lead throughout a breakaway. There’ll be even bigger gaps than now at the end. The Giro has just begun for GC riders. There’s a big battle to come.”

Photo: @giroditalia

Hugh Carthy: “UAE rode quite slowly,” noted Carthy. “It was quite easy up to the climb, maybe a little fight to the climb. A couple teams helped increase the pace on the lowers slopes, but it really was the climb that made the selection. A few riders attacked, [Mikel] Landa, Lopez. They got a decent gap. I was in the main group with Tanel KangertTanel [Kangert],” Carthy explained. Just over the top of the climb, I lost contact with the group, but I was able to come back on the decent.”

“We arrived at the final kick to the line with a couple kilometers to go, and my legs, oof, I was pretty tired by that point,” said Carthy. “It was quite intense chasing back to the group, so I got distanced, but I managed to hang on to enough time to take the white jersey.”

While the white jersey wasn’t Carthy’s primary aim when he started the Giro d’Italia, he considers it a just reward for his consistency during the first half of the 21-stage race. “It comes from riding well, from being up there every day, from some good teamwork,” Carthy said. “I would have liked my legs to have been better on the top of the climb, in the final, but it’s the first day in the mountains, and it was a hot day. We’ve had a few easy days this week. Hopefully now with some hard racing in my legs, my condition will pick up.”

Simon Yates: “It was a warm day out there, hotter than I was expecting. A few guys showed that they’ve got great legs, but other than that I think we showed that we are one of the strongest teams. We had three guys at the front and Mikel (Nieve) wasn’t that far behind also, so things are looking good for the rest of the week. Tomorrow is going to be another aggressive start, a fast start. I think we can expect more of the same.”

Eddie Dunbar: “I’m a bit disappointed really. I felt like I was one of the strongest there. Not one of the quickest but certainly one of the strongest. I gambled in the finish, with Brambilla and Capecchi there. As they were Italian I thought they would be a bit keener to get to the finish so I gambled on that, but then we got caught by the two guys behind. That’s bike racing. You live and learn.

“Going into the final climb I didn’t feel super and was worried about what gear I was going to pick. I thought if I started at the back I’d be able to see who was strong. Normally guys, when they feel it on a climb like that, they ease back quickly, so I waited, took in who was strong and thought if I could get to the top two I’d have a chance. I did that, but just came up short.

“In the end it was who could push the biggest gear. The other guys probably have that experience on me and extra bit of endurance, but it’s a start for me.”

Mikel Landa: “I’m so happy. It was important for me to see myself doing strong in the first big mountain of this race. Taking some time back, even if it wasn’t a lot, and finding these legs is so great for me. Halfway through the climb, seeing that riders like Miguel Ángel trying to move across to the break and the speed was decreasing in my group, I decided to take advantage and launch an attack to get to him”.

“We had Jasha into the break, and I tried to profit from his situation to keep that gap high before the end. We might have a strong favourite in Roglic, with a big gap ahead of us, plus riders like Nibali, who knows this race well and is in optimal form, yet we won’t stop trying. The race should still remain quite open in this weekend, it will also be hard to control, and we’ll try to take advantage and make it enjoyable for the fans.”

Primoz Roglic: “Today was a good day for me and the team”, Roglic said. “After a few relatively quiet days I had to get used to this type of racing again. The Giro is still long; there are still a lot of tough days to come. The team did a great job today and we are looking forward to the next days.”

Damiano Caruso: “I missed the win for very little – comments Damiano Caruso, today 2nd after a day in the break – but before the end of the Giro I would like to try again. From the team car they told me to go and collaborate with the other attackers and I’m just sorry that I wasn’t able to give the Team the victory”.

“I gave my best and for today I’m happy with my result. It was a special sprint because we came from behind and when I left I felt a little cramping and I couldn’t do more. I am happy for the stage winner the Italian Cesare Benedetti because he is a great worker and deserves this success”.

What’s next? Today we had the race’s first mountains and tomorrow we have the race’s first summit finish. With three categorised climbs across 196km, there will be fireworks on the road to Ceresole Reale.

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Stage 12
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

19 Mikel Landa Movistar Team
20 Conor Dunne Israel Cycling Academy
24 Primoz Roglic Team Jumbo – Visma
25 Vincenzo Nibali Bahrain – Merida
27 Bauke Mollema Trek – Segafredo
28 Simon Yates Mitchelton – Scott
33 Hugh Carthy EF Education First
53 Tao Geoghegan Hart Team Ineos
112 Scott Davies Team Dimension Data
136 Jack Bauer Mitchelton – Scott

1 Jan Polanc UAE Team Emirates 48:49:40
2 Primoz Roglic Team Jumbo – Visma @ 04:07
3 Valerio Conti UAE Team Emirates @ 04:51
4 Eros Capecchi Deceuninck – Quick Step @ 05:02
5 Vincenzo Nibali Bahrain – Merida @ 05:51
6 Bauke Mollema Trek – Segafredo @ 06:02
7 Rafal Majka Bora – Hansgrohe @ 07:00
8 Richard Carapaz Movistar Team @ 07:23
9 Andrey Amador Movistar Team @ 07:30
10 Hugh Carthy EF Education First @ 07:33

13 Simon Yates Mitchelton – Scott @ 07:53
21 Mikel Landa Movistar Team @ 08:31
28 Edward Dunbar Team Ineos @ 10:11
33 Tao Geoghegan Hart Team Ineos @ 11:49
139 Jack Bauer Mitchelton – Scott @ 01:21:21
140 Conor Dunne Israel Cycling Academy @ 01:22:34
150 Scott Davies Team Dimension Data @ 01:37:13


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