Yates and Chaves in main favourite's group as first GC sparks start to fly on stage 12 of GiroThu 23 May 2019
Mitchelton-SCOTT leader Simon Yates finished alongside teammate Esteban Chaves in the main group of overall favourites on stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia.
As the break rode for the stage win ahead, the group finished 28seconds behind Mikel Landa (Movistar Team) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) who attacked the bunch on the day’s major climb.
With Chaves and also Grand Tour debutant Lucas Hamilton to support him over the climb and in the chase, Yates now sits 13thoverall, seven minutes and 53seconds behind new race leader, Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates).
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.
Who will control?
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.
First GC attacks:
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 Yates and Chaves to finish alongside the likes of Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) less than 30-seconds adrift.
“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.”
Matt White – Head Sport Director:
“Today was an appetiser amongst four days of big mountain stages. There was only one climb and as predicted, we didn’t see who was the strongest today, but we saw the first initial signs of guys suffering at the top end of the GC.
“It was quite a warm day today and it showed a little bit of what we’re going to see in the next couple of days. We saw some big gaps with one climb, so when we get multiple climbs, things are going to be amplified.
“We had numbers on the climb and that’s a really good sign. Lucas, it’s his first Giro and he is playing with the big boys, we knew he’d be good but it’s a very good sign for him today. It’s a great sign for Esteban and Simon too in that front group, they didn’t have to do too much today which is good for what is coming up.”
Giro d’Italia – Stage 12 Results:
1. Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe) 3:41:49
2. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida) ST
3. Eddie Dunbar (Team Ineos) ST
26. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +8:03
Giro d’Italia – General Classification after Stage 12:
1. Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) 48:49:40
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +4:07
3. Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) +4:51
13. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +7:53
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.