Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe) grabbed a very hard earned victory on stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia today, his first as a professional cyclist, in the thrilling run into Pinerolo. The Italian was part of a large 25-man breakaway that also included GC contender Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates). The group finished over eight minutes ahead of the main GC contenders.
The 25-man group was attacked by a select group made up of Eddie Dunbar (Team Ineos), Eros Capecchi (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) who made it to the final kilometer intact. But that group, after a category one climb with 30km remaining and a short steep climb just over 2km from the finish, was caught by Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida) and Benedetti who clawed their way back over the final 500m as the leader group hesitated.
With the group solidified, the race came down to a sprint. Benedetti was able to get ahead and hold his sprint in front of Caruso and Dunbar.
On the GC front, Polanc finished 25 seconds down on the front group, which handed him the pink jersey and the overall lead. Former pink jersey holder and team-mate Valerio Conti finished over 10 minutes down on the day.
Notably, Mikel Landa (Movistar) and Miguel Ángel López (Astana) took 28 seconds on the other GC contenders after attacking on the Montoso climb.
Stage 12 Highlights
KM 66: San Maurizio uncat. climb
Final 5 Kilometers
Marco Haller confronts bidon stealing fan
— Junimba (@junimba) May 23, 2019
That happened… The audacity to just snag a bottle out of a riders mouth. Bizarre.