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Tour of Italy – Oldani the 12th stage, Kelderman replaces, Lopez in pink

The 12th stage, the longest of this Tour of Italy with its 204km to Genoa, could not escape the adventurers. And if big names – Mathieu Van der Poel, Wilco Kelderman, Bauke Mollema… – managed to slip into the victorious breakaway after an intense battle, it was finally a young and unexpected trio who played for victory by anticipating 50km from the line. In the sprint, it’s the Italian Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Fenix) who won his first success with the pros at the age of 24 – the second in a row for Italy on this Giro- in front of his compatriot Lorenzo Rota (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Materials) and Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma).

Video – Stefano Oldani wins the 12th stage in pure adventure

Kelderman takes 8 minutes and goes back to 13th place, Juan Pedro Lopez retains his Pink Jersey

Behind, the first group of pursuers is regulated by Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) for 4th place, at 57″. Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished 6th. Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) exploded and finished just ahead of a group in control, 9 minutes away. Kelderman goes up to 13th place overall, 2’51” from the Pink Jersey Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo), not worried this Thursday and who keeps his tunic. Another closer, Lucas Hamilton (BikeExchange-Jayco) is 16th at almost 4 minutes.

60 very intense first kilometers, Démare consolidates his cyclamen jersey

Departing from Parma, a peloton of 164 riders sets off for the 204km of the longest stage of this Tour of Italy. And it will be without the sprinter Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal), the Australian having decided to stop the costs after a Giro spent in suffering. As expected on this stage favorable to adventurers, many riders want to be part of the breakaway of the day. Diego Rosa (Eolo Kometa), David DelaCruz (Astana-Qazaqstan), Jorge Arcas (Movistar), Lawson Craddock (BikeExchange-Jayco), Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Premier Tech) and the inevitable Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) in particular tried their luck in turn, without success. Despite a start to the course with a constant rising false flat, the first hour of the race was swallowed up at an average speed of more than 50 km/h!

Very quickly the intermediate sprint looms Borgo Val di Taro, after 56km of racing. As one might expect, the Groupama-FDJ cyclamen jersey Arnaud Demare takes things in hand to lead his sprinter. In the absence of its main competitor, Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), the Frenchman encountered no resistance and easily pocketed the 12 points awarded to the first on the line, ahead of Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates). With 185 points, the Picard therefore consolidates his lead in the sprinters’ classification, with 86 points ahead of the Colombian.

A royal breakaway finally takes the lead, with Van der Poel, Mollema, Kelderman, Cort Nielsen…

Following the intermediate sprint, the team Alpecin-Fenix take the opportunity to relaunch the major maneuvers. A group that looks great finally manages to break away, made up of 22 riders: Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën), Mathieu Van der Poel, Stefano Oldani, Oscar Riesebeek (Alpecin-Fenix), Valerio Conti (Astana Qazaqstan), Santiago Buitrago, Jasha Sutterlin (Bahrain Victorious), Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe), Simone Consoni (Cofidis), Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education-EasyPost), Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo Kometa), Lorenzo Rota, Rein Taaramae (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Materials), Pascal Eenkhoorn, Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma), Michael Schwarzman (Lotto Soudal), william barta (Movistar), David Ballerini (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Lucas Hamilton, Matteo Sobrero (BikeExchange-Jayco), Nico Denz (Team DSM) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo).

Trapped and seeing the peloton recover, the Italian continental teams react. A counter trio forms with Luca Covili, Davide Gabburo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) and Edoardo Zardini (Drone Hopper-Anrodni Giocattoli). After about twenty kilometers chasing at 30 seconds, they manage to join the head of the race. After 90 kilometres, it is therefore 25 riders who open the road 5 minutes ahead of a peloton led by the Trek-Segafredo of the Pink Jersey Juan Pedro Lopezonly threatened by the presence of Wilco Kelderman – 23rd at 11’02” – at the front. Crossed in the lead by Bauke Mollemathe first ascent of the day, the Passo del Bocco, comes to offer a beautiful tribute to the late Wouter Weylandtsince it will be the first time since 2011, and the tragic accident which cost the life in the descent to the Belgian, that the Giro take this pass and these roads.

A false company trio in the breakaway before the last ascent

After two hours of racing at full speed – more than 48 km/h on average despite 800m of elevation gain! – things finally calm down on this 12th stage. Everyone feels the need to breathe. In the transition to the next difficulty, La Colletta (9 km at 4.3%), placed 50 km from the finish, the breakaway collaborates and does not dispute the Traguardo Volantewon by Stefano Oldani. The peloton does not force behind and sails at 5 minutes. The scenario of a breakaway victory seems more and more credible.

But it moves again in the 2nd difficulty of the day. It is Lorenzo Rota who sets fire to the powder and passes the summit in the lead, very quickly joined by Stefano Oldani and Gijs Leemreize. This trio quickly takes 50 seconds ahead of a chasing group disorganized by the teammates of the three leading men. The same gap separates the two groups when approaching the last and difficult climb which will serve as a judge of the peace, the Valico di Trensasco (4.3km at 8%).

Van der Poel dropped, a gala quartet stumbles on the leading trio, Stefano Oldani settles the sprint!

From the first slopes, the group of pushers explodes! The best climbers torture the punchers, in particular the favorite of the stage Mathieu van der Poel, who can not follow! A quartet worthy of the high mountains stands out logically, with Bauke Mollema, Lucas Hamilton, Wilco Kelderman and Santiago Buitrago. But the three in front resist well and keep 45 seconds at the top (30km remaining), where Lorenzo Rota again full of points for the blue jersey. Further on, the Maillot Rose peloton climbs slowly and passes at almost 8 minutes. No battle for the general classification today, but Wilco Kelderman should make a nice close and get back in the game.

After the descent, 25 miles from the goal, the race situation is clear: it will be decided between the seven riders who make up the two leading groups. In a relatively flat final towards Genoa, Lorenzo Rota, Stefano Oldani and Gijs Leemreize seem to take over the quartet of climbers. The gap still stagnates around 50 seconds under the 10 km banner. Nothing to report afterwards, so it’s a three-way sprint that will conclude the day. And in this game, it’s the Italian Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Fenix) who won the stage, ahead of his compatriot Lorenzo Rota and Gijs Leemreize. The chasing group is regulated by Bauke Mollema for 4th place, at 57″. Wilco Kelderman finished 6th, and regained more than 8 minutes on the peloton.

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