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Friday, May 19, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein

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Giro d'Italia Stage twelve team reports

We posted the report from Primoz Roglic's Team Jumbo-Visma with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner Nico Denz's Team Bora-hansgrohe:

The twelfth stage of the Giro took the peloton over a hilly start in Bra near Turin, through a flatter middle section into a tough finale around Rivoli. The leading group was very competitive today and after more than one hour of racing, 30 riders were able to break away from the peloton. BORA - hansgrohe was represented in this group by Patrick Konrad and Nico Denz. After the first intermediate sprint, Nico and three other riders managed to break away from the rest of the escapees and at the foot of the Colle Braida climb, the quartet had a lead of 2:30 minutes over the first chasing group.

Nico had to fight hard on the climb, but was able to keep contact with the group, while one rider had to let go. A first attack by Nico at 10 km before the finish was unsuccessful, but the German nevertheless proved to be the strongest of the group in the sprint. From the front, Nico attacked over 200m ahead of the finish line and took a spectacular victory in Rivoli.

Nico Denz celebrates his stage win. Sirotti photo

"This is a very big win for me, and I'm super proud to have taken a stage in the Giro d'Italia, it's unbelievable. When I made it into the break, there were such big names in the group, and I thought initially that it wouldn't be easy for me to make a move. But despite that, I knew that I had to do something. Eventually, the collaboration deteriorated in the group and a split appeared, and at that time, I was at the front. So we pushed and I then we managed to get a gap. On the last climb, I was really on my limit, and I barely made it over the top. But once I got through it, I knew that there was a little kicker coming up, and that I had to attack there. I tried that, but our group came back together again. But I still knew that I have quite a fast finish, and in the end, that's what got me the win. I'm absolutely over the moon right now, it's amazing." - Nico Denz

"The plan was actually for Bob and Koni to go into the breakaway, but Bob said that he didn't have the best legs today and he wanted to save his energy to assist Lenni tomorrow. So we saw an opportunity for Nico to try his luck in the breakaway. It ended up being a large group, and we had two guys in there. When the group split, Nico took advantage of it. After he made it over the climb with his breakaway companions, we were really hoping that he would be able to win the stage. In the end he proved himself to be the strongest. He really deserves this victory, because he always works very hard for his leaders. This victory also comes at a very important moment and gives us a lot of motivation ahead of the big mountain stage tomorrow." - Enrico Gasparotto, Sports Director

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Here's the Giro report from GC leader Geraint Thomas' Team INEOS Grenadiers:

The INEOS Grenadiers rode well and protected race leader Geraint Thomas to ensure another day in the pink jersey at the Giro d'Italia.

Geraint Thomas remains the GC leader. Sirotti photo

The team controlled the tempo of the peloton on stage 12 on a more straightforward day, despite intermittent rain and a tough final climb.

Thomas crossed the line surrounded by his teammates to retain a two-second overall lead as the Grand Tour continues into its second half.

As expected the stage played into the hands of the breakaway, with Nico Denz (Bora-Hansgrohe) prevailing from a group in excess of 30 riders up the road.

Pavel Sivakov rebounded well from his crash on Wednesday and led the team over the line, 8:19 back, with no riders in the move a threat to the GC.

Thymen Arensman and Laurens De Plus remain eighth and ninth overall, with the race returning to the high mountains and Swiss soil on Friday.

Geraint Thomas:
"Obviously a lot more straightforward compared to yesterday with how the race went. It was a solid day and a tough start but the boys did really well to control it and have the right break that we wanted, with no one on GC. We weren't bothered about how big it was and we knew a big break always struggles to work well together anyway.

"The boys rode on the front all the way and it sets us up nicely for tomorrow. It was a great sign to see [Pavel riding]. He rode on the front from the bottom of the climb all the way to the finish. It must have been close to 40km. He's certainly looking alright. He's a battler and a tough guy so it's great to have him still riding well in the team.

"It definitely changes how we race. When we had myself and [Tao] up there it gave us two good options. Obviously he's not here anymore. it's a blow to the team and obviously he was going really well. We've still got a good strong unit here. We've had great morale from the start of the year and hopefully we can continue that."

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Here's the Giro stage twelve report from third-place Sebastian Berwick's Team Israel-Premier Tech:

Israel – Premier Tech grabbed the team’s third podium place in this year’s Giro d’Italia as Sebastian Berwick finished third on stage 12 of the Italian Grand Tour.

Sebastian Berwick finishes third. Sirotti photo

After Wednesday’s sprint stage, it was clear that today was a day for a breakaway to make it all the way given the undulating terrain.

The IPT riders were extremely eager to get in the mix and the team was present with multiple riders in all the moves at the beginning. Ultimately, a group of 30 riders managed to get away including Berwick, Stevie Williams and Marco Frigo.

Halfway through the stage, the breakaway split up with five riders getting a gap. Berwick was quick to join the group and they quickly built up a gap on the chasers.

At the top of the final climb, only two others riders were able to follow the fast pace set by IPT’s 23-year-old Australian. The first chase group, with Frigo, was over three minutes down and it was clear that the leading trio would fight for the victory. In the end, Berwick finished third in the sprint after an impressive day out by him and the whole team.

“That last climb was my last opportunity I guess but in the end, they were strong enough to stay with me”, Berwick explained after the line. “I didn’t have much in the sprint obviously. 58kg vs 75kg, it’s a bit hard to win but I kept fighting, it’s a Giro stage and I was in the hunt for the win so you never know what happens. Steven Bradbury and all that.”

Frigo crossed the line in fifth place after a late attack from the chase group, continuing the impressive streak of results by IPT’s youngsters in the race.

“I tried to get away on the last climb just to take on the descent less stressful. At the bottom, I waited for the group and then I went one more time on the last kilometer to finish in fifth”, Frigo said. “I’m really happy with this result in my first Giro and also with how my legs felt today. Let’s see what we can do in the next stages. I think there is more to come!”

Tomorrow, the Giro d’Italia continues with a big mountain stage to Crans-Montana and Berwick reassures that the team is ready to fight again. “We will go again tomorrow! Two seconds and a third place now. We are fighting for that win and we hope it comes soon.”

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And here's the report from Ilan Van Wilder's Team Soudal Quick-Step:

Soudal Quick-Step’s 23-year-old Ilan Van Wilder gained a massive six minutes in the standings.

Ilan Van Wilder was one of the 30-odd riders to book a place in the largest breakaway seen in a race this season, which formed on the roads of Piedmont, the region hosting stage 12 of the race, from Bra to Rivoli.

Ilan Van Wilder leads in the first chase group at the finish. Sirotti photo

As expected in such situations, there wasn’t a real concord in the group, but even in these conditions they managed to open a maximum gap of nine minutes over a peloton whose mind was more on Friday’s gruelling stage in the mountains. It came as no surprise that the group fragmented long before the day’s only classified climb, four riders moving clear and putting three minutes into their former companions. Ilan tried to go after them, but his numerous attempts were countered by his opponents.

The cat and mouse game continued on Colle Braida, where the Belgian tried again to get a gap, only for the result to be the same. But Ilan didn’t give up and showed his strength in the sprint, which he won from the group that arrived two minutes behind victor Nico Denz (Bora-hansgrohe), finishing sixth on the stage.

“I had the feeling I was alone today on the road, at one point it was just me against the world. It’s something typical in such a big breakaway. I tried to attack many times, but the others reacted each time. In the end, I won that sprint from pure frustration and I think it was the best possible result. I will now try to recover and hopefully will continue my upward trajectory here”, said Ilan, who is now 16th overall, just three minutes from the top 10.

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