Giro d’Italia poised for breakaway with general classification riders on alert on road to Genoa

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Giro d'Italia posed for breakaway on road to Genoa with general classification riders on high alert

Giro d’Italia posed for breakaway on road to Genoa with general classification riders on high alert

08:20 AM

Ewan abandons the Giro d’Italia

As expected, Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) withdrew from the race following stage 11 as the Australian sprinter switches his focus to the Tour de France, his team announced earlier this morning.

Caleb Ewan - GETTY IMAGESCaleb Ewan - GETTY IMAGES

Caleb Ewan – GETTY IMAGES

In a short statement, his team said: “Lotto-Soudal rider Caleb Ewan will not be at the start of stage twelve of the Giro, raced between Parma and Genoa. As initially planned, the Australian will leave the Giro during the second week of racing. With plenty of mountain stages coming up, together with the team it was decided that Ewan will be heading home. Following a short period of rest, the sprinter will build up towards his next big goal of the season, the Tour de France, where he will also be targeting victories in the sprint stages.”

07:55 AM

What’s on today’s menu?

With three categorised climbs on a stage that includes 2,600 metres in elevation gain, I suspect today is one for the breakaway. However, with the general classification evenly poised those with hopes of taking home the maglia rosa a little over a week from now will have to be on alert. Nobody will want to see an outlier breaking into the small club of potential winners, and so there may be a long battle before the breakaway forms.

None of the climbs look especially hard though, which may mean someone in the shape of Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), who interestingly looked to take Wednesday relatively easily, fancies his chances. Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), who has had a quiet Giro, could also have a go, as may team-mate Alessandro Covi.

With Caleb Ewan now out of the race, breakaway specialist Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), who appears back to his best following his win last Saturday, may be able to get in the mix, although that may depend on how fatigued he is after working for his now departed team-mate during yesterday’s sprint stage. Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) and Mauro Schmid (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl) should also not be discounted, but the breakaway could be a big one of 20+ riders so making any bold predictions is probably a little futile.

So, what does the stage look like?

Stage 12 profileStage 12 profile

Stage 12 profile

Here’s what the roadbook says about the stage…

A challenging stage across the Apennines. The route ascends steadily with very mild gradients from Parma, along the Taro river valley, entering Liguria through the uncomplicated Passo del Bocco. A long and technical descent follows, leading towards Carasco and into the Val Fontanabuona. The route then tackles the Colletta di Boasi and the Valico di Trensasco. The riders will pass along the motorway and cross the new San Giorgio bridge, heading for the finale in the city centre.

Stage 12 mapStage 12 map

Stage 12 map

After taking the motorway, the route crosses the San Giorgio bridge and takes the Genova Ovest exit (passing through a few tunnels), merging onto the Aldo Moro flyover up to the ‑2km mark. Over the last 2km, the road is straight, wide and well paved, slightly uphill, and with only one bend at the red triangle. The stage homes in on Tarmac road, at approx 2%.

Live coverage of today’s stage to start at 1pm (BST)

07:40 AM

Catch up: Highlights from Wednesday’s stage

Long, flat and only a small threat of mid-stage entertainment when the possibility of crosswinds were raised, yesterday’s stage may have lacked the excitement of escapade into the mountains, but thankfully the bunch gallop at the end more than made up for over four hours of relative inaction. Alberto Dainese (DSM) left it late before the Italian emerged from the bunch to overhaul the big-name sprinters to land the first WorldTour win of his career, and the first home-born winner at this year’s Giro. Here are the highlights. . .

07:35 AM

Ciao!

Hello and welcome to our live rolling blog from stage 12 at the Giro d’Italia, the 204-kilometre run from Parma to Genoa.

Following Wednesday’s long run from Santarcangelo di Romagna to Reggio Emilia, today’s offering is a smidge longer and is, in fact, the longest in this year’s Giro. Thankfully, though, it has a little more character to it than yesterday’s panflat stage. In theory, today should favour a breakaway specialist, or a classics rider such as Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), but before we have a look at the course, let’s have a quick recap of the standings in the top classifications.

Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo) will wear the maglia rosa, or leader’s pink jersey, for an eighth successive day after the 24-year-old finished Wednesday’s stage on the same time as Dainese.

After Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) pulled out of the race ahead of yesterday’s stage, there was a minor shuffling of the pack in the points classification with Mark Cavendish (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl) replacing the Eritrean in second, while Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) moved up to third following the sprint finish. However, there were no changes at the top and so Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), who won the competition in 2020, will again wear the maglia ciclamino, the cyclamen jersey.

Unsurprisingly given the nature of yesterday’s stage, there was not a single change in the top 30 in the mountains classification and so Diego Rosa (Eolo-Kometa) will be dressed in the maglia azzurra, or blue jersey, as leader of that competition.

López also leads the youth classification, but Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) will wear the maglia bianca (white jersey).