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Giro Stage 12 Preview

A sprint stage with a criterium-style finish as the race laps the seaside resort of Bibione. If watching a grand tour from your sofa or desk is tiring today is the televisual equivalent of a rest day, a chance to relax before the crucial mountain stages which start tomorrow.

Stage 11 Review: a fast start and the first 100km were covered in two hours. This effort doesn’t show on TV but it adds up and a breakaway of three riders, always doomed but strong with Vegard Stake Laengen, third in the Chianti TT, TT specialist Anton Vorobyev and European track champion Liam Bertazzo who enjoyed the chance to ride through his home town of Este during the stage. As the pace accelerated in the finale there was a big crash which caught many including GC contenders Jacob Fuglsang and Domenico Pozzovivo.

Monfumo, Treviso

Ahead an elite group of GC riders went clear on the Forcella Mostaccin, the 3km climb proving as selective as an Alp and after several attacks Andrey Amador went clear and Bob Jungels bridged across leaving the others doubting whether to chase. They’re probably calculating that these two will crack in the high mountains. The lead two had a slim lead of ten seconds when Diego Ulissi jumped across on the final climb and once he’d got on he knew the others would keep pulling to take time and could launch his sprint when he needed to. It’s exciting because it’s close and the following stages will see minutes, not seconds between some of these riders.

Bob Jungels

The Route: if a picture says a thousand words the profile above says it all, this is a flat procession to Bibione. While foreign tourists flock to Venice and its canals, Italians head for the giant beaches of Bibione.

Bibione

The Finish: flat so instead of showing the profile the map is more suggestive of the challenges. The race does two laps of the 8km circuit giving everyone a chance to recon the finish. The race uses one half of the boulevard along the Via Timavo so it’s not as wide as could be imagined before the final turn with 300m to go although this bend is wide.

The Contenders: André Greipel looks the best of the bunch and his sprint win in Foligno showed him on another level above all the other sprinters. But there’s a chance of rain today and the German has been known to sit back in risky finishes.

Next comes a collection of sprinters who must all be praying Greipel can bail out in the Alps so that their chances of winning a stage can rise. But Greipel’s got his eye on the points jersey and can keep going. Giacomo Nizzolo and Sacha Modolo are the safe anti-Greipel picks, Modolo in particular has a strong sprint train and won a stage of the Giro just down the coast in Lido di Jesolo last year in the rain so if the finish is wet then Modolo’s chances rise.

Arnaud Démare has been strong but crashed yesterday and went for an X-ray, the kind of thing you do if you’re sore so his chances seem reduced. The same spill caught Orica-Greenedge’s Luka Mezgec who also had his wrist scanned and there’s no injury but it’s a blow for Caleb Ewan. The Australian still learning his craft against fierce opposition so we shouldn’t judge his modest results too harshly, his best place has been fourth in Foligno but this could be his last chance before he goes home from the race and the finishing circuit and wide roads suit him.

André Greipel
Sacha Modolo, Giacomo Nizzolo
Démare, Ewan, Hofland, Porsev

Weather: a chance of rain and top temperature of 17°C, hardly the advert the seaside resort was hoping for.

TV: the finish is forecast for 5.10pm Euro time and today’s the day to tune in late to catch the sprint.

Eurosport is covering the race across most of Europe. beIN SPORT has the rights in the US and France while Italian host broadcaster RAI offers the best coverage with experienced commentators as well as roving reporters on motorbikes to add extra coverage. As ever cyclingfans.com, cyclinghub and steephill.tv are the go-to sites for schedules and pirata feeds.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Weslita Thursday, 19 May 2016, 8:15 am

    Any chance of a Tony Martin action to try to get anyone in the escape like a couple of years ago? I don’t think anyone will try to break away by himself.

  • Anonymous Thursday, 19 May 2016, 9:01 am

    What do you think about the possibility of a crash on that circuit, Mr. INRNG?

    • The Inner Ring Thursday, 19 May 2016, 9:21 am

      Always depends on the riders but the wet weather won’t help. However the roads are wide, often very wide with big avenues where visitors to the resort can park their cars on either side of the road and still have a wide highway in the middle. The laps as well should help reduce nasty surprises.

  • Joe K. Thursday, 19 May 2016, 9:28 am

    With everyone–sprinters, GC contenders–leaving the party, it doesn’t feel so hoppin’ all of a sudden. Where’s the after-party, fellas? At the Tour de France?

    • gabriele Thursday, 19 May 2016, 12:19 pm

      The Tour will be the after-party for some of the GC contenders who’re still *in the race*, I suspect 😉

      OTOH, most of those who’ve gone home, be it for sheer bad luck or out of excessive strain, won’t enjoy the time of their life in the Tour, either, fighting for a stage, at the most, while they prepare for Rio, or just serving their time… as the servants of their master.

      The sprinters who go home by their own decision wouldn’t probably make the time cut soon, or would be suffering so much that they’d spoil the rest of their season.
      And that’s what makes the difference between a great sprinter like Cav or Petacchi, or even Greipel, indeed (even if they could get the occasional towing, no doubt, or fell ill and go home, or just go home) and a billiard-table muscle-ball like Kittel. But Lidl likes it like that, hence that’s fine.

      • Nick Thursday, 19 May 2016, 2:49 pm

        The Billiard Table Muscle Ball of Armstadt? These nicknames are getting out of hand.

        • J Evans Thursday, 19 May 2016, 3:17 pm

          I’m still sulking that no-one’s taken on my Black Rooster of Nairobi for Froome.

      • Richard S Thursday, 19 May 2016, 3:42 pm

        Has there ever been more of a flat course specialist than Kittel? Even Cipo used to get over the mountains and finish the Giro, and won Milan-Sanremo (I know). I can’t think of a sprinter who wasn’t even considered for Milan-Sanremo and to whom any hill, literally any hill, is enough to get dropped. I never saw that stage of Tour de Romandie that is constantly referred to and I’m starting to think it was just a rumour!

        • The Inner Ring Thursday, 19 May 2016, 3:52 pm

          Kittel’s Romandie win was impressive, at least against expectations. For the real flat specialists who risk being dropped on a railway or canal bridge, see Danilo Napolitano or the real specialist Denis Flahaut. Dylan Groenwegen had been like this but has improved at lot.

          • gabriele Thursday, 19 May 2016, 5:10 pm

            Guardini, Quaranta, G. Brown…

    • Richard S Thursday, 19 May 2016, 3:39 pm

      I disagree, I’m really enjoying this Giro. Much more than the Vuelta last year that everyone was so giddy about. The Giro is a very good test of the alround qualities of a GC contender. As well as what they need in any other GT, they need to be able to descend and be alert to the constant threat of a random attack on any stage. The Tour by comparison seems to be more about set piece battles at specific points.

  • noel Thursday, 19 May 2016, 10:20 am

    it’s a shame that Jungels spoilt his great ride in pink yday with those red shoes…

    • gabriele Thursday, 19 May 2016, 12:03 pm

      +1

      • Larry T Thursday, 19 May 2016, 12:50 pm

        +1 Black shoes/white socks or white shoes/white socks, but never the reverse!!!

        • noel Thursday, 19 May 2016, 4:27 pm

          well Larry, he clearly values your sartorial advice… white shoes/sock combo today… (black shoes/white socks would look so much more classy surely? – but at least he’s wearing black bibshorts, so I’m not complaining!)

  • Lanterne Verte Thursday, 19 May 2016, 11:05 am

    Great preview as always, thanks for making a potentially dull stage more appealing, I was going to give it a miss today but might now duck out of work early to catch the finale.

    Looking at Jungels’s bicep x frame size factor I can understand Valverde and Nibali hedging their bets by giving him a little rope yesterday, but what about Amador, what is his track record in the high mountains? I watched last year’s Giro but my memory of his performance in the Alps is vague. I’m guessing he’s in the hang on for grim death and concede a few seconds category, losing then regaining position as the grimpeurs attack then take a breather, but some anecdotes from previous performances would be very welcome, perhaps even a ”who is Andrey Amador” post?

    Also how bad is Agnoli’s DNS for Nibali? Does it balance out Movistar’s loss of Javi Moreno? How do the teams of the GC riders stack up against each other at this point in the race?

    • The Inner Ring Thursday, 19 May 2016, 11:39 am

      Bad for Nibali in two ways, first Agnoli is a strong worker for the team, a rider who can be put to work early on a mountain stage. Second he’s close to Nibali, a trusted ally. Scarponi also fell yesterday, he told TV his shoulder was sore. He’s riding on but another concern for the Kazakh team.

      • gabriele Thursday, 19 May 2016, 5:08 pm

        Nibali pretty much on himself, defending positions alone (best placed Astana rider…) in the dangerous final 16 kms… it doesn’t look good. Hope for him things will be different on the mountains!

  • rupert Thursday, 19 May 2016, 11:31 am

    not even one ring for Viviani? – the team could try to morph into a sprint train now landa’s gone? not ideal but surely better than letting him surf wheels

    • One Man Grupetto Thursday, 19 May 2016, 11:35 am

      Viviani finished outside the time limit on Stage 8. No longer here.

      • The Inner Ring Thursday, 19 May 2016, 11:37 am

        Exactly. Also Dimension Data’s Sbaragli is ill too.

      • rupert Thursday, 19 May 2016, 12:12 pm

        thanks – didn’t catch that!

  • Anonymous Thursday, 19 May 2016, 1:20 pm

    Gorilla Greipel has already stated a few days ago, that he will leave the Giro early (I think he specifically mentioned that he will not start tomorrow). Of course he could have changed his mind, but doubt it.