André Greipel of Lotto-Soudal has brought his participation in the 99th Giro d’Italia to an end with his third victory of this year’s race, outsprinting Orica-GreenEdge’s Caleb Ewan and Giacomo Nizzolo of Trek-Segafredo to the line in Bibione to clinch Stage 12.
In taking the 20th Grand Tour stage victory of his career Greipel, who had said before today’s stage that it would be his last in this year’s race, moves alongside Erik Zabel as Germany’s most prolific winner in the Giro, Tour de France and Vuelta.
On a 182km stage from Noale that is as flat as they come in Italy, the main hazard for the peloton for most of the day was driving rain.
While conditions remained dry at the finish, another potential danger was the series of 90 degree corners on a twisting circuit to be negotiated twice in the finish town.
As a result, the race jury decided to take the overall time for the stage at the first passage of the finish line, with the second 8km circuit still to be ridden, and also ruled that no time bonuses would be awarded on the line.
That meant that the contenders for the general classification and their teams – including Etixx-Quick Step and race leader Bob Jungels – were able to sit back for that last lap, rather than fighting for position to try and keep in front of potential crashes.
The field was therefore left clear for the sprinters, and with the day’s two man break – Daniel Oss of BMC Racing and Bardiani-CSF’s Marco Maestri – swept up before those finishing circuits, it was Greipel’s Lotto-Soudal team that controlled the front of the peloton.
With 2.5km remaining, there was a crash, but it came towards the back of the group contesting the finish and didn’t disrupt the rhythm of the teams looking to contest the stage win.
Lotto-Soudal’s hard work was rewarded as Greipel came off Jurgen Roelandts' wheel after the final corner and held off Ewan to take the sixth Giro d’Italia stage of his career.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.