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Cesare Benedetti wins stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia as Jan Polanc takes over pink and Mikel Landa and Miguel Ángel López move up, Spratt wins stage 2 of Emakumeen Bira, UCI investigating member of Bahrain-Merida management. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Benedetti wins Giro stage 12, Polanc takes over lead, Landa and López move up
The first pro win of Cesare Benedetti’s career was a big one. The 31-year-old Bora-Hansgrohe rider, a career domestique, won Thursday’s stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia from the breakaway, topping Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida) and Eddie Dunbar (Ineos) in a sprint to the line.
“I usually work hard for my teammates and today I had the opportunity to go into the breakaway to try something,” Benedetti said. “Over the last few days, I was happy for my teammates and their success, and now I can also celebrate the fact that I was also able to take my own win here at the Giro.”
Jan Polanc (UAE-Team Emirates), who also spent the day in the break, took over as the new race leader from teammate Valerio Conti, and now has a 4:07 advantage to second-placed Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma). A little ways down the overall leaderboard, Miguel Ángel López (Astana) and Mikel Landa (Movistar) joined forces on the day’s lone big climb to claw back some time on their rivals.
The 158-kilometer stage from Cuneo to Pinerolo saw a sizable escape group jump clear in the early goings, with Benedetti and Polanc in among a group of more than 20 riders up the road. Polanc’s presence in the group meant that UAE-Team Emirates felt little need to take up the chase, and there did not appear to be much interest from other teams either, allowing the break to build a big advantage.
The gap rose to over 11 minutes by the midway point of the stage. Cooperation in the break turned to competition as the group approached the first-category Montoso climb, with riders attacking each other on the run-in and then on the slopes. Action on the climb would whittle down both the breakaway group and the pack behind, where López and Landa, with help from teammates dropped from the break, opened up a gap on their rivals that they would hold going up and over the summit.
A three-man group of Dunbar, Eros Capecchi (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), and Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) led the way into Pinerolo, but Benedetti and Caruso caught them from behind to make it a five-rider sprint. Brambilla went long but as he began to flag, Benedetti came around to take the win, the first pro victory of his career. Polanc arrived shortly thereafter to take over the race lead.
Over seven minutes later, López and Landa crossed the line with nearly 30 seconds in hand over the rest of the GC hopefuls.
Stage 12 results
1 BENEDETTI Cesare (BORA – hansgrohe)
2 CARUSO Damiano (Bahrain Merida)
3 DUNBAR Eddie (Team INEOS)
4 BRAMBILLA Gianluca (Trek – Segafredo)
5 CAPECCHI Eros (Deceuninck – Quick Step)
6 POLANC Jan (UAE-Team Emirates)
7 MONTAGUTI Matteo (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec)
8 DE GENDT Thomas (Lotto Soudal)
9 GAVAZZI Francesco (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec)
10 SENNI Manuel (Bardiani – CSF)
1 POLANC Jan (UAE-Team Emirates)
2 ROGLIC Primoz (Team Jumbo-Visma)
3 CONTI Valerio (UAE-Team Emirates)
4 CAPECCHI Eros (Deceuninck – Quick Step)
5 NIBALI Vincenzo (Bahrain Merida)
6 MOLLEMA Bauke (Trek – Segafredo)
7 MAJKA Rafal (BORA – hansgrohe)
8 CARAPAZ Richard (Movistar Team)
9 AMADOR Andrey (Movistar Team)
10 CARTHY Hugh (EF Education First)
Oakridge, Oregon looks like a pretty cool place to ride a mountain bike, and Derrick Bell seems like a big part of that. Shimano caught up with the career trail builder for a video on its YouTube channel. Keep up the good work, Derrick.
Spratt wins stage 2 and takes lead at Emakumeen Bira
Defending champion Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) is back in the overall lead at the Emakumeen Bira. The 31-year-old Australian won stage 2 of the Women’s WorldTour race, topping Soraya Paladin (Alé Cipollini) and Mavi Garcia (Movistar) after 110 kilometers of racing from Aduna to Amasa.
Spratt now sits atop the general classification standings with two days of racing left in the Basque stage race.
Australian Groves wins Ronde de l’Isard opener
Australia’s Kaden Groves (SEG Racing Academy) took the opening stage at the Ronde de l’Isard, an important under-23 race in southwestern France. The 20-year-old topped Colpack teammates Alessandro Covi and Luca Colnaghi to take the first race lead in the four-day stage race.
Luke Rowe bid farewell to Twitter on Tuesday, seemingly due to trolls claiming that he made a white supremacist hand gesture in a recent photo.
Rowe was making the gesture with his thumb and index typically considered to mean “okay” in a photograph taken with team members on the Ineos bus at the Amgen Tour of California. The less-than-savory interpretation of the sign began thanks to users of the website 4chan, who started to promote the notion that it had white supremacy ties in 2017. At least one Twitter user shared the Ineos photo in a Tweet referencing that interpretation of Rowe’s hand gesture. Now, Rowe is apparently signing off from the social media website.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Cesare Benedetti wins stage 12 at the Giro d’Italia. Photo: DB/RB/Cor Vos © 2019