GIRO’21 Stage 12: Victorious Vendrame!


Giro d’Italia Stage 12: Today was a day for the break, but they had to work for it in the first 70 kilometres. When the break succeeded to make the escape, it was big and the peloton let them take 11 minutes. The group split and we were left four that split to two: Chris Hamilton (DSM) and Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën). The Italian had the best sprint for the stage win. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) came in with the peloton to hold the overall lead.

The fast finishing Andrea Vendarme took the longest stage

xpedo cxr pedalbanner with Brian McCullough

The twelfth stage of the Giro d’Italia, finishing in Bagno di Romagna, was won by Andrea Vendrame. The Italian of AG2R Citroën team defeated his fellow breakaway companion Chris Hamilton after an exciting finalé. Egan Bernal kept the pink leader’s jersey without any problems.

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Egan Bernal looking happy at the start in Siena

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Giro stage 12 route: A challenging stage across the Apennines. Starting in Siena and crossing the Chianti region all the way to Florence, the route passes through Ponte a Ema [Bartali], Florence and Sesto Fiorentino [Martini]. Here, the riders will negotiate a succession of ascents: Monte Morello (with peaks exceeding 15%), Passo della Consuma (avg. 6% gradient), Passo della Calla (avg. 5% gradient) and Passo del Carnaio, featuring some challenging bits with gradients up to 14%, followed by a technical descent leading to the final 5 km. Starting from 3,500 m from the finish, the last kilometres either descend, or are a false flat up. The route drops down quickly on wide roads, with several curves and hairpins, and briefly touches the centre of San Piero in Bagno. The final kilometres are dotted with roundabouts. The stage homes on tarmac road.

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The square of Siena was not full of fans this morning

After the neutralised zone, the flag was dropped and the first skirmishes could begin. In the first hour of racing there was a battle for the break, but without result. Half the peloton turned out to be interested in the victory and so there was one hell of a fight to get into the break of the day. Only after 70 kilometres of racing, as the race entered Florence, several riders were given freedom by the peloton. The block went on in the thinned peloton.

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The start of the longest stage of 2021

The fast opening phase had claimed some victims. Israel Start-Up Nation lost two riders: Alessandro De Marchi crashed and Alex Dowsett with stomach problems. Marc Soler (Movistar) retired after an early crash and Bahrain Victorious said goodbye to Gino Mäder. Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) also abandoned.

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The giro jerseys at the start of stage 12: Maglia Rosa – Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers), Maglia Ciclamino – Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe), Maglia Azzurra – Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën) and Maglia Bianca – Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers), worn by Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech)

Belgian champion Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix) was on the attack for the second consecutive day and was accompanied by Diego Ulissi, Mikkel Honoré, Andrea Vendrame, KOM Geoffrey Bouchard, Victor Campenaerts, Nicolas Edet, George Bennett, Gianluca Brambilla, Chris Hamilton, Guy Niv, Natnael Tesfatsion, Simone Ravanelli, Simone Petilli, Vincenzo Albanese and Giovanni Visconti.

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The start was the hardest part of the day

At the top of Monte Morello, the first climb of the day, Bouchard consolidated his lead in the mountains classification. The lead of the front group had increased to more than 8 minutes. In the peloton, INEOS Grenadiers controlled the race, but did so with reserve. The best classified rider in the leading group was Bennett, more than 21 minutes from the pink jersey.

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Many tried to escape, but the peloton wouldn’t let them – Thomas De Gendt was one

It turned out to be the perfect day for Bouchard to further his blue mountain jersey lead. The AG2R Citroën climber was also the first in the mountain sprint of the Passo della Consuma and gained another 18 points. The peloton was 8 minutes later and was not going to chase the 16 escapees.

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Through the vines of Chianti

No time for any wine

With more than 70 kilometres to go, the riders were treated to a rain shower and had to be careful on the wet descent of the Passo della Consuma. In the leading group, Ravanelli, Honoré, Hamilton, Visconti, Albanese and Brambilla decided to take a little more risk on the descent. They started the Passo della Calla, the third and penultimate climb of the day, with a slight lead.

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Bennett wanted to be in the break

Belgian champion, Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix) and Vincenzo Albanese (eolo-Kometa) were also successful

For several riders, including KOM Bouchard, the Passo della Calla was a springboard to rejoin the front group. At the top of this second category climb, Bouchard took the most mountain points, this time ahead of De Bondt and Vendrame. On the descent of the Passo della Calla the leading group split apart again and 13 riders started the Passo del Carnaio.

The fans were out on the Monte Morello

It wouldn’t be a bike race without the Colombians

On the first steep sections of the Passo del Carnaio, Brambilla felt his moment had come, but the Italian was caught again after first attack by Hamilton, Bennett, Edet, Vendrame and Visconti. For the other members of the leading group it was now too fast. At the front, Bennett tried to ride away from his fellow escapees, but the New Zealand champion was counter-attacked by Vendrame.

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Another day at the office for Filippo Ganna

The Italian of AG2R Citroën went on a slightly less steep section and quickly managed to take 10 seconds, but in the chasing group Bennett refused to give up just like that. The Jumbo-Visma rider, along with Brambilla and Hamilton, were stuck at about 10 seconds. A well-timed attack seemed enough to bridge the gap, but the three pursuers were now at their limit.

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The break had a lead of 11 minutes

Shortly after the summit, Vendrame was joined first by Hamilton and then Bennett and Brambilla, and so we started the last 10 kilometres of the stage with four riders. Despite a few jumps from Bennett and Brambilla, the four riders stayed together. Two kilometres from the finish Vendrame and Hamilton rode away from Bennett and Brambilla, who were not willing to chase for each other.

The break pushed on through the rain showers

The win would come from these men

Vendrame and Hamilton would sprint for the stage win. The Australian from Team DSM still tried against the much faster Vendrame, but the Italian managed to take the victory quite convincingly. It is Vendrame’s first stage victory in the Giro d’Italia. Hamilton had to settle for second place, Brambilla and Bennett crossed the line third and fourth.

Vendrame tried to go solo

Most favourites for the overall victory took a day off, although we still saw an attack by Trek-Segafredo in the finalé. Giulio Ciccone, 8th overall, attacked and had his teammate Vincenzo Nibali join not much later. Nibali, winner of the Giro in 2013 and 2016, eventually went solo and managed to take a few seconds on the other classification riders at the finish. However, Bernal was not concerned and keeps the pink jersey.

Eventually came down to Vendrame and Hamilton

The win for Vendrame

Stage winner, Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën): “What an incredible feeling! I can’t even speak or find the right words to describe how I feel now. I just won a stage at the Corsa Rosa: a dream has come true! Thanks to my teammate and breakaway companion Geoffrey Bouchard. I managed to bring home some success for our team. After a difficult period where I had an injury, this win at the Giro is something indescribable.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 12 Result:
1. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën in 5:43:48
2. Christopher Hamilton (Aus) DSM
3. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:15
4. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma
5. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 1:12
6. Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 1:25
7. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis at 1:47
8. Simone Petilli (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
9. Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 3:00
10. Simone Ravanelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 4:19
11. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 7:07
12. Guy Niv (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
13. Natnael Tesfazion (Eri) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 7:13
14. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) eolo-Kometa
15. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 10:07
16. Jhonatan Narvaez Prado (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 10:14
17. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers
18. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
19. Michael Storer (Aus) DSM
20. Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
21. Felix Grossschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe
22. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
23. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ
24. Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
25. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 12:
1. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 48:29:23
2. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:45
3. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 1:12
4. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 1:17
5. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 1:22
6. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:50
7. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 2:22
8. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 2:24
9. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 2:49
10. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 3:29
11. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 3:29
12. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ at 3:51
13. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 4:04
14. Gianni Moscon (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:25
15. Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 5:43
16. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 7:04
17. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation at 7:06
18. Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 7:16
19. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo at 7:49
20. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) BikeExchange at 8:45
21. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 9:32
22. Tanel Kangert (Est) BikeExchange at 10:49
23. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 11:21
24. Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 13:19
25. Jai Hindley (Aus) DSM at 15:27

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