19/05/16 - 12:00
Noale - Bibione
Giro d'Italia • Stage12

Noale - Bibione

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Bon Jungels finishes safely some way back - but because of that neutralised time there will be no change in the overall standings the the Luxembourg rider from Etixx-QuickStep will enter the mountains with the pink jersey on his shoulders.


Third place for the dependable, but never-winning, Giacomo Nizzolo of Trek-Segafredo.


The German veteran would have been pushed all the way by Caleb Ewan, but the Orica-GreenEdge youngster couldn't find enough space to come past his rival by the barriers and had to go round the long way.


That's the third win for Greipel, who draws level with Erik Zabel's tally of 20 Grand Tour stage wins for Germany.




This sprint will be contested by a group of only 20-odd riders because of that crash and the neutralisation of times...


It's still Lotto Soudal with Adam Hansen pulling hard on the front before Lampre Merida comes through - it's Mohoric - ahead of the flamme rouge.


CRASH: A cluster or riders went down about 30 riders into the pack - that has split the peloton, but has has no effect on the leaders...


Lampre anmd Trek are going shoulder to shoulder behind Lotto - it's getting rather physical out there...


Here come IAM, trying to disrupt the Lotto Soudal train...


Five Lotto Soudal riders on the front still for Andre Greipel, who's in a red skinsuit today. Lampre-Merida are trying to get involved now for Sacha Modolo.


After all that rain the sun has now come out for the final lap!


The finish dress rehearsal goes without any ado - the bell rings, there are no gaps, the GC times will be the same, and now we can see the sprinters battle it out for the spoils.


These 16 corners per lap have really strung out the peloton - that's exactly why Lotto Soudal are there on the front. Moments ago two Orica riders clashed shoulders on one of the bends, slowed, and lost about 20 positions...


Trek-Segafredo making their presence known now for their man Giacomo Nizzolo - still without a win in the Giro after many second places.


Still Lotto Soudal, with Orica, IAM and Giant Alpecin tucked just behind. With no Tom Dumoulin, perhaps Nikias Arndt will have a chance for Giant today.


Puncture for Pippo Pozzato, who is not having a good Giro. He seems to flat with alarming regularity - to the extent that you think it's almost convenient.


The pack crosses the finish line and we now have two complete laps of this circuit. One more lap until the GC times are taken - a decision that was taken when it was still very wet, which it no longer is, which begs the question, should it be neutralised at all?


Behind Lotto Soudal there's a blend of Orica-GreenEdge and IAM Cycling riders - the latter working for Leigh Howard and Heinrich Haussler and the former for Caleb Ewan.


Lotto Soudal are taking this one up - they're bend on delivering Andre Greipel to a third stage win before the German veteran leaves the race tonight.


GRUPPO COMPATTO! It's all back together as the pack heads towards Bibione for two laps of the town centre circuit.


Now just five seconds...


And now it's just 20 seconds for Oss and Maestri, who have been doomed for a long time now. It's Cannondale on the front - perhaps they fancy Ramunas Navardauskas for today's finish?


Just 35 seconds now as Lotto Soudal, Movistar, Astana and Etixx come to the front of the pack.


The gap is still hovering around the 40-second mark, the peloton clearly not too eager to reel them in right now. The last thing the sprinters want is a late counter attack, after all.


NEWSFLASH: GC times will be taken on the penultimate crossing of the finish line today ahead of the final lap - so 8km from the finish. That means there are no bonus seconds up for grabs either - not that the sprinters will need them. A sensible decision given the weather and the 16 sharp corners in that finish circuit in Biblione.


First proper sighting of Bob Jungels, the maglia rosa, who is off the back of the pack picking up something from the Etixx-QuickStep team car. What a ride he had yesterday - extending his lead by 17 seconds on everyone except Andre Amador.


Just 40 seconds now for Oss and Maestri...


Wet roads again as Oss leads Maestri through the intermediate sprint at Portogruaro, home of the oldest shipyard in the world. Behind it's Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) who mops up the points for third place despite FDJ leading out Arnaud Demare. The gap is down to just over a minute.


The wet weather gear is all coming off now because the roads have dried and - despite the blustery conditions - it looks much better out there. The other rider in this two-man break is 24-year-old Mirco Maestri, who is riding his debut Grand Tour and still looking for his maiden pro win. He and Oss have just 1:20 now approaching the second intermediate sprint.


The peloton is toying with this break, letting them stay out but keeping them on a leash. Oss has a nice pedalling style, it has to be said. In fact, the whole Oss ensemble is good - from kit to hair to profile. This is the 29-year-old's third appearance in the Giro - he's never won a stage but finished second in stage 11 in 2013, albeit a distant 1:08 down on winner Ramunas Navardauskas.


A nice touch there from Tobias Ludvigsson, the Giant-Alpecin rider, who helps a Movistar rider tuck his rain jacket into his back pocket. Meanwhile, the gap is 1:35 for the two leaders.


There were some rumours doing the rounds that today's finish would be neutralised because of the wet weather - the sprint going ahead but the times taken at the first crossing of the town centre circuit in Biblione. But that may not come into play now because it's stopped raining and the roads are drying up.


Lunch time! The riders roll though the feedzone at Oderzo. The gap is 2:10 for the two leaders. Oss's mane looks quite splendid.


Remember, the intermediate sprint classification is different from the points classification. It's designed to reward riders who frequently get in breaks - hence Tjallingii (40pts) leading Giacomo Berlato of Nippo-Vini Fantini (26pts). Both riders were involved in the breaks in both those stages in the Netherlands. While it's a different classification, the points come from the same intermediate sprint markers - but points are awarded solely to the top three. For the red jersey the points spread is far larger, and the biggest haul comes at the finish - which is why it suits the sprinters better.


ACTION: Maarten Tjallingii pings off the front ahead of the intermediate sprint! Why? Well, the Dutch veteran is still leading the intermediate sprint classification after his haul from the Netherlands earlier in the race. But it's no-can-do for the LottoNL-Jumbo rouleur - he's swept up and it's Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) who takes the points for third place in the peloton (Oss beat Maestri in the two-man break). Nizzolo, remember, won the red jersey last year and he wants to keep things ticking over there.


Now Lotto-Soudal and Lampre-Merida have come to the front to lend Gazprom a hand in the chase. The Belgian team are sniping for their fourth stage win after Greipel's brace and Tim Wellens' victory in stage 6.


The average speed for the second hour of the stage was 41.150 km/h. GazProm-RusVelo are pulling on the front and they've managed to reduce the gap of the two leaders to 1:40. It begs the question, is the gap coming down too quickly?


I knew today's finish reminded me of something...


The rain is really pounding down now as the two leaders continue on their sorry, sodden way, 2:05 ahead of the peloton. Daniel Oss pulls a face at the moto cameraman. It's that kind of day.


It would be no surprise to see many, if not all, of the sprinters leave the race tonight: their next chance of a win will be Wednesday's stage 17m which has a flat second half after a rolling opening 100 kilometres. The next day at Pinerolo could come down to a sprint, but the Cat.2 climb towards the finish is most likely to make it a break or GC affair. And then there's the final stage into Turin. So, yeah, slim pickings. Unless you're bent on winning that red jersey... That said, with the likes of Kittel and Greipel probably gone, there won't be a better chance to nab a Grand Tour stage win for the likes of Nizzolo, Demare et al.


The riders are passing through the town of Treviso and the gap is 2:45 for Oss and Maestri.


The gap for the Italian leading duo has come down to 2:20 ahead of a slight incline before the feedzone. I pity Rob Hatch and Sean Kelly when the live images come along in 15-odd minutes. They're going to have to really dig deep for things to talk about...


One of the big favourites for today's win is Andre Greipel, who is currently leading the red jersey points competition. The German is expected to quit the race this evening ahead of the mountains and with his experience and the Lotto Soudal train, few would bet against him from taking a third victory before calling it a day. Should he leave the race, then Frenchman Arnaud Demare (FDJ) would take the red jersey: he currently has 103 points to Greipel's 119. Here's Greipel in the rain this morning at the start...


Kolobnev has conceded defeat in his bid to join the two leaders, the Russian sitting up to be swallowed back by the peloton. Oss and Maestri have four minutes to play with, but given the course today and the approaching mountains, you can't see the spinters letting this one go. They're riding for the sponsors only...


If today's stage looks easy than wait until you see the finishing circuit in Bibione, which the riders will have to negotiate twice. There are no fewer than three roundabouts and fourteen 90-degree turns. Add to the mix the wet weather that could well greet the riders on the Adriatic coast and we could be in for a messy finale...


We join the race now LIVE and the lone leader Daniel Oss has been joined by another Italian, Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF). They're being pursued by Alexandr Kolobnev (Gazprom-RusVelo). The leading duo have 2:25 over the Russian and 4:15 over the peloton, which includes all the main favourites and jersey holders.


Trentin didn't last long out ahead and soon dropped back into the peloton, leaving Oss to ride all on his lonesome.


There was an early attack from Italian duo Daniel Oss (BMC) and Matteo Trentin (Etixx-QuickStep) after five kilometres of riding.


Agnoli's withdrawal means that for this 182-kilometre stage we have 181 riders who rolled out of the start in Noale this morning. He clearly didn't think of that when he threw in the towel.


Some news to bring you: Valerio Agnoli did not sign on today so that means Vincenzo Nibali loses one of his key Astana lieutenants ahead of the business end of this race. Agnoli was one of the riders who went down hard in that pile-up 28km from the finish yesterday.


It was very wet at the start today in Noale for this final flat stage before the mountains.


Admittedly not the most interesting of stage profiles today, but let's see how it pans out before passing judgement...


In the fight for pink Amador pipped Jungels for second place to move two seconds closer to the Luxembourg national champion in the overall standings – but Jungels defended the maglia rosa with honour and deservedly stretched his lead over his other rivals by 17 seconds, with third place Valverde now 1:07 down on the race summit and level on time with fourth-place Nibali.


Yesterday, Italy's Diego Ulissi took his second win of the Giro d'Italia in a three-way sprint at Asolo with Andre Amador and the maglia rosa Bob Jungels in an exciting Stage 11 that saw Dutchman Tom Dumoulin abandon through injury. Ulissi, the 26-year-old livewire from Lampre-Merida, outfoxed his rivals after joining Etixx-QuickStep's Jungels and Movistar's Amador on a short climb into the finish town at the conclusion of the 227-kilometre stage from Modena.


Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia - a pan-flat 182km ride from Noale to Bibione which will give the sprinters a final chance to shine before the mountains on a technical criterium-style circuit finish in the seaside resort in the Veneto.