Confirmation of today's top 10.
Ferrara - Nervesa della Battaglia
Giro d'Italia - 18 May 2018
Giro d'Italia – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 12:00 on 18 May 2018. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Here's how Viviani nailed his hat-trick...
It was Marco Coledan of Wilier Triestina who put in that last-ditch attack.
The Italian from Quick-Step powered past Sacha Modolo and showed his class in the end, winning by more than a bike length. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) came from deep for second place just ahead of Danny van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo).
Three and easy for Elia Viviani!
The gap was big but he's tiring...
Attack from one of the Wilier Triestina riders, who has caught the others dozing.
It's very messy and scrappy for now. EF Education First bring Modolo forward but it's LottoNL-Jumbo who hold all the aces.
LottoNL-Jumbo now on the front with four riders.
Mitchelton-Scott now on the front keeping Yates out of trouble.
Still Sam Bennett just holds Viviani's wheel - and they're quite far back. Bonifazio now has three team-mates on the front, but he's further back.
Katusha, Quick-Step, LottoNL-Jumbo and EF Education First have all formed their trains. Bahrain Merida are edging up but it's just Bonifazio and one other.
The rain has held off despite that earlier drizzle. Katusha are still committed to this.
Here comes Viviani, who is being brought up by three Quick-Step team-mates with two more riding further ahead in the wake of the four Katusha riders on the front.
It's Katusha still on the front as the break is swallowed up.
It's practically all over now for the escapees...
The LottoNL-Jumbo team-mates of Danny van Poppel are prepping themselves. The Dutchman is due a win. The gap is 10 seconds still.
Images are breaking up perhaps because of the imminently stormy weather. The gap is 17 seconds with 10-to-go and it's Katusha who still commit bodies to the chase.
Now Katusha-Alpecin are on the front, perhaps working for their man Baptiste Plankaert.
It's still Boaro and Pozzovivo of Bahrain Merida who lead the strung-out peloton with Mitchelton-Scott tucked in behind. Still 20 seconds.
There's no co-ordinated chase as yet for the pack, but it's hard to do so on this descent. Expect the sprinters' teams to come to the fore once we get to the bottom.
Bahrain Merida have now come forward - to keep Pozzovivo in a good position and to help tee up Bonifazio for the sprint. Quick-Step and Bora are still holding back. Stil 20-odd seconds though...
The descent is fast and twisting - and largely under tree cover. The break still has 20 seconds although you get the impression they'll suffer once the road flattens out.
It's Vendrame who takes the KOM points over the summit ahead of Irizar and Zhupa. No change in the maglia azzurra standings, which Simon Yates leads, allowing his second-placed team-mate Estaban Chaves (who has been dropped) wear the jersey by default.
With Groupama all gathered, Simon Yates comes forward to neutralise the threat from Pinot. The gap is down to 28 seconds.
Groupama-FDJ have four or five riders on the front - and Fabio Aru is right there for UAE Team Emirates. And it looks like Mitch Docker has crashed - the Australian is getting back onto his bike after apparently leaving the road.
It's started to rain... Just a drizzle for now but this could escalate. Behind with the peloton, Salvatorre Puccio of Team Sky has come forwards.
We're onto the Cat.4 Montello (2.9km at 3.9% with a maximum gradient of 9%).
The chasers have been reeled in by the pack, which is being led by Bora and EF Education First. It's Hugh Carthy who sets the tempo. The break still has 50 seconds.
Marco Marcato is driving the break. They're all taking pulls, in fact. Behind it's Martin who leads the chase. They're on the descent ahead of the second climb, the Cat.4 Montello.
There are just four chasers now - and Eros Capecchi is one of them, policing things for Viviani and Quick-Step.
We're onto the first of the two climbs, the smaller one, and five riders have pinged off the front of the peloton in pursuit of the leaders. Tony Martin is one of them. The break still has 53 seconds and it looks like Esteban Chaves has been dropped...
The five leaders - Markel Irizar (Trek-Segafredo), Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates), Andrea Vendrame (Androni Gioccatoli-Sidermec), Alessandro Toneeli (Bardiani CSF) and Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) - cross the finish line with a gap of 55 seconds.
The gap comes down to 1'20" now as the riders approach the finish circuit. Like yesterday, they will ride the approach and cross the line before going on a loop - including the all-important climb.
We spoke to Elia Viviani this morning. He said: "For two years I didn't do any Grand Tours and yesterday was the 12th day. The main goal was to win straight away and that's what we did. Yesterday was a really bad day but today is a another day, a sunny day, a sprint stage. We are in Venuto close to my home and we have the focus to do well. We'll see if my legs do well. Now it's an exciting battle. Sam gained 44 points yesterday. I hope to get more points today but the main goal is to win a stage and put the smile back on the face. We have a plan and we'll follow it."
Here was that sneaky move from Viviani to take the remaining intermediate sprint points - and almost crash into the barriers...
The gap has tumbled to 1'50" for the five leaders, who are surely doomed.
Elia Viviani nips on the inside to take 3pts for sixth place in the sprint - coming from far back to surprise Bora-Hansgrohe's Benedetti by the barriers. So, Viviani moves 25pts clear of Bennett in the maglia ciclamino standings - but there are 50pts up for grabs at the finish and so that could be mere small change in an hour or so.
Zhupa wins the intermediate sprint at the fourth time of asking (he was twice second yesterday and once earlier today) with local rider Vendrame taking place - and then laying into the Albanian afterwards, presumably for sitting on the back before bounding clear. Tensions rising...
With the second intermediate sprint in Villorba coming up, the pace has increased in the snake-like peloton. They didn't compete for the scraps last time round but surely Viviani and Bennett will stretch their legs now?
No change in the status quo as the five-man break zips along with three-odd minutes over the peloton, which is all strung out, but not yet going full gas.
Simion milking it earlier...
Bardiani-CSF rider Paolo Simion is given leave to ride ahead of the peloton and salute his home crowd as one of cycling's traditions plays out.
Average speed for the first two hours today has been 47km/h which is pretty fast.
Still three minutes for the escapees as Quick-Step, Bora-Hansgrohe and Mitchelton-Scott front the peloton. Poor Sam Bennett's grandfather - he thinks his lad has won a third stage already! Wait a couple of hours and that could be the case...
One non-starter today: Estonia's Tanel Kangert of Astana. He came close to pull out yesterday but decided to ride one more stage. But his illness is proving too much and he's decided to call it a day. It's been a pretty wretched Giro for his Astana team, whose GC rider Miguel Angel Lopez crashed before the opening ITT and has struggled for form since. Here's what they had to say about the set-back: "Tanel Kangert will go home today and in the next days will do all checks with the specialist. During the last 5 days Tanel has suffered from gastro-intestinal problems. He did the yesterday's stage, but the health and safety of the rider is on first place."
Who else could win today's stage besides Viviani and Bennett? Well, Danny van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain Merida) came second and third yesterday - and the Italian always seems to hit peak speed just that little bit too late. Were he to actually time his sprint right, he should be a match for them all. There's also Sacha Modolo of EF Education First-Drapac, who has had three top-fives but seems to have tailed off a bit this past week.
A reminder that Britain's Simon Yates leads Dutchman Tom Dumoulin by 47 seconds and Frenchman Thibaut Pinot by 1'04" in the battle for pink. Italy's Domenico Pozzovivo (+1'18") and Ecuador's Richard Carapaz (+1'56") complete the top five. The best placed rider in this break is Alessandro Tonelli, who is a huge 1:13'32" down on the maglia rosa, so no threat unless this break picks up an extra hour and 10 minutes somewhere along the road this afternoon...
"Never a dull moment at the Giro d'Italia." Well, those watching today may disagree... but hey. In any case, here's the hot take from our friends at GCN on Sam Bennett's win yesterday.
This sums up how Elia Viviani felt after yesterday's sodden stage 12.
It looks like it was a stalemate through the intermediate sprint with Quick-Step and Bora riders snaffling the final points - but not through Viviani or Bennett. So, no change in the ciclamino standings. In the intermediate sprint standings, it's still Marco Frapporti who leads that competition with Androni team-mate Davide Bellerini second. Androni have been involved in every break of this race - meaning Gianni Savio's team have been on the offensive every day since the first road stage in Israel. And today the 100% record continues through Vendrame.
The Albanian-born Eugert Zhupa was second to Marco Frapporti in both intermediate sprints yesterday - and now he's Marco Marcato's bridesmaid today. It's the UAE Team Emirates rider who has the best kick and takes the spoils at Piove di Sacco. We can expect a battle between Viviani and Bennett for the remaining ciclamino points when the peloton comes through, surely...
Quick-Step Floors have come to the front to lend a hand to Benedetti and Bora - for now there's a temporary alliance between the sprinters' teams as they regulate the danger of the break. The gap is very stable - it's 2'55" and they're working well together, with Irizar and Marcato, if not talking, then having at least buried their differences.
It's two stages apiece for Viviani and Bennett now in this year's Giro - although the momentum is all with the Irishman, with his Italian rival being very much off the boil since his early brace in Israel. They will be the two big favourites today - and Viviani, who yesterday suffered in the rain, will be happy to see the sunshine return to the race - but that climb near the finish may stack the pack in Bennett's favour.
It's Bennett's Bora-Hansgrohe - and primarily the Italian Cesare Benedetti - who are leading the chase on the front of the peloton as they bring the gap down to 2'50" for the five leaders ahead of the first intermediate sprint.
That man Bennett told our man Juan Antonio Flecha that he's determined to win the maglia ciclamino now that he's slashed the deficit to Elia Viviani so comprehensively.
A reminder that yesterday, Ireland’s Sam Bennett powered to a second win on the Giro by making light work of heavy rain and hitting top gear early for a comprehensive Stage 12 victory on the Imola motor-racing circuit. n apocalyptic conditions, lightning struck twice for Bora-Hansgrohe’s Bennett, who closed the gap on sprint rival Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) to just 22 points in a reinvigorated battle for the maglia ciclamino. Read more below...
The only real flashpoint from today's stage has been a remonstration between Irizar and Marcato in the break, the two veterans bickering about pulling duties in the break it seems...
We pick up the live coverage with 125km remaining and a group of five riders three minutes up the road. They are: Markel Irizar (Trek-Segafredo), Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates), Andrea Vendrame (Androni Gioccatoli-Sidermec), Alessandro Toneeli (Bardiani CSF) and Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia).
Apologies for the delay today - I was called away for a minor emergency. All ok now - and I have to admit, if there's any stage where missing the opening hour or so shouldn't matter, it's today's...
Here's what's on the menu today - with just one climb coming around 20km from the finish. Could that be a platform for a decisive attack or will it come down to a bunch sprint?
Hello and welcome to (slightly belated) live coverage of Stage 13 of the Giro d'Italia - a 180km schlep across the flat plains of north-east Italy from Ferrara to Nervesa della Battaglia.