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Giro d’Italia | Stage 13

04:22:39

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Watch the final kilometre as Demare wins after breakaway catch

The four escapees held on until the last 800 metres but the class came to the top as Arnaud Demare completed his hat-trick of wins in Cuneo.
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All smiles for Groupama-FDJ

And so there might be after their hard work paid off there for the Frenchman who beat Bauhaus, Cavendish and Gaviria there in an exciting sprint after the breakaway was swallowed up at the eleventh hour. Despite all that work from Israel-Premier Tech their man Giacomo Nizzolo could only manage eighth place. And it was a fifth place for Stage 11 winner Alberto Dainese after the shock withdrawal of Team DSM's leader (and leadout man) Romain Bardet.

Victory for Arnaud Demare! A hat-trick for the Frenchman

Mirko Maestro held on from the break until he was reeled in on the home straight. Demare was launched by Guarnieri and he had Fernando Gaviria on his wheel. But the maglia ciclamino is too strong and holds off a late surge from Phil Bauhaus and Mark Cavendish to make it win number three.

15:53 - Van den Berg attacks!

Final kilometre: The Dutchman puts in an attack ahead of the flamme rouge but he's then reeled in just as the peloton closes in... it's all over and Groupama-FDJ are now on the front doing their thing for Demare...

15:51 - Blimey, this is going to be close

2km to go: The four leaders still have 25 seconds but the road is about to start to rise a little towards the final kilometre... "The peloton will come from the clouds," says Robbie McEwen as Eenkhoorn looks over his shoulder and asks for someone to come through, but gets no reply from his fellow escapees.

15:48 - Israel play their last card

5km to go: Israel-Premier Tech have sent their last man onto the front in Rik Zabel, who is usually Giacomo Nizzolo's pilot in the sprints. That's because they still have 35 seconds to close with 5km remaining. My prediction is that they will get caught on the home straight and Demare will take the win...

15:45 - Looks to be all over for the break

8km to go: Turns are being missed and some of the riders appear to be easing up - most notably Van den Berg, the rider who initiated the move shortly after the start at Sanremo. He's become a real passenger. Behind, Team DSM are getting involved in the chase - looking for a silver lining from Bol or Dainese after the cloud of Bardet's earlier withdrawal.

15:40 - McEwen now backing the peloton

10km to go: Robbie McEwan thinks the pendulum has swung back in favour of the sprinters as the gap approaches one minute for the four leaders. Of the four out ahead, Frenchman Prodhomme is the only rider without a pro win to his name. Even if they make it to the finish, that will probably remain to be the case given his area of expertise is more climbing than sprinting...

15:35 - Gap comes under two minutes

15km to go: There's fresh impetus in the pack as the gap comes down to 1:50. The four leaders are clearly tiring badly now. Behind, the sprinters' teams are starting to commit their leadout men with QuickStep using Davide Ballerini. Better have a chance for the win without a leadout rather than have no chance at all...
Meanwhile, this from Bradley Wiggins about his mate Mark Cavendish a little earlier on:

'Mark has got a bit of a face on!' – Wiggins delivers more unrivalled insight from the motorbike

15:32 - False alarm... the chase is still on

18km to go: But it may well all be in vain because the gap is still 2:25 for the four leaders. I made a massive hash with the De Gendt comment - the Belgian was in fact on the front of the second part of the peloton, the one that got caught out in the split.

15:28 - Has the peloton given up?

20km to go: The pace appears to have really eased up as the peloton bunches up and Thomas De Gendt - whose Lotto Soudal team don't have a sprinter anymore - comes to the front. It looks like Quick-Step, Israel and Groupama have knocked it off and called it a day...

15:20 - Big split in the peloton, Yates caught out

25km to go: Around 40 riders have been tailed off by a split at the back of the strung out peloton - and we're hearing that Simon Yates is one of them, as well as Richie Porte of Ineos Grenadiers. The gap is 2:46 for these four leaders who are putting up a spirited fight, aided by a tailwind which has given them fresh impetus.

15:15 - Up and over a little climb

32km to go: The breakaway passed through the second intermediate sprint at San Michel di Mondovi without any interest whatsoever towards the spoils. It was followed by a leg-sapping climb which clearly took its toll on some of the weary legs out there. In fact, both Cofidis and UAE have decided to take their men away from the chase and so it's all Quick-Step, Israel-Premier Tech and Groupama now. They haven't given up and are now committing their leadout men to the chase as the peloton all strings out - with a split off the back, which could be interesting. The gap is 3:10.

15:01 - An hour of cat-and-mouse to go

42km to go: This should be an intriguing battle that plays out over the next hour with the pace still very high in the peloton as they reduce the advantage of these four leaders to 4:10. A quick reminder of who's in the move: Nicolas Prodhomme (Ag2R-Citroen), Julius van den Berg (EF Education-EasyPost), Mirco Maestri (Eolo-Kometa) and Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma).
"It's looking good for the breakaway," says Sean Kelly, who feels like the high tempo in the pack will lead to many of the teams losing many bodies before the fiinish, which will make a continued chase even harder. It could be one of those days when the last men in the move are caught on the home straight...

14:47: Not just Cav and Demare for the sprint

55km to go: Quick-Step and Groupama-FDJ are doing a lot of the pacing in the pack but they're not the only ones: Israel-Premier Tech have committed a man for their sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo, ditto UAE Team Emirates for Fernando Gaviria, Cofidis for Simone Consonni and Team DSM for either Cees Bol or Alberto Dainese, winner of Stage 11. Their combined efforts have seen the gap come down to 4:45 for the four leaders.

14:35: Mechanical for Van der Poel

64km to go: The Dutchman opts to change bikes rather than wait for a wheel change after picking up a puncture. That's the norm now in the era of disc brakes. He looks pretty relaxed and should be able to get back into contention despite the fast pace in the pack. He probably isn't one for the sprint - if there is one - today in Cuneo, but you never know with Van der Poel. Alpecin-Fenix don't have their regular sprinter Jakub Mareczko though, so the Dutch Stage 1 winner may have a pop. It may all be immaterial if this breakaway isn't caught...

14:30: McEwen gives the breakaway 7/10 chance to survive

66km to go: Those are quite good odds from the Australian pundit. Their advantage of the four leaders has come down almost one minute in the last 10km but they still have 5:35 over the pack, which is now being led by both Groupama-FDJ and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl seeking to set up their sprinters Arnaud Demare and Mark Cavendish in Cuneo.

More on that Bardet withdrawal...

The cameras caught Romain Bardet in the Team DSM car earlier on following his shock withdrawal from the race with sickness.

‘Shocking news!’ - Bardet abandons the Giro

Meanwhile, a classy tweet from Ineos Grenadiers, whose leader Richard Carapaz will be without one of his biggest rivals in the upcoming mountain stages following Bardet's withdrawal.

14:20 - Tagliani caught by peloton

79km to go: The Italian has been swept up by the pack on this long gradual descent off the back of the Colle di Nava. They're in full chase mode now because the leaders still have 6:10 to play with - so it's perfectly poised for us viewers. Here's a photo of the breakaway prior to Filippo Taglini going out the back on the climb...

Pascal Eenkhoorn of Netherlands and Team Jumbo - Visma and Julius Van Den Berg of Netherlands and Team EF Education - Easypost compete in the breakaway during the 105th Giro d'Italia 2022

Image credit: Getty Images

14:05 - Prodhomme takes KOM points over summit

96km to go: It's the Frenchman who rolls over the top on the nose of this break ahead of Eenkhoorn and Maestri, whose teammate Diego Rosa currently leads the blue jersey KOM standings on 83 points. The Italian's nearest challenger is Koen Bouwman, the stage 7 winner, on 69pts. Tagliani is almost three minutes back now with the peloton over six minutes in arrears.

13:55 - Tagliani dropped from break

100km to go: The Italian presumably only got into the move to add some more kilometres to his tally in the Fuga classification and to take the intermediate sprint points. He leads the sprint classification on 68pts with Drone Hopper teammate Mattia Bais his nearest challenger on 45pts. While in the fuga classification he's in second place behind Bais having notched 539km in breakaways prior to today's stage. Bais leads on 617km.
In any case, Tagliani is really suffering on this climb in the heat and he's already over a minute behind the other four riders in the break.

Here's the story about Bardet's shock withdrawal

Team DSM have confirmed that Romain Bardet has had to abandon the Giro d’Italia. “After becoming sick during yesterday’s stage, his condition worsened overnight and despite all efforts he is no longer in a position to continue the race,” said his team in a statement.

Bardet abandon

Image credit: Eurosport

13:40: Cat.3 Colle di Nava

105km to go: We're onto the only categorised climb of the day which is, to be fair, the only obstacle between the sprinters and a bunch sprint in Cuneo. It's 10.1km long at an average gradient of 6.8%. It will be interesting to see if anyone tries to force the pace to drop Demare, Cavendish, Gaviria et al, or if the peloton sticks together as one. They trail the break by 4:20.

13:35: Demare extends maglia ciclamino lead

107km to go: At the intermediate sprint at Pieve di Teco Arnaud Demare skipped clear of the pack to take an extra 3pts for sixth place as the peloton came through around 3:30 down on the five leaders. It's a real one-horse race now for the points classification - and the Frenchman will look to put it definitely to bed with his third stage win later today.

Confirmation of the withdrawal of Bardet

We have just seen images of the Frenchman in his Team DSM car after pulling out of the race. And Romain Bardet's withdrawal has been confirmed by his team on social media. He apparently has been struggling with sickness and was unable to continue. There are even reports from Italian media that Bardet was spotted lying on the ground earlier and holding his stomach in considerable pain. A terrible loss for the race - Bardet was in fourth place just 14 seconds behind the leader Juanpe Lopez in the standings after an excellent ride on Blockhaus and Etna.

13:28 - Romain Bardet abandons?

114km to go: A graphic has just popped up suggesting the Frenchman has withdrawn from the Giro. That would be a huge shock if true...

13:25 - The climbing begins...

115km to go: The five leaders - Italians Filippo Tagliani (Drone Hopper-Androni Giacattoli) and Mirco Maestri (Eolo-Kometa), Dutch duo Julius Van dern Berg (EF Education-EasyPost) and Pascal Eekhoorn (Jumbo-Visma), and Frenchman Nicolas Prodhomme (Ag2R-Citroen) - are onto a tough uncategorised climb that precedes the only categorised climb of the day. Their gap is 3:20.

13:15 - Sprint on the cards in Cuneo?

120km to go: With the gap only just 3:15 and containing only five riders, it looks increasingly likely that things will come down to a bunch sprint today in Cuneo. Unless, of course, a counter move goes on the Colle di Nava, or some of the big sprinters find themselves distanced on the climb. But with the mountains on the horizon this weekend, it would be a surprise to see too many riders or teams go full tilt today.

13:05 - Riders bid farewell to the coast

128km to go: That's it for the Italian seaside views for a year... The race hangs a left at the coastal town of Imperia and they will now head inland towards that first climb and then on to Cuneo for the finish. The gap for the five leaders is 3:15.

12:56 - Over two minutes for leaders

135km to go: Well, that seems to be that. It was quite a battle earlier but it seems the peloton has no appetite to nip this one in the bud - so it's the reverse situation from yesterday when there was a battle for well over an hour before the breakaway formed. The five leaders now have 2:38 as they approach the road that goes up to the Cipressa climb used in Milan-Sanremo - which, like the Poggio, will be avoided today as the route sticks to the coast.

12:48 - Five riders go clear despite Groupama's policing

140km to go: The aforementioned Van den Berg is clearly eager to be in today's move because he's got himself into another burgeoning breakaway after Arnaud Demare's Groupama-FDJ team snuffed out that earlier threat. The Dutchman has been joined by Nicolas Prodhomme (Ag2R-Citroen), Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma), Filippo Tagliani (Drone Hopper) and Mirco Maestri (Eolo-Kometa) off the front and the gap is growing...

12:41 - EF Education-EasyPost showing early interest

146km to go: Julian van den Berg has been trying to pull clear for a while now. The Duchman opens up a gap and he's soon joined by half a dozen riders who bridge over, with a handful of others trying to get in involved.
A reminder that Juan Pedro Lopez (pictured below in full Van der Poel fanboy mode) still leads this race by 12 seconds on Richard Carapaz and Joao Almeida. This is his ninth day in pink after moving to the top of the pack on Mount Etna.

12:35 - Stage 13 under way

150km to go: As soon as the flag goes down there's an increase in tempo on the front as two Eolo-Kometa riders go hell for leather on the Ligurian coast underneath the famous Poggio climb, which the race has skirted rather than gone up. It was Samuele Rivi who made the initial pull.

Riders approaching the Poggio in neutral zone

The remaining 164 riders are pedalling through Sanremo ahead of the official start, which occurs not far away from the turn that goes up the Poggio climb - down which Matej Mohoric threw caution to the wind en route to his epic solo win a few months ago...

Cavendish: Another chance for the sprinters

We also spoke to Mark Cavendish today ahead of what could be a good opportunity for him to pick up a second stage win. He said:
"It's another chance but that doesn't necessarily mean it will be a sprint. If we do have the chance, we'll try our best to execute it. The danger point is the climb, of course. I love it here in Sanremo - not just when I won here [in 2011] but even in races when I didn't win. It's a special place with a lot of cyclists out and about."
Asked if he still had the same relish for cycling as he did 10 years ago, and if so, where does he find his motivation, Cav added, succinctly: "I love riding my bike and you're interviewing me..."

De Gendt: I think it will be a sprint in Cuneo

If a breakaway does go the distance today, there's a high chance that specialist Thomas De Gendt will be in it - especially given the absence of Lotto Soudal's sprinter Caleb Ewan. But the Stage 8 winner isn't sure about the prospects of a move going the distance...
"My feeling says it's going to be a sprint. It's a long, flat downhill after the climb - 100km - so even if Demare and his team are off the back from the climb they will be able to chase back. A break will have to go full on the climb but in Sicily Demare was dropped on a similar climb but still managed to get back," De Gendt told Eurosport this morning.
"We will definitely be on the front watching the moves. But other days are probably more successful for us to go for the break - like tomorrow, which is a nice stage, where we will probably have more luck."

Two wins on the bounce for host nation

They had no joy over the first 10 days but all of a sudden Italy have two wins in two days through Alberto Dainese and Stefano Oldani - two riders you perhaps wouldn't have tipped for glory ahead of the Giro. Both came after some excellent teamwork from their respective teams - for DSM, an unexpected lead out from Romain Bardet, and for Alpecin-Fenix, the perfect decoy in Mathieu van der Poel. I wrote this piece about the excellent teamwork on display in this year's Giro - both yesterday and in general...

Later start for today's short and sharp Stage 13

Will it be a sprint or a breakaway? Or perhaps even a GC ambush... It's hard to tell. In any case, today's 150km Stage 13 is almost under way. The riders start in Sanremo and will retrace the route of La Primavera but in reverse - and without the Poggio. They will then leave the Ligurian coast via the Colle di Nava, which the riders tackled from the other direction in Milan-Sanremo in 2020 when they used an alternative route (and not the Passo del Turchino) owing to the pandemic. The finish - a bunch sprint or a reduced kick or a breakaway battle - is in Cuneo in just over three and a half hours' time.

Stage 13 | Sanremo – Cuneo (150km) [Giro official website]

Image credit: Eurosport

Oldani wins Stage 12 from breakaway as Kelderman, Hamilton claw back time

Alpecin-Fenix made their numbers matter on the longest stage of the Giro d’Italia on Thursday with what pundit Robbie McEwen described as “an elaborate decoy game” from the Belgian team. The presence of Dutch star Mathieu van der Poel and compatriot Oscar Reisebeek helped pave the way for a first professional win for Italy’s Stefano Oldani, who held off Lorenzo Rota (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) and Dutchman Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma) in a thrilling three-up sprint in Genova.
The trio kicked clear on the third and final climb of the day during the 204km stage from Parma before holding a chasing quartet at bay on the fast run to the finish. Dutch veteran Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) won the sprint for fourth ahead of Colombia’s Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious), Dutchman Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Australia’s Lucas Hamilton (BikeExchange-Jayco).
Van der Poel and Reisebeek were all smiles when they crossed the line almost eight minutes down alongside the remnants of the day’s 25-man break, over a minute ahead of a peloton that was brought home by the Trek teammates of the Spanish race leader Juan Pedro Lopez.
Read the full report here

Stage 12 highlights: Oldani wins from breakaway trio as Alpecin-Fenix take second win

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