On Friday Diego Ulissi took his second stage win of the 2020 Giro d’Italia and eighth Giro victory of his career, beating out pink jersey holder João Almeida in a sprint from a greatly reduced peloton of GC heavy hitters. Ulissi also won Stage 2; he joins Filippo Ganna and Arnaud Démare as riders who have claimed more than one victory in the 103rd Giro. It’s the fourth win for an Italian.
You can find out where to watch the Giro here.
Only two short but steep climbs in the back end of the stage prevented Friday’s route from being a straightforward sprinter’s day.
On paper, today's #Giro stage between Cervia and Monselice (192km) is one for the sprinters, but those short hills near the end, both boasting double-digit gradients, could change its dynamic and bring the puncheurs and even the GC contenders to the fore. pic.twitter.com/cuZKJ8SES1
— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) October 16, 2020
Sure enough a septet bounced away early. Swiss serial fugitive Simon Pellaud of Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec was among the seven, as were three other wildcard team riders.
At the day’s first intermediate sprint, purple jersey holder Arnaud Démare hoovered up the only point on offer to the peloton.
50km to go and the break of 7 are 2'20" ahead of the peloton where we all are. With the 2 tricky climbs still to come, get live data from the guys with @VelonCC's Race Centre.⚡️
— Team Sunweb (@TeamSunweb) October 16, 2020
Before the two climbs–Roccolo (4.3 km of 7.8 percent) and Calaone (2k of 9.9 percent)–the break was inside a minute up the road.
Roccolo saw Bora-Hansgrohe assume control to drop Démare. Impressively, the French points competition leader’s teammates brought him back to the front of the bunch before Calaone.
On nasty little Calaone the last of the breakaways were absorbed. Both Démare and Peter Sagan were dropped. A high-powered group of 20 tipped over the top with mountains classification leader Ruben Guerreiro first.
Sixteen kilometres remained. Almeida had two teammates working for him in the lead group. With 7 km to go, a Sagan chase group was 30 seconds behind and a Démare chase bunch was 1:00 in arrears.
In Monselice Diego Ullisi picked up Almeida’s sprint lead out, came around him and pumped a fist after he broke the line.
Almeida takes a 40-second lead over Wilco Kelderman into Saturday’s crucial long time trial.
2020 Giro d’Italia Stage 12
1) Diego Ulissi (Italy/UAE-Emirates) 4:22:18
2) João Almeida (Portugal/Deceuninck-Quick Step) s.t.
3) Patrick Konrad (Austria/Bora-Hansgrohe) s.t.
2020 Giro d’Italia GC
1) João Almeida (Portugal/Deceuninck-Quick Step) 49:29:46
2) Wilco Kelderman (The Netherlands/Sunweb) +0:40
3) Pello Bilbao (Spain/Bahrain-McLaren) +0:49
4) Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy/NTT) +1:03
5) Vincenzo Nibali (Italy/Trek-Segafredo) +1:07
6) Patrick Konrad (Austria/Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:17
7) Jai Hindley (Australia/Sunweb) +1:25
8) Rafal Majka (Poland/Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:27
9) Fausto Masnada (Italy/Deceuninck-Quick Step) +1:42
10) Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark/Astana) +2:26