Bringing You the Daily Dispatch

Giro d’Italia 2024: Alaphilippe goes it alone on stage 12 after ‘difficult times’
Cycling Sport

Giro d’Italia 2024: Alaphilippe goes it alone on stage 12 after ‘difficult times’

Julian Alaphilippe’s early break paid off as the Soudal Quick-Step rider bravely held off the chasers to win stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia.

The 193km ride from Martinsicuro to Fano on the Adriatic coast featured enough climbs to give a chance to those willing to risk attacking and deny the sprinters another stage win, and Alaphilippe’s tactics paid off. The Frenchman joined a breakaway group that grew to 10 riders with 130 km to race, but then took off along with Mirco Maestri of the Polti Kometa team, and the pair held off a large chasing pack behind them.

Maestri ran out of steam and Alaphilippe went alone with less than 15km left and, with Quinten Hermans (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Jhonatan Narváez (Ineos Grenadiers) closing in, the French rider had the legs to make it to the line, with Narváez taking second ahead of Hermans.

“The plan wasn’t to do 125km like this but with a big group,” said Alaphilippe. “The cooperation with Mirco Maestri was excellent. He also deserved the stage win. I always believed I could win but until the last kilometres I had to push full gas. The chasers were close behind me. It was my dream to win a stage at the Giro d’Italia. It makes me really happy. It’s an important win for me after difficult times.”

The race leader, Tadej Pogacar of UAE Team Emirates, was happy to sit back in the peloton, which finished more than five minutes behind the winner, and the Slovenian, who came in 13th, maintains his 2min 40sec lead over Bora-Hansgrohe’s Daniel Martínez, with Britain’s Geraint Thomas of Ineos 16sec further back in third.

“Alaphilippe showed that he’s back. What he did is actually incredible. This is what champions do,” Pogacar said. “Luckily for us we have a good gap on GC. It’s a stage I would have liked to try and win if I wasn’t here for GC but I prefer to do GC.”

Source: theguardian.com