Giro d’Italia 2016: Stage 12 – Greipel triples up in Bibione

A pan flat parcours screamed sprint finish and Andre Greipel helped himself to win number three. His Lotto-Soudal train bossed the technical run in, delivering their captain first into the last corner with 300m to go. Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEDGE) tried to squeeze up the inside, but the Gorilla used his strength and power to keep the youngster behind him. Trek-Segafredo’s Giacomo Nizzolo finished a distant third. The GC remains unchanged, as the threat of rain led to the finish being neutralised with the time for all riders being taken on the penultimate lap.

Rider of the Stage

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Andre Greipel in the Lotto-Soudal train. Waiting for the opportune moment.

It really can’t be anyone other than Andre Greipel. It’s all very well underlining the sprint stages in the road book but you still have to deliver the win – and there are few to match the Gorilla and his well-drilled sprint train. From Lars Bak putting the hurt on to Jurgen Roelandts delivering the perfect launch, it’s an act of high speed, grace and beauty.

A look at the numbers points to how successful and consistent Andre is. Three wins at this Giro, six at the Giro in total, and a staggering 20 Grand Tour victories equalling the German national record held by Erik Zabel. Yet he’s often overlooked in comparison to his more headline grabbing rivals. His post stage interview today gave a little hint at how this rankles…

The journalists are always talking about Cavendish or Kittel, but I never hear my name. I am proud of what I and my team have been able to achieve, since I am always considered the underdog. I think 20 grand tour victories is not bad for an underdog.

Perfect capture of Greipel power

He also defended his decision to quit the race after today’s stage. There had been been dark mutterings of not respecting the race and the maglia rossa

I have a lot of respect for the Giro, and I hope some day to come back to the Giro and win the points jersey…Of course, it is not the way we wanted to leave, but I am a human being, not a machine.

How fabulously fitting that this most understated of sprinters just got back on his bike and pedalled away from the press room and the race. See you at the Tour, Andre.

Celebrate the break

Riding for 160 wet kilometres, while being chased by a peloton not at all anxious to catch you too soon, is not for the faint-hearted.  Daniel Oss and Mirco Maestri #WeSaluteYou

Stage results

1 Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) 4:16:00

2  Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEDGE) same time

3 Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Segafredo) s/t

4 Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) s/t

5 Alexander Porsev (Katusha) s/t

GC standings

1 Bob Jungels (Etixx-QuickStep) +49:32:20

2 Andrey Amador (Movistar) +0.24

3 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +1:07

4 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) same time

5 Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) +1:09

All the jerseys

Leader’s jersey: Bob Jungels (Etixx-QuickStep)

Point’s jersey: Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal)

KOM jersey: Damiano Cunego  (Nippo-Vini Fantini)

Best young rider: Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quick Step)

For full review of the stage, go to Cycling News

Header image: Sprint! ©Getty Images/Andrea Spinelli

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