Giro 2017 Stage 12: Gaviria confirms sprint dominance with hat-trick

Today, the longest stage in #Giro100 was another one for the sprinters. As the sprint trains steamed into town, Fernando Gaviria was led out perfectly by his poisson-pilote Max Richeze to easily and confidently surge ahead of Jakub Mareczko and Sam Bennett in the fast finish to the line. The 22-year-old Gaviria is the first rider in six years to win three stages on his Grand Tour debut – and he’s the first Colombian to collect three stage wins in a single Grand Tour. There may be more to come as he’s intent on reaching Milan in the maglia ciclamino. There was no change on GC, Tom Dumoulin is still looking pretty in pink.

Rider of the Race

While it’s tempting to reward the stage winner who took his hat-trick in this year’s Giro, I’m handing this prestigious prize to his poisson-pilote, Max Richeze, seen in this picture celebrating his teammate’s win. When the 34-year-old Argentinian suffered a puncture in the final 13km gallop to the line, no one was sent back for him. Instead he fought his way back to the bunch, rode through the peloton to perfectly execute his job. No wonder his nickname is Atomico!

Furthermore, he finished the stage in fifth position!

Richeze had ridden for Italian teams since 2006, winning two stages of the Giro d’Italia in 2007. He joined Quick-Step last season and has since forged an unbeatable relationship with Gaviria, who after the stage paid tribute to the work of Richeze:

I was worried when my lead-out man Maximiliano Richeze had a flat tyre because the peloton was riding very fast at that point. But he came across and it was perfect. I’m not the best sprinter of this Giro: that’s Andre Greipel because he’s got many more wins in his career than me but right now, I’m the sprinter with the best form and the best legs thanks to the preparation. And that’s how I’m here with my third victory.

Meanwhile, spare a thought for Nicky Hayden

Mugello race circuit (image: Mugello race circuit)

Today’s stage went past the famous Mugello MotoGP circuit, owned by Scuderia Ferrari who also use the track for F1 testing. Why am I talking about Mugello? The connection is current World Superbike rider and former MotoGP World Champion (2006) Nicky Hayden, the Kentucky Kid, who yesterday was involved in a serious road accident while out riding his bike near Rimini. This comes days after he competed at the 2017 World Superbike round at Imola. Hayden suffered serious head and chest trauma and his condition remains critical.

Nicky Hayden following team-mate Valentino Rossi in 2013 MotoGP season at Mugello (image: Mugello race circuit)

A number of riders, not just Alejandro Valverde, have tweeted their support for Hayden. Here at VeloVoices Towers, we’ll be hoping (and praying) for a favourable outcome.

Stage results

1 Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) 5:18:55

2 Jakub Mareczko (Willier Triestina) same time

3 Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) s/t

4 Phil Bauhaus (Sunweb) s/t

5 Max Richeze (Quick-Step Floors) s/t

GC Top 5

1 Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) 52:41:08

2 Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +2:23

3 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +2:38

4 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +2:40

5 Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) +2.47

All the jerseys

 

Leader’s jersey: Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb)

Points jersey: Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors)

KOM jersey: Omar Fraile (Dimension Data)

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

For full review of the stage, go to Cycling News  

Header Image: Fernando Gaviria ©Giro d’Italia

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