Giro d’Italia 2021 : Stage 13 – Nizzolo all smiles as GC takes a breather

Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka ASSOS) finally broke his duck at his home grand tour in front of a delighted tifosi and teammates. The European Champion chased down a powerful surprise attack from Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) before leaping off his wheel to scream across the line with the biggest smile you will see all year. Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) rounded out the podium. There were no changes in the top ten on GC with Egan Bernal (INEOS-Grenadiers) still in pink and happy for a rest before the mighty Zoncolan tomorrow. 

Look at that SMILE! Nizzolo must have thought his day to cross the finish line at the Giro d’Italia, arms aloft in victory, would never come.

After a more-or-less uncomplicated day trying not to catch the break-of-the-day too early, the sprint teams took control in the final kilometres for their last chance to strut their stuff.

It looked like it was all leading to a classic clash of the fast men when Edoardo Affini took off with 700m to go. At first I thought he running lead out for Dylan Groenewegen, but with his sprinter nowhere to be seen and certainly not on his wheel, he kept going and opened up a HUGE GAP in a very short time.

That set the alarm bells ringing, but Giacomo kept his cool. with around 400m to go he sprinted once to get into Fernando Gaviria’s slipstream (UAE-TeamEmirates), then cleverly switched to the right to chase down Affini, before taking it up a gear to pass him and win by over a bike length. You can’t practice for these scenarios, that split second decision to GO is pure instinct. Complementi Giacomo!

Don’t you just LOVE IT when a teammate behind the winner is celebrating too!?!

The joy of Qhubeka!

Ooft Trek…

And another black cat, just for good measure. A psychic black cat 

He didn’t, he was STILL SMILING and a bit cheekymy goal was to be second‘.

Let’s look at the stats

It’s not often I start looking at Velon numbers, but the finish by both Nizzolo and Affini warrants it. I would have placed money on Jumbo-Visma taking that stage. The gap Affini put into the field, the way he held it for so long – amazing! It took an incredible and well timed effort from the eventual winner to deny him.

Let’s hear from the Jumbo-Bee with legs of steel

Ah fair Verona

With a finish in Verona, setting for star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, you have to expect a smattering of Shakespeare with your cycling tweets. My prize goes to Dans La Musette who summed the finale with quotes.

Parting is such sweet sorrow


Post race analysis shows that Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates) suffered an unusual mechanical in the finale… he sprinted without a saddle!

I’ve only seen this type of catastrophe once before. Why do I remember? Well it was Dane, of course. Poor Matti.

The Final Word

There are no more sprints…only pain ahead


Stage 12 Top 5 

1 Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka ASSOS) 4:42:19

2 Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) same time

3 Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) s/t

4 Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) s/t

5 Fernando Gaviria  (UAE-Team Emirates) s/t

GC Top 10 

1 Egan Bernal Gomez (Ineos Grenadiers) 53:11:42

2 Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) +0:45

3 Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) +1:12

4 Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo) +1:17

5 Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) +1:22

6 Emanuel Buchmann (BORA-hansgrohe) +1:50

7 Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +2:22

8 Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) +2:24

9 Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) +2:49

10 Daniel Martinez (Ineos Grenadiers) +3:15

All the jerseys

Leader’s jersey Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers)

Points jersey Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe)

King of the Mountains Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r Citroen)

Best Young Rider Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers)

For full race reviews, go to cyclingnews.

Official race website: Giro d’Italia

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